How enterprise can drive forest constructive motion and neighborhood resilience in smallholder farming landscapes – Sustainability = Good Enterprise


By Dr Peter Stanbury and Toby Webb

Over current years the “panorama method” to addressing sustainability has turn into the thrill phrase. But, as our current smallholder analysis has demonstrated, this ambition is much from being a sensible actuality on the bottom.

Our report discovered that actions to create sustainable smallholder provide chains stay siloed in commodity-specific, project-based approaches, that engagement with native governance and establishments stays patchy, and the sustainability points within the provide chain between farm and port stay largely unexplored. We uncovered vital alternatives for provide chain actors to reinforce the lives and resilience of smallholder communities in these areas.

The subsequent part of our smallholder mission is addressing this problem immediately. Our Innovation Accelerator initiative is performing as a convenor to deliver collectively a spread of actors in particular geographies to show aspiration and world coverage into sensible motion on the bottom. Our first initiatives, based mostly on our preliminary analysis findings (webinar/podcast on that right here) are in Indonesia and India, and we’re in search of companions to hitch us in different initiatives.

With a number of pilots to check our analysis in real-world environments and to delve deeper into the alternatives for constructive impression, we are able to additional develop the proof base, and uncover sensible methods to reinforce livelihoods.

Our intention is that this new part of labor will display learn how to create a very ‘panorama’ method which each acknowledges the inseparability of the social and environmental agendas, and builds on the necessity for a collaborative method. For instance, how can curiosity in tackling Scope III local weather emissions be leveraged to drive neighborhood incomes and resilience in smallholder agriculture?

This new part builds on final yr’s analysis, which introduced collectively insights from a spread of various smallholder commodity provide chains. It recognized a transparent set of points which must be addressed if these provide chains are to be made genuinely sustainable. Nonetheless it can additionally deal with learn how to flip the growing dedication which many firms are making to ‘forest constructive’ methods into motion.

The problems:

Smallholder market entry

A key a part of many smallholder initiatives is to encourage farmers to diversify away from reliance on one core crop, for instance cocoa or espresso, by rising an extra money crop. For the time being, a key problem for these farmers is to realize entry to non-domestic markets for these extra crops with a purpose to maximise their revenue.

A part of the issue is that farmers in a area usually develop all kinds of different money crops, which implies that this area just isn’t capable of provide a essential mass of anybody product to worldwide consumers who is likely to be fascinated with shopping for three or 4 crops from one ‘panorama’. How might a extra joined-up method deal with larger amount in fewer extra crops? What different markets could also be out there, for instance massive multinationals within the nation?

Resilient rural growth

The information strongly means that, within the longer run, the present mannequin of smallholder farming is unsustainable. Inhabitants development, with the resultant diminution in farm dimension implies that, in actuality, the issue will solely worsen. Due to this fact diversification of crops, and reaching higher markets won’t be sufficient within the longer run.

What modifications, subsequently, are wanted to develop a extra diversified rural agricultural economic system during which there are fewer, bigger, and extra environment friendly farms supporting different employment creation? What are the implications of this, for instance, in mobilising larger funding in onward processing of smallholder commodities? In flip, how will we perceive and have interaction with institutional challenges akin to land title reform?


Many firms have ‘forest constructive’ methods, however these usually lack operational element. It’s one factor for a chief government to decide to their firm turning into carbon impartial, however this could solely be delivered by modifications in behaviour in a number of places the world over. Our intention is to assist firms to show world methods into tangible motion on-the-ground.

Nonetheless, we additionally need to facilitate a transfer from exhorting smallholders to not injury habitats, to offering a powerful incentive to guard them. We’ll do that by exploring how carbon sequestration may turn into a ‘product’ which smallholder farmers can promote to worldwide markets. It will, in fact, require understanding the mechanics of carbon seize, measurement and accounting, how  expertise and on-the-ground property can be utilized to measure carbon, in addition to how carbon reductions could be apportioned.

The method

Innovation Discussion board’s position for a few years has been to convene a variety of various companions to debate developments within the sustainability debate. We are actually making use of that very same convening energy to make issues occur on the bottom. In every nation programme we’re first mapping current actions with smallholder farmers. We’re then utilizing the findings of our smallholder analysis to develop a road-map to real sustainability in every location. We shouldn’t have an axe to grind, which implies that, in every place, we are able to present a discussion board for collaboration and collaborative motion.

On the similar time, we’ll work with worldwide consumers to develop fashions for direct sourcing from the focal landscapes. It will embody engagement with logistics and transport firms to grasp how these features of the availability chain may want to vary if a correctly sustainable mannequin is to be developed. We may also discover the position of expertise and different means to guarantee chain of custody for items, and to supply transparency on carbon seize.

The deliverables

Via performing as a convenor on the bottom, Innovation Accelerator will allow firms to show aspiration and world coverage into sensible motion. Making a genuinely panorama method will assist to shift the ‘stability of energy’ in provide chains in direction of small-scale producers, so permitting them to profit from a larger proportion of the worth of the products they produce.

It is going to additionally allow correct exploration of the onward points within the provide chain – between farm gate and port aspect – that are largely uncared for by present approaches. In flip, this can allow end-to-end traceability – not mass stability – of produce from farm to finish consumer, and supply evidence-based analysis and assist outline constructive incentives to farmers for forest safety

Corporations with smallholder based mostly provide chains are dealing with a twin problem. First, they want, quickly, to plan clear actions on the bottom to ship on their more and more formidable sustainability ambitions. Second, they’re dealing with an more and more difficult authorized atmosphere, during which many jurisdictions, for instance the EU, are more likely to introduce provide chain due diligence laws.

What our new method offers is a market-based method to addressing smallholder provide chains, which can reply to core to industrial priorities, and could be built-in into core enterprise working methods.

On this subsequent part of our work we’re already working with Golden-Agri Sources, the world’s second largest palm oil producer, and Cotton Join, the social enterprise which transforms cotton provide chains. Different companions are set to hitch us quickly. Please contact us to debate this journey to remodeling smallholder resilience in agricultural provide chains.

Right here’s a brief, readable PPT deck on our plans, summarising the above.

Dr Peter Stanbury and Toby Webb are administrators of the Innovation Accelerator, an Innovation Discussion board initiative.

Electronic mail: and

Right here’s the place you may get the 2020 report, titled: Constructing resilient smallholder provide chains

Here’s a quick podcast on the report from 2020 with Dr Peter Stanbury, the report creator and lead researcher

Right here’s the 60 minute webinar from the launch of our November 2020 report.

  • Ariana Fixed, director, Clinton Improvement Initiative
  • Alison Ward, CEO, CottonConnect
  • Anita Neville, senior vice-president, group company communications, Golden Agri-Sources
  • Thilo Liedlbauer, advisor, sustainable agricultural provide chains and requirements programme, GIZ
  • Yann Wyss, senior supervisor, social impression, Nestlé
  • Peter Stanbury, senior affiliate, Innovation Discussion board

View our quick presentation on subsequent steps on slideshare: https://www.slideshare.web/Tobiaswebb/forest-positive-action-and-community-resilience-in-smallholder-farming-landscapes



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