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Responsible sourcing for sustainable livelihoods

Smallholders supply a large proportion of many agricultural commodities and many rely on these global markets for their livelihoods. As companies strive to source palm oil, soy, sugar and other commodities responsibly, smallholders can be squeezed out of supply chains because they lack the resources and capacity to improve their production practices and to demonstrate that they are doing so.

Norad, DFID | 2013 — ongoing

Smallholders supply a large proportion of many agricultural commodities and many rely on these global markets for their livelihoods. As companies strive to source palm oil, soy, sugar and other commodities responsibly, smallholders can be squeezed out of supply chains because they lack the resources and capacity to improve their production practices and to demonstrate that they are doing so.

The SHARP Partnership – for which Proforest hosts the Secretariat – is developing tools and approaches to help companies engage with their smallholder suppliers and ensure that smallholders benefit from responsible supply chains. Companies can use the Responsible Sourcing from Smallholders (RSS) framework to manage risks while supporting smallholders to continuously improve production practices and livelihood security.

The Responsible Sourcing from Smallholders Working Group was created in December 2013 bringing together Proforest, ISEAL, Unilever, Olam, Solidaridad and Fauna & Flora International, with the SHARP Secretariat in a coordinating role. 2014 saw intense activity to outline the RSS framework, then to consult, review and redraft it. By the end of the year, the approach was defined with guidance for users and plans were in place for pilot testing in the field during 2015. 

The SHARP Partnership is funded by Norad and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Proforest hosts the SHARP Secretariat and supports its staff. In 2014 our implementation partners were SNV in Indonesia, Rainforest Alliance in West and Central Africa, and Proforest Brazil in Latin America.

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