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Production Landscape Programme

Proforest’s Production Landscape Programme collaborates with companies and other stakeholders throughout the supply chain to provide guidance on how agricultural supply chain companies can deliver on their sustainability commitments at a scale that goes beyond their own direct supply base.

Why work at a landscape scale?

Agricultural commodity supply chain companies are committed to a wide range of actions to increase the sustainability of their products. In general, supply chain companies have sought to apply these commitments at the production level by tracing their supply chains back to the producer, mill or aggregator, and encouraging or requiring them to take action. 

On many issues, this is effective. But many issues are not under the control of a single actor in the landscape and there will be greater impact if many organisations collaborate to achieve the same end.

For example, there are many different drivers of deforestation, and they are often beyond the control of existing supply chains and producers. Government action and enforcement, and community engagement are also necessary to address deforestation. Companies can support this action and may be able to affect some of the incentives driving deforestation, but they are unlikely to succeed in eliminating it alone. Similarly, social issues are often sector wide. Child workers and forced or trafficked labour can be hidden in an individual supply chain, and action taken by a single producer may drive exploited labourers to other, less ethical producers. Tackling the conditions that allow exploitation to flourish needs concerted sector-wide action.

Increasingly supply chain companies are realising the limitations and costs of working alone through their individual supply chains. They see the need for complementary actions at a landscape scale to achieve wider, transformational impact.

Other ways of working

Supply chain companies use a number of mechanisms to try and ensure production practices comply with their commitments. Supplier engagement and product specification – requiring a product to be certified or legal – are two commonly used mechanisms. The advantage of these methods is that the supply chain company knows the specific product they buy complies with their requirements.

Working at a wider landscape level complements these mechanisms by engaging directly with producers, governments, non-governmental and civil society organisations, and other stakeholders in the producing landscape. This includes joining or supporting landscape and jurisdictional approaches where collaboration with other actors, particularly government, provides scope to support change across a geographical landscape or political/administrative jurisdiction. Working through sectoral initiatives that aim to achieve change on specific issues across a whole sector can also be effective.

Supporting action at landscape scale

The Production Landscapes Programme aims to support the alignment of private sector actions on deforestation and other sustainability issues with national and sub-national policy and initiatives, including those led by civil society.

The primary aim of our Production Landscape Programme is to help supply chain companies answer questions like:

  • Where should we engage in landscape-level approaches?
  • Which issues should we engage on?
  • What level of government do we engage with and how?
  • What does ‘engage’ actually mean, and what is appropriate action at different levels of the supply chain?
  • How do we start an initiative at landscape-level?
  • How do we collaborate with other like-minded companies, who are also our competitors?
  • How do we build positive relationships with civil society organisations around difficult issues?
  • What can we communicate about our work?

Funding

Proforest’s Production Landscape Programme is funded by UK aid from the UK government, via the Forest Governance, Markets and Climate Programme.

Together with funding from a number of companies, we are already piloting the development of a landscape initiative in Siak and Pelalawan Districts of Riau in Indonesia. Through such pilots and case studies in Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America we aim to develop the practical insights and guidance to support companies, governments and civil society to work together in other countries, regions and commodities.

To find out more about the Production Landscapes Programme, contact Sophie Higman (sophie@proforest.net).


Watch Langlang Tata Buana, Proforest's Senior Project Manager, discuss our work with the Siak Hijau programme