ANNEX A: Multi-Stakeholder Commodity Initiatives and Related Certification Systems

Short nameLong nameCommodityDetailsWebsite
ASC Aquaculture Stewardship Council Aquaculture

The ASC aims to be the world’s leading certification and labelling programme for responsibly farmed seafood. The ASC is a global organisation working with aquaculture producers, seafood processors, retail and foodservice companies, scientists, conservation groups and the public to promote the best environmental and social choice in seafood.



Cane sugar

Bonsucro aims to improve the social, environmental, and economic sustainability of sugarcane by promoting the use of a global metric standard, with the aim of continuously improving sugarcane production and downstream processing in order to contribute to a more sustainable future.


Forest Stewardship Council

Forest, timber, wood-based products

FSC facilitates the development of standards, ensures monitoring of certified operations and protects the FSC trademark so consumers can choose products that come from well-managed forests.


Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef


The GRSB was born out of the Global Conference on Sustainable Beef, held in November 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The conference laid the groundwork for establishing a multi-stakeholder initiative by achieving greater clarity and deepening alignment around the key issues that influence the sustainability of the beef production system.


ISEAL Alliance


A Roundtable of Roundtables, ISEAL strives to make good standards better. Develops guidance and facilitates coordinated efforts to improve its members’ credibility and effectiveness and scale-up their social and environmental impacts.


Marine Stewardship Council


The MSC’s fishery certification programme and seafood ecolabel recognise and reward sustainable fishing. A global organisation working with fisheries, seafood companies, scientists, conservation groups and the public to promote the best environmental choice in seafood.


Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil

Palm oil, palm kernel oil

RSPO seeks to transform markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm.


Roundtable on Responsible Soy


The RTRS is a worldwide association of stakeholders involved in the global market for soy and soy products. Growers, traders, banks, civil society and the major soy processing industries are all widely represented in the organisation, which has the goal of building a fully responsible ‘chain of custody’ for the global soy trade. The RTRS has set an agenda in five areas, namely legal practices, labour, community relations, environment, agricultural practices.


Other Agriculture Standards

For an excellent overview of many additional agriculture standards, please refer to:
SAI Platform, Agriculture Standards, Benchmark Study 2009, by Intertek Sustainability Solutions, 2009.
The International Trade Centre (ITC) developed an interactive online database, called Standards Map.

Below, we mention standards often referred to in this guide.

Short nameLong nameCommodityDetailsWebsite


UTZ Certified

Coffee, tea, cocoa

UTZ Certified stands for sustainable farming and better opportunities for farmers, their families and our planet. The UTZ programme enables farmers to learn better farming methods, improve working conditions and take better care of their children and the environment. Through the UTZ programme farmers grow better crops, generate more income and create better opportunities while safeguarding the environment and securing the earth’s natural resources. Now and in the future.

Rainforest Alliance / RA

Rainforest Alliance

Agriculture, forestry

The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and improve livelihoods by delivering sustainability auditing, verification, validation, and certification services based on the best available global standards; with the highest integrity, transparency, and quality; that generate positive economic, ecological, and social benefits to its clients; and that can achieve globally-meaningful scale.


4C Association


The 4C Association is the platform that brings together stakeholders in the coffee sector to address sustainability issues in a pre-competitive manner.


Sustainable Agriculture Network


The SAN is a coalition of leading conservation groups that links responsible farmers with conscientious consumers by means of the Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM seal of approval. Its collective vision is based on the concept of sustainability, recognising that the wellbeing of societies and ecosystems is intertwined and dependent on development that is environmentally sound, socially equitable and economically viable. The SAN develops, manages and owns the Sustainable Agriculture Standard.

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