Measuring impacts of supply chain initiatives for conservation: focus on forest-risk food commodities

Published in Meridian Insitute, 2018

Recommended citation: Garrett, R. D., X. Rueda, S. A. Levy, J.F. Bermudez Blanco, S. Shah (2018). "Measuring impacts of supply chain initiatives for conservation: focus on forest-risk food commodities." Meridian Insitute. Washington, D.C.

Abstract: This report summarizes the main outcomes of forest conservation initiatives adopted by global agro-food companies based on a systematic literature search and review. The study focusses on beef and leather, soybean, oil palm, coffee, and cocoa sectors which have the highest risk of being cultivated on areas that have been deforested. It looks at four categories of supply chain initiatives: collective aspirations, company pledges, codes of conduct, and standards. Based on the evidence available, it concludes that the effectiveness of company pledges for zero deforestation varies substantially across regions. Pledges in the Amazon designed within cattle value chains show positive results at the farm level for early adopters of the agreement; but those results are overshadowed by larger deforestation by late adopters and in other places. Pledges within palm oil value chains have not been effective in Indonesia. The High Conservation Value and High Carbon Stock approaches contribute to improved conservation outcomes because they enable protection of biodiversity and high carbon ecosystems, not just forests. Finally, it concludes that neither sanction based nor incentive based standards are effectively tackling deforestation among smallholders. More significantly, the review finds that there is no information on the conservation outcomes associated with existing collective aspirations or codes of conduct. In addition, in spite of the abundance of corporate pledges, there is very little evaluation of those efforts.