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Generating Responsible Demand 2018-06-04T21:46:24+00:00

By 2050, the world’s population is expected to exceed well over 9 billion people, and some estimates suggest that demand for food will double. But this isn’t just a matter for food security.

More than 70 percent of tropical deforestation is driven by commercial agriculture to meet growing global demand for food, fiber and fuel. Without a shift in the way we produce, trace and finance agricultural commodities this growing demand will continue to drive deforestation.

The Good Growth Solution

The Good Growth Partnership aims to incentivize sustainable production by raising awareness to strengthen demand for sustainably produced beef, palm oil and soy among consumers, policy makers, companies and investors. Coordinating with existing platforms and initiatives, we are working with partners to promote and improve transparency and to address market barriers that restrict sustainable production.

Our Goals at a Glance

Contact Lizzie Schueler, of WWF, to learn more about how the
Good Growth Partnership is generating responsible demand in commodity supply chains.

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Number of Indonesian cities — Jakarta, Pekanbaru and Pontianak — where the Partnership aims to considerably heighten domestic demand for sustainable palm oil and in-turn influence companies in Indonesia to provide and promote products containing sustainable palm oil.
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Number of influential companies engaged in project activities that are making new commitments to source reduced deforestation palm oil, soy, and beef.
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Number of countries where supply chain transparency is increased through various tools and activities developed and conducted via the Partnership.
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Number of new jurisdictions where soy and beef products are mapped from origin to destination.
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Number of investors that have increased capacity to engage companies on reduced deforestation sourcing and disclosure.
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Number of changes in policy frameworks to incentivize demand or remove barriers for reduced deforestation commodities in project countries
Harnessing the Powerful Demand of Companies
Incentivizing Sustainable Demand with Responsible Investment
Aligning Demand for Sustainability with National Policy
Creating Conscious Consumers
Enhancing Transparency and Market Intelligence

Harnessing the Powerful Demand of Companies

Only a few hundred companies control a majority of the global market for palm oil, soy and beef. There are even fewer traders, which buy and sell the majority of palm oil, soy and beef to other buyer companies.

The Good Growth Partnership is working with major commodity buyers and traders through learning exchanges and workshops to build demand for reduced-deforestation commodities. By providing tools and capacity-building opportunities, the Partnership expects to guide companies beyond commitments into action that reduces deforestation.

In Asia, particularly in Indonesia, the Good Growth Partnership is focused on expanding ‘zero-deforestation’ and sustainability commitments of traders, buyers, and retailers. This includes working with multinational companies that have committed to 100 percent sustainable palm oil internationally but do not yet engage their Indonesian operations in sourcing sustainable palm oil.

Through the “Asia Learning & Exchange Program” administered by WWF, the Partnership will engage companies headquartered throughout the continent to learn about the challenges and successes experienced by sustainability leaders on their journey to take deforestation out of their commodity supply chains.

For focal commodities produced in Latin America, the Good Growth Partnership is mobilizing global buyers of Brazilian soy to create and implement a roadmap for achieving sustainable soy commitments. It is also working to increase awareness on sustainable options among existing buyers of Paraguayan beef and is educating potential global buyers interested in the country’s emerging market.

Incentivizing Sustainable Demand with Responsible Investment

Financial institutions play an important role in the demand for commodities as they invest in supply chain actors. When investors enact policies and engage with corporate investees on issues such as reduced deforestation, companies realize they must shift the way they operate in order to remain eligible for investment.

The Good Growth Partnership works with investors in Asia, as well as the United States and Europe, to heighten awareness of the growing risks involved in practices that are responsible for driving deforestation.

In Southeast Asia, only a small number of investors and regional banks are analyzing risks related to agriculture. The Good Growth Partnership’s demand-investor work — led by WWF — directly engages institutional investors to mobilize collective demand for transparency in Asian palm oil supply chains and works with key players to train and disseminate guidelines on best practices for sustainable investment. This includes building the awareness and capacity of Southeast Asian investors to identify and assess risk in their fast-moving consumer goods portfolios. Investors that demand Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) screening or reduced-deforestation sourcing can shift portfolio companies towards reduced-deforestation sourcing.

To learn more about how the Good Growth Partnership is working with banks and financial institutions, see “Enabling Sustainable Transactions.”

Aligning Demand for Sustainability with National Policy

Policies that do not value the long-term benefits of forests and biodiversity can lead to, or even incentivize, deforestation on the ground.

By working with governments to align policies with sustainability barriers and disincentives to sustainable sourcing can be removed, enabling an environment for better practices to occur.

The Good Growth Partnership works directly with national and regional governments to bring traders and buyers into the conversation to advance national mandates for reduced-deforestation policy frameworks.

In coordination with the Good Growth Partnership’s Sustainable Production Project, we support multi-stakeholder workshops and meetings to come to a consensus on policy improvements needed to promote reduced-deforestation agricultural production. By organizing industry workshops, in which policymakers are present, government leaders are able to promote the advances being made in their country and learn about the various global standards buyers are interested in.

Other efforts include:
  • Utilizing the “Asia Learning & Exchange Program” to increase the awareness and capacity of Asian governments to improve policies that incentivize demand for reduced deforestation commodities.
  • Strengthening national capacity and understanding of sustainable beef standards by supporting national dialogue and the development of national principles for sustainable beef in Paraguay.
  • Positioning West Africa as a future market for sustainable palm oil by supporting the TFA 2020 Africa Palm Oil Initiative’s work to engage governments, companies, and civil society in the development of national principles and implementation plans for sustainable palm oil development.

Contact Lizzie Schueler, of WWF, to learn more about how the Good Growth Partnership is driving demand for reduced deforestation commodities

Creating Conscious Consumers

Consumers are often unaware of deforestation and how it is linked to the products they purchase. For example, consumers often do not know that palm oil and soy may be embedded in the products they use on a daily basis such as hamburgers, chocolate, or cosmetics.

Similarly, consumers may not know about the environmental and social benefits that sustainably produced products provide. In some markets, agricultural products are sold in bulk, which negates opportunities for branding. This lack of awareness means many consumers unknowingly continue to buy products associated with deforestation or unsustainable production practices, and are unable to identify products that are produced more sustainably.

Consumer awareness for deforestation-linked agricultural products is relatively limited in developing nations, such as in Indonesia, Paraguay, Brazil, China and India, which are all major consumer markets for agriculture commodities.

As a result, the Good Growth Partnership’s work targets domestic consumer markets. This includes campaigning and engaging national media in Indonesia to promote the link between unsustainable palm oil production and the products consumers regularly buy.

In cases where businesses remain unconvinced of the need to shift their sourcing practices, consumers can place pressure on brands to do so. If consumers are more aware of the correlation between their purchases and the potential impacts on habitats and wildlife, they can leverage their influence to encourage companies to change their policies and support reduced deforestation sourcing.

International market demands for sustainability have long influenced Indonesian palm oil producers. However, the Indonesian domestic market for reduced deforestation commodities is considerably weaker despite being one of the biggest palm oil markets in the world. In Indonesia, only 27 percent of consumers are “highly committed” to buying sustainable palm oil products if the goods are labeled and readily available. Due to this relatively low awareness level and perceived limited uptake, companies do not offer sustainable palm oil products in Indonesian markets. Increased domestic demand is required to prompt supply of branded reduced deforestation products in Indonesia, effectively giving consumers more choice and influence over the market.

Enhancing Transparency and Market Intelligence

Transparency throughout the supply chain is critical in the effort to reduce deforestation. It allows all supply chain stakeholders, including consumers, to make informed purchasing and investment decisions. Increasing transparency also enables credible tracking of deforestation commitments and puts pressure on actors who continue to fuel unsustainable production practices.

In addition to engaging key demand stakeholder groups, the Partnership provides companies and other stakeholders with the necessary tools to enhance supply chain transparency.

One of the transparency tools delivered with support of the Partnership’s Responsible Demand Project is TRASE (transparent supply chains for sustainable economies), an open-access, online platform that traces commodity supply chains from area of production to country of import, linking impacts in producing regions to trading companies and global markets.

The Partnership also provides market actors with other types of information useful for decision-making, such as information on market demand, its impact on deforestation, and key consumption trends. This information is shared through quarterly Commodity Market Intelligence Updates as well as customized market analyses. These updates and reports also include information on areas of market expansion or consolidation in producer countries as well as details on the market share of major players in soy, beef, and palm oil supply chains and projections of future supply and demand.

Contact Lizzie Schueler, of WWF, to learn more about how the Good Growth Partnership is driving demand for reduced deforestation commodities