Sustainability Exchange

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SustainabilityXchange: made possible thanks to a consortium of funding and implementing partners 

SustainabilityXchange was developed through a partnership of several organisations, active in the area of sustainable agri-food value chains. Five funding partners and four implementers came together in 2013 with an idea for the platform, which turned into a vibrant online community within a short period of time. The platform was launched in May 2014 at the occasion of the annual ISEAL Global Sustainability Standards Conference.

As of April 2016, ITC has become the steward of the community-owned platform, with the continuing support of SECO. The rest of the initial funders and implementers have maintained high levels of ownership and activity on the platform.

Funding Partners



Hivos is an international development organisation guided by humanist values. Together with local civil society organisations in developing countries, Hivos wants to contribute to a free, fair and sustainable world. A world in which all citizens – both women and men – have equal access to opportunities and resources for development and can participate actively and equally in decision-making processes that determine their lives, their society and their future. Hivos trusts in the creativity and capacity of people. Quality, cooperation and innovation are core values in Hivos' programme development and business philosophies. Hivos is committed to people in Africa, Asia and Latin America who are systematically blocked from rights, opportunities and resources. A lasting improvement in their situation is the ultimate measure for our work. One of the guiding principles of our philosophy is strengthening the social position of women.  


Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)


SECO is the federal government's centre of expertise for all core issues relating to economic policy. Its aim is to ensure sustainable economic growth by putting in place the necessary regulatory and economic policy conditions. Employers and employees should be able to benefit from growth-oriented policies, the removal of barriers to trade, and the reduction of Switzerland's relatively high prices. On the domestic front, SECO acts as an interface between business, social partners and government. It supports the regionally and structurally balanced development of the economy and ensures the protection of employees. Through its labour market policy, it contributes to the prevention and tackling of unemployment and consequently to upholding social peace. SECO also helps to ensure access to all markets for Swiss goods and services and investment. In terms of foreign trade policy, SECO is active in the formulating of efficient, fair and transparent rules for the world economy. Switzerland's relations to the European Union are coordinated by the Integration Office, a joint office of the FDFA and the FDEA. SECO is also involved in efforts to reduce poverty in the form of economic development cooperation. The Swiss Accreditation Service (SAS) affiliated to SECO is responsible for all accreditations in regulated and non-regulated fields.


UTZ Certified


UTZ Certified. Better farming. Better future.

When you buy UTZ Certified coffee, cocoa or tea you are helping build a better future. UTZ Certified stands for sustainable farming and better opportunities for farmers, their families and our planet. The UTZ program enables farmers to learn better farming methods, improve working conditions and take better care of their children and the environment.
Through the UTZ-program 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.
And that tastes a lot better.

Making a difference around the world

UTZ Certified wants sustainable farming to become the most natural thing in the world. And we're on the right track because an increasing share of the world's coffee, cocoa and tea is grown responsibly. In fact, almost 50% of all certified sustainable coffee is now UTZ.
We work with companies like Mars, Ahold, IKEA, D.E Master Blenders 1753, Migros, Tchibo and Nestlé. So when you buy these and other UTZ-certified products, we are able to support more and more farmers, their workers and their families achieve their ambitions.

Strict requirements, close monitoring

Coffee, cocoa and tea products do not get the UTZ label easily. The compliance with our strict requirements by UTZ certified farms and businesses, is closely monitored by independent third parties. These requirements include Good Agricultural Practices and farming management, safe and healthy working conditions, abolition of child labor and protection of the environment.
UTZ offers brands the possibility to track and trace the coffee, cocoa and tea, from the shelf in the store to the farmer. The UTZ logo on your product ensures that your favorite brand supports sustainable farming.


Global Coffee Platform (former "4C Association")


As of April 2016, the 4C Association has become the Global Coffee Platform, having merged with the Sustainable Coffee Program powered by IDH.
The Global Coffee Platform is an inclusive multi-stakeholder sustainability platform aligning the activities of a diverse network of stakeholders to set into action the global commitments made through Vision 2020 and create a thriving and sustainable coffee sector. Combining the expansive membership of the 4C Association with the pre-competitive activities of the Sustainable Coffee Program, the Global Coffee Platform marks a new era of sustainability for the coffee sector.

The Global Coffee Platform (GCP) works by a bottom up approach, uniting both public and private sector actors to create a common vision on the most critical sustainability challenges at a producing country level and feeding these national priorities into a global agenda. The GCP then offers all coffee stakeholders, large and small, the opportunity to engage in this global agenda through action-oriented work-streams. Tackling the most pressing challenges, these work-streams aim to improve the effectiveness of sustainability programs and contribute to greater impact on the livelihoods of coffee farming communities and the natural environment of coffee production areas around the world. The Global Coffee Platform also supports the use of the Baseline Common Code, a set of globally referenced baseline principles and practices for coffee production and processing. Through the support of this reference code, the GCP aims to enable sector-wide adoption of minimum sustainability requirements and create a level playing field for collectively reporting and measuring improvements.


Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH)

IDH accelerates and up-scales sustainable trade by building impact oriented coalitions of front running companies, civil society organizations, governments and other stakeholders that will deliver impact on the Millennium Development Goals 1 (poverty reduction), 7 (safeguarding the environment) and 8 (fair and transparent trade). 

The strength of IDH derives from the public and private partners we work with who bring in funds, enterpreneurship, procurement power,  legislation, laws, regulations, know-how, networks, local expertise and credibility. With a EUR130 million co-funding grant from the Dutch, Swiss and Danish Governments, IDH runs public-private, precompetitive market transformation programs in 18 sectors.


SustainabilityXchange was implemented by:

International Trade Centre (ITC)


Since 1964, the International Trade Centre has helped to enable small business export success in developing countries by providing trade development programmes to the private sector, trade support institutions and policymakers. ITC works in partnership with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), supporting their regulatory, research and policy strategies and helping to turn them into practical projects. ITC's overarching goal is to help developing countries to achieve sustainable development through exports; activating, supporting and delivering projects with an emphasis on competitiveness. To achieve its mandate, ITC works with national, regional and international bodies. However, it is the daily contact with business people and policymakers that gives ITC the unique perspective and the experience to deliver tangible results. ITC enables sustainable development by identifying and defining the environments for success. ITC enables developing countries to access and act on global market knowledge, providing market analysis tools, strategic analysis, market profiles, training, business clinics, mentoring on export potential assessment and market access reviews. ITC connects business and governments to share and develop innovative solutions and ITC translates global knowledge and business experience into practical solutions. ITC's Market Analysis and Research (MAR) section produces and disseminates online market analysis tools, conducts market research and trade analysis, and delivers capacity building programmes in market analysis for the business community, trade support institutions and policy makers in developing countries. The SustainabilityXchange will be closely linked to one of ITC's Market Analysis tools, namely Standards Map, and embedded in its institutional and management capacity of providing the infrastructure and maintenance needed to successfully implement and manage the SustainabilityXchange. More specifically, the SustainabilityXchange will be managed by the Trade for Sustainable Development project team.


HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation (Helvetas)


HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation is one of the most experienced and largest development organisations in Switzerland. It implements projects for rural development in 33 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. HELVETAS advisory services consist of several teams that provide technical advice and expertise to internal and external clients. The Rural Economy Team operates with twelve experts in sustainable agriculture, value chain facilitation and business development to support local project teams, producer organisations and service providers in improving production and management systems. HELVETAS Organic & Fairtrade Competence Centre has acquired a broad range of practical experience related to organic and fair-trade value chains, with particular focus on cotton, cocoa and rice. Since 2009 the Centre has been facilitating the 500+ members of the Global Organic Cotton Community of Practice. HELVETAS Knowledge and Learning Team focuses on capacity building processes and supports them with innovative online facilitation and participatory methods.


Fair & Sustainable Advisory Services (FSAS)


FSAS was established in 2010 by ICCO, the inter-church development organization from the Netherlands, and offers consultancy services to producer organizations and companies on sustainable agriculture, value chain development, business planning, certification and learning strategies. The FSAS Netherlands team advises traders and retailers on how to tackle sustainability issues including compliance with certification requirements (specific experience with coffee, cocoa, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, timber and non-timber products); supports producer organizations and service providers in improving production and management; supports development agencies in strengthening their economic programs and facilitates the creation of Communities of Practice and learning networks. FSAS has subsidiary companies in Ethiopia and Mali. FSAS works with an extensive network of local consultants in Latin America and Asia who provide services in assignments when appropriate.




FAQ is an advisory service working on the cutting-edge of development support and commercial business. FAQ specializes in sustainable supply chain and quality management for smallholder producer and trade organisations. Its support program includes hands-on training programs and IT service products (documentation and registration systems) with a proven track record on creating user friendly portals, basic manuals and information services.