Understanding and promoting sustainability through collaboration and science
The Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA™) is a consortium of institutions promoting sustainability in agriculture with credible and globally comparable information based on quantifiable evidence. COSA employs innovative measurement and management tools to analyze the distinct social, environmental and economic impacts of agricultural practices at the field level. Policy-makers, firms and farmers use COSA tools to improve their practices and to better understand, manage and accelerate sustainability.
- Global Partnerships operating with a strong local context in each country
- Experience with thousands of surveys, electronic data collection systems, and customizable indicators to meet diverse needs
- Practical and strategic management data that is necessary for successful investment in sustainability
- A participatory process integrating expert input from scientists, producer groups, private firms, NGOs, and development agencies
- Experience with the world’s largest collection of agricultural sustainability data to improve project design, analysis, and policy dialogue
What is COSA used for?
The COSA measurement tools analyze the social, environmental, and economic
effects on producers and their communities. By providing a scientifically-based
understanding of what is sustainable COSA tools serve as an effective means
• Determining policymaking and donor investment
• Structuring and conducting the monitoring and evaluation efforts
for initiatives and projects
• Managing suppliers/supply chains for firms wanting
to affect their sustainability efforts or to benchmark them
• Providing producers with practical business-decision
tools to assess the costs and benefits of various sustainability practices,
especially those associated with the implementation of any standards or certification
are COSA's Core Activities?
• Development of a globally consistent and scientifically rigorous
methodology for different crops
• Application of the methodology to secure data on tens of thousands
of farms across a number of commodity producing countries.
• Development of a practical business decision-making tool for
use by farmer groups.
• Building local institutional capacity with local partners
to collect high-quality data on sustainability
• Partnering with the U.N.'s International Trade Centre to create a
database for global dissemination of this information
• Facilitation of policy dialogue and successful
investment in sustainability based on findings.
Now available online:
Food and Agriculture: The future of sustainability (Read more)
Study led by COSA President Daniele Giovannucci released by the U.N. Division
for Sustainable Development as a strategic input to the "Sustainable Development
in the 21st Century Report", launched at the Rio+20 Summit.
On our current trajectory, severe disruptions
to national and regional food systems are highly likely to happen - the main question
is when. Exposing unforeseen areas of consensus - with contributions from more than 70
global agri-food leaders in the business, policy, green, and social arenas - the report
lays out concrete steps for sustainable and resilient food and agriculture systems.
By opening the silos of partisan thinking to invite reasoned discussion, it also
exposes areas of disagreement and advances a key set of specific "high
impact" areas where smart decisions will make the most difference.