As the field of sustainability matures and we better understand which activities are actually making the most impact, the conversation is starting to take a new turn. 
I wanted to share with you a few brief perspectives and lessons that have been at the forefront of my mind: an evolving view of how managers view sustainability and the growing importance of resilience.

Focus on the basics: the business of sustainability

We work in a quickly shifting and dynamic space as agriculture faces increasing volatility and risks. As real-time management systems become technologically possible, we are partnering with supply chain and sourcing managers to combine private sector expertise with systems thinking. The result? Functional data systems that enable managers to effectively measure and manage the sustainability of their projects. See how Jacobs Douwe Egberts has done this for over 50,000 farmers in Ethiopia, Honduras, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

The right tools for resilience

With more game-changing hazards such as climate change, water scarcity, and labor shortages than ever before, sustainable development requires ensuring the survival of farms and livelihoods. Development agencies and economists who focus on rural areas are increasingly turning their attention to ways that the resilience of farming systems can be managed and improved. Are resilience metrics part of your toolkit?

I am pleased to announce a new work stream made possible by a grant from the Ford Foundation that will apply COSA’s multi-stakeholder approach of bringing together scientists, civil society, business, and development practitioners on common indicators for resilience. Read about this, the Sustainable Food Lab, fisheries, and other sustainability news below.

I look forward to hearing your views and to advancing sustainability together.
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Daniele Giovannucci
COSA, President


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54,000 farmers and counting: one firm’s global M&E system 

Working closely with JACOBS DOUWE EGBERTS in a combined partnership with IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, the International Finance Corporation, University of Sydney, TechnoServe, Honducafé, Indocafco, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD), and Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung, we are pleased to announce the culmination of an 18-month effort aimed at improving the livelihoods of farmers in Ethiopia, Honduras, Indonesia,  more…

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Safer farming, safer projects: a practical approach to resilience measurement

By understanding risks we can develop more resilient systems. As much as possible, this has to be practical and not require lengthy analysis or costly processes so that we can mainstream its use. Several aspects of resilience that COSA and its partners will address as they launch a new work stream include  more…

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Sustainable Food Lab does it again 

Every year the talented SFL team hosts an extraordinary gathering of leaders in the field for their annual Performance Measurement Practitioners’ Workshop. This February’s workshop convened senior representatives from companies, NGOs, standards bodies, development agencies and lenders. Innovators from around the world gathered to more…

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How resilient are our oceans?

The need for mitigating risks and growing resilience isn’t only important for agriculture. Growing demand for seafood is placing a major strain on oceans and freshwater ecosystems and poor management is driving some to a state of collapse. By current estimates, 80 percent of global seafood stocks are more…

COSA welcomes new staff

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Elena Serfilippi as Coordinator for Resilience Research. In addition, we are very pleased to welcome back in a new role Professor Gabriela Soto as Coordinator for Indicators and Metrics.