COSA’s very own Measurement Systems Manager Jessica Mullan attended the Sustainable Food Lab’s annual Performance Monitoring Practitioners Workshop in Vevey, Switzerland, in early March. The event brought together some 75 individuals, all diverse actors (companies, development and certification organizations) working collectively on measurement issues in smallholder supply chains.



Jessica reports on several themes that dominated the spotlight at this year’s event:

  1. Nutrition

Several organizations have moved beyond food security programs in recent years to nutrition-focused programs and shared the challenges, best practices, and lessons learned around the measurement of these initiatives. Nestlé, Unilever, SwissContact, Solidaridad, CMS, IDH, and GAIN led multiple discussions on the topic

  1. Sector Governance

I found the discussions around measuring the health and progress of sectors particularly interesting, especially as folks are discussing what makes sense to measure (and how). AIDEnvironment and the Gatsby Foundation are working actively on this right now.

  1. Platform Agendas

Several platforms were represented in the room (Global Coffee Platform, Global Shea Alliance, World Cocoa Foundation, Ethical Tea Partnership, Better Cotton Initiative) and a few discussed navigating corporate competitiveness issues and challenges in creating learning agendas around data at the platform level.

COSA’s presentation focused on Economic Metrics. We were invited as technical experts to take a deep dive into the topic and discuss best practices and lessons learned from our work in this area. It was also an opportunity to share joint measurement guidelines developed by COSA, SFL, and ISEAL–

“Measuring Smallholder Incomes: Towards Better Alignment and Reporting of Farm Economic Metrics.”  We enjoyed the opportunity to dig into the issues among a community of our peers and look forward to future such engagements.