What is the tinder that can spark widespread social movements that shift power from the few to the many?

At a cultural moment when we see brazen disregard for ethics and simple morality, we support a turning tide composed of those that care. Recent movements like #MeToo, #PasMoi, the refugee crises, and #BlackLivesMatter have explosively bared widespread discrimination and glaring inequalities. Similarly, across the world, labor rights, resource conservation, or hunger are also rooted in the soil of inequality.  

Does the sustainable development community have something to learn from these movements to reduce the asymmetry of power, rampant greed, and abuses that are at the core of development challenges?

One common denominator that turns tides and catalyzes these shifts is the transparent access to luminant knowledge.

At COSA, we believe that the right knowledge, at the right time, can be empowering. Transparency not only reduces risks, it also creates the potential for wiser choices and much needed accountability.

I want to share with you some innovative approaches to achieve more equitable development. It is its own sort of social movement, one that uses technology, credible data, and smart metrics to improve conditions and give farmers and rural communities a voice. Whether with our POD technology, innovations to drive Efficiency in Government, pragmatic Resilience, or simply the Art of Listening, our team curated some insights and news for you below.

With warm regards,

Daniele Signature
Daniele Giovannucci

Daniele Headshot 2


Government on the Cutting Edge of Sustainability

With greater scrutiny on every dollar spent, governments are increasingly interested in monitoring the effectiveness and efficiency of their rural programs.  The Mexican Agriculture Ministry’s (SAGARPA) recent implementation of SMART real-time monitoring is a premier model to do that and to assess the return-on-investment (ROI) of its  sustainability efforts. It also did something unique… More



 “Digital POs”: a new generation investing in technology

Producer organizations are powerful interveners for farmers. Fostering smart systems helps them understand and serve their members better while also providing” the vital traceability and transparency data understand and serve their members better, they also provide the vital traceability and transparency data that today’s responsible sourcing demands. We’ve learned a lot about such organizations and recently embarked on a very productive journey with … More…





We’re passionate about great sustainability conversations, come join one of our upcoming discussions:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Sustainability…

…but were afraid to ask. COSA will be co-leading a program featuring a masterful journey about sustainability and coffee at Specialty Coffee Association’s annual event. Joining Daniele Giovannucci in Seattle is SCA’s Director of Sustainability Kim Elena Ionescu to illuminate current state-of-the-art practices from successful origins, leading supply chains, and also among distinguished retailers and brands.  This conversation will take place on Saturday, 21 April 2018 at 10:30-11:45AM in room: TCC Tahoma #5.

Every Two Years, World Leaders Gather for Cocoa

The International Cocoa Organization has appointed COSA President Daniele Giovannucci to moderate the meetings and presentations of a key track of the World Cocoa Conference in Berlin. With an expected 1500 attendees, including a number of Government Ministers, he will be leading April’s sessions on Sustainable Industry Chains. Over the course of nearly 3 days of sessions, he will explore how to create an efficient industry chain that more effectively links farmers to markets and ensures profitability. With more than 30 expert speakers the track will cover a diverse array of vial issues ranging from financing and price risk mitigation to deforestation and traceability.

How do leading corporate thinkers engage new technology to drive sustainability goals?

With the Innovation Forum we are co-hosting a webinar with exceptional women leaders and we would like to invite you as well. Here is the preliminary line-up:

Karimah Hudda, Global Sustainability Lead for Procurement, Mondelez International

Katie Hoard, Global Director of Ag Innovation, AB InBev TBC

Daniele Giovannucci, president and co-founder, Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA)

We will discuss “How new technologies are enabling the understanding and measurement of impacts in responsible supply chains” and provide examples that companies can use to see results from their sustainability efforts in their supply chains.  Our panelists will discuss how some of these tools and techniques have allowed companies to manage important data that advances their sustainability programmes more effectively and better understand how to get a return from their sustainability investments. We will hear key insights on how these innovative tools can better align business priorities with sustainability priorities in interesting and scalable ways.

When: 18th April, at 2:00 PM GMT  (10am EDT) and if you cannot make that time, by registering, you will receive the recording via email and can listen in at your convenience.



Being Frank at Sustainable Food Lab Summit

Openness to collaborative learning and what we are not learning or struggling with is a hallmark of the leading firms and development practitioners who annually gather at the Summit. This year it featured insightful discussions with executives of world-leading firms such as PepsiCo, Mars, Unilever, Nespresso, and Heineken. COSA’s presentations featured the evolving opportunities for better engaging the voice of the producers and communities as collaborators in development and how technology is now helping public agencies and governments to both improve the effectiveness of their investments and also substantially increase their efficiency.

The Global Coffee Platform partners with COSA

Annette Pensel, Executive Director of the Global Coffee Platform and Saurin Nanavati, Director of Global Partnerships for COSA presented a collective impact reporting model for the coffee sector at the annual National Coffee Association event in New Orleans. 

The partnership will identify the optimal sustainability reporting models by distilling current best practices across the sector in order to provide the hundreds of GCP members with pragmatic and consistent ways to gather and work with vital data that enhances openness and learning in the sector. To learn more, contact Saurin at: [email protected]


Insights from newest COSA publications

The Art of Listening… to the Farmer!
Sounds easy but it is rarely done well. In this insight piece, COSA’s Research Coordinator for Latin America, Carlos de los Ríos, uses solid impact data to demonstrate the value of having a structured listening process. “If you want results, he notes, then it is vital to … Continue reading…

Resilience Measurement and Conceptual Frameworks

Thanks in part to a Ford Foundation grant, COSA’s Elena Serfilippi and Gayatri Ramnath brought clarity to the lack of consensus and consistency surrounding resilience programs in the development community. Their work, published in The Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of several existing measurement tools, provides development practitioners a standardized resilience model including indicators.

Resilience Measurement and Conceptual Frameworks” Pre-publication version.

The Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics published version.

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