This shared approach represents an unique alignment on a common core set of simple indicators for measuring farm sustainability; they are based mostly on COSA indicators and were refined within a community of practice with leading standards organizations, agri-food companies, NGOs, and development agencies. While useful for impact evaluation, these indicators are proposed primarily for performance monitoring. By using the same indicators when asking the same types of questions we can increase comparability of data in different projects or data collection efforts. This makes data more useful and facilitates learning by building a common understanding.

This learning community includes Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA), the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling Alliance (ISEAL), The IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative, Rainforest Alliance, the Ford Foundation, the Center for Development Innovation at Wageningen (CDI), Nestlé, Root Capital, Mars Inc., and was facilitated by the Sustainable Food Lab with funding from the Ford Foundation and the IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative.