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Enhancing the Sustainability of Commodity Supply Chains in Tropical Forest and Agricultural Landscapes

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Many state, civil society and market sector actors are engaged in developing and implementing innovative interventions that aim to enhance the sustainability of commodity supply chains by affecting where and how agricultural production occurs, particularly in relation to forests. These interventions – in the form of novel or moderated institutions and policies, incentives, or information and technology – can influence producers directly or achieve their impacts indirectly by influencing consumer, retailer and processor decisions. However, the evidence base for assessing the impacts of these interventions in reducing the negative impacts of commodity agriculture production in tropical forest landscapes remains limited. The Authors have developed a framework for analyzing commodity supply chain interventions by different actors across multiple contexts.

The framework can be used to comparatively analyze interventions and their impacts on commodity production with respect to the spatial and temporal scales over which they operate, the groups of supply chain actors they affect, and the combinations of mechanisms upon which they depend. The authors find that the roles of actors in influencing agricultural production depends on their position and influence within the supply chain; that complementary institutions, incentives and information are often combined; and that multi-stakeholder collaborations between different groups of actors are common. The authors discuss how the framework can be used to characterize different interventions using a common language and structure, to aid planning and analysis of interventions, and to facilitate the evaluation of interventions with respect to their structure and outcomes.

Newton, P., et al., Enhancing the sustainability of commodity supply chains in tropical forest and agricultural landscapes. Global Environ. Change (2013), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.08.004

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