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Julia Lernoud

Department of International Cooperation
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julia.lernoud(at)fibl.org

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Helga Willer
(Dr. rer. nat.)

Department of Extension, Training and Communication
Group lead Dissemination & Outreach
Group lead Data & Digitalisation
FiBL
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CH-5070 Frick

Phone +41 (0)62 865-7207
Fax +41 (0)62 865-7273
helga.willer(at)fibl.org

The 8th ISEAL Conference "Growing Impacts: Innovation and Evolution"

The "Standards and the Blue Economy Report" takes a thorough look at the performance trends of the nine most prevalent seafood certification schemes. (Image: SSI)

(May 30, 2016) 

From 10 to 12 May 2016, key actors from the sustainability sector gathered in Washington D.C. for the "Global Sustainability Standards Conference 2016", the annual International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling Alliance (ISEAL) conference. Under the motto "Growing Impacts: Innovation and Evolution", leading Voluntary Sustainability Standards discussed the future of the sector.

Like every year, ISEAL, the umbrella organization for Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS), invited its members and key actors to discuss and design the future of sustainability labels. The discussions were led by key issues that are currently influencing the sector, such as cooperation, transparency, growth, innovation, and credibility, and how they all are interlinked.

The three-day conference provided a platform for intense discussions on how new technologies and cooperation can help the development of the sector and bring efficiency, transparency and credibility.
A breakthrough was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between different organisations, such as Rainforest Alliance/SAN, Better Cotton Initiative, UTZ, among others, committed to reduce the use of pesticides. All organisations agreed to build different tools to promote the reduction of pesticide use, e.g. create a database about restricted pesticides and to agree on a pesticide use monitoring mechanism.

Since 2014, FiBL has been working, in cooperation with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), on a global data collection on the current state of a select number of VSS. This project contributes to some of the key topics of the conference, like transparency, cooperation and credibility. For more information about this project, please see the link below.

On the second day of the conference, the "Standards and the Blue Economy Report" was launched. This report takes a thorough look at the market and performance trends of the nine most prevalent seafood certification schemes operating at the global level. The organic aquaculture data was provided by FiBL and Naturland. The report documents the distribution of certified production while underlining how and where these initiatives aspire toward the implementation of sustainable production practices in the global seafood sector. For more information about the report, please see the link below.

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