What are the objectives of the Delta project?

In order to respond to the multiplication of sustainability schemes and initiatives in the last years, the Delta Project aims at developing a cross-commodity common indicator framework for sustainability monitoring and reporting.

Based on widely accepted sustainability information principles, the project intends to develop tools to link sustainability improvement and progress on SDGs to sourcing practices and national monitoring, for the benefit of both private and public sector players.

Furthermore, it aims to generate added value for farmers from the data collected from them; the objective is to trigger the development of value-adding services, for instance in the areas of assurance, finance and extension services.

Through these objectives, the Delta Project will trigger the development of a common language on sustainability, enhancing transparency for consumers and citizens, while bringing added value to different target groups along the value chains (from farmers to retailers and brands) and beyond (governments and sustainability sector).

What is the motivation behind the Delta Project?

Nowadays sustainability performance is demonstrated through multiple and disconnected standards, labels, schemes and other frameworks. Their plurality and variety pose barriers in terms of transparency and credibility, because each of them has its own way of managing information within its own geographic and legal context, responding to different external needs from funders, businesses, multi-lateral entities, consumers, etc. Moreover, such frameworks are under intense pressure to achieve scale and provide accurate and real-time information.

At the same time, the commitments to the SDGs are increasing within the global community, requiring significant efforts to measure and report on the progress towards achieving these commitments.

In parallel, more and more data are being requested from the farmers, without them learning or getting much benefit out of those.

Based on these observations, BCI identified a need to build an international multi-stakeholder consensus on sustainability performance measurement and took the initiative to propose a project addressing the different issues to the ISEAL Innovation Fund.

Initial discussions with the Global Coffee Platform (GCP) on the project were positive and GCP became a key partner in the project. In order to reach broad consensus within both the cotton and coffee sectors, it was crucial to include the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) and the International Coffee Organization (ICO), who agreed to join the project as partners, as it aligned with their plans to work on sustainability and SGDs with their members.

What is the added value the Delta Project?

The transversal and participatory feature of the project will allow for the development of tools and services that will benefit farmers, governments, public and private sectors as well as the wider sustainability community, including ISEAL Members. Generally speaking, the project will support the development of a common language within the sustainability sector, focusing on agriculture.

Additionally, the Project entails an important added value component for producers, laying the groundwork for supply chain actors, public and private supply chain service providers to develop and render additional services to farmers using the data. This approach will enable the contextualization of data, scaling operations and feedback mechanisms for farmers, documenting experiences to aim at targeted and transversal progress towards the SDGs.