Results from multisector project bring Colombia to forefront of sustainability

Since the creation of the Colombian Sustainable Trade Platform in 2012, sector initiatives in the four supply chains of coffee, palm oil, bananas and flowers have achieved remarkable results in terms of sustainability.

For that reason, the Platform held its first Multi-Sector Event 2012-2015 on 8 October. It was attended by senior executives from a number of well-known national companies. The event provided a meeting place for presenting the main areas in which progress has been made and the new role of the Platform in ensuring that sustainable chains are developed for the next five years.

Collaboration is key

Andrea Olivar, country manager of Solidaridad Colombia, called on the senior executives to forge alliances and work together to create effective solutions for major challenges such as climate change, loss of competitiveness in Colombian trade commodities and the transition from one generation to the next. She also stressed the importance of concentrating on sustainability models that focus less on measuring processes and more on measuring impact.

We hope that today we can find some answers to these large-scale challenges and we should look in particular at how the Sustainable Trade Platform can convert these ideas into specific initiatives. We invite you to help us find answers that focus less on measuring processes and more on measuring impact,” Olivar said.

Sector alliances as the future of sustainability

One of the special guests was Lucas Simons, founder and CEO of New Foresight, who highlighted the work of the Platform as an excellent example of a sector alliance. He also explained the challenges that the sustainable market must take into account when positioning itself globally. These challenges must be met in three ways:

  • by developing a communal vision
  • moving from competition to cooperation
  • devising a systematic approach to solving problems collectively

In her closing remarks, Olivar emphasized the need for and usefulness of sustainability certificates in certain supply chains and for mutual learning between sectors. She encouraged participants to seek solutions to those large-scale challenges within the Platform model.

Visit the Sustainable Trade Platform (in Spanish) to learn more about sustainability progress in Colombia.