Sustainability Exchange

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Who We Are

SustainabilityXchange was developed through partnership of several organisations active in the area of sustainable agri-food value chains. Five funding partners and four implementers – including ITC - came together in 2013 with an idea for a ‘one-stop-shop’, which turned into a vibrant online community within a short period of time. The platform was launched in May 2014 at the occasion of the annual ISEAL Global Sustainability Standards Conference.

As of April 2016, ITC has become the steward of the community-owned platform, with a continuing support of SECO, one of the founding organisations. The rest of the initial funders and implementers have maintained high levels of ownership and activity on the platform.

In 2018, ITC welcomes the Ethical Trading Initiative as its partner on SustainabilityXchange, widening the scope of the platform beyond agri-food value chains and deepening considerably its focus on social issues.

The platform is financially supported by SECO, the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs.


SustainabilityXchange is implemented by:

International Trade Centre (ITC)


Since 1964, the International Trade Centre has helped to enable small business export success in developing countries by providing trade development programmes to the private sector, trade support institutions and policymakers. ITC works in partnership with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), supporting their regulatory, research and policy strategies and helping to turn them into practical projects. ITC's overarching goal is to help developing countries to achieve sustainable development through exports; activating, supporting and delivering projects with an emphasis on competitiveness. ITC enables developing countries to access and act on global market knowledge, providing market analysis tools, strategic analysis, market profiles, training, business clinics, mentoring on export potential assessment and market access reviews. The SustainabilityXchange is closely linked to one of ITC's market linkages tools, the Sustainability Map ( SustainabilityXchange also feeds information into the Community module of the Sustainability Map. SustainabilityXchange is managed by ITC’s Trade for Sustainable Development Programme.


Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)


The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is a leading alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes respect for workers' rights around the globe. The vision is a world where all workers are free from exploitation and discrimination, and enjoy conditions of freedom, security and equity. ETI brings corporate, trade union and voluntary sector members together in a unique alliance that enable to tackle collectively many thorny issues that cannot be addressed by individual companies working alone.


Ethical Trade Initiative Norway (IEH)


Ethical Trading Initiative (IEH) Norway is multi-stakeholder initiative, represented by NGOs, Trade Unions, Businesses and the Enterprise Federation of Norway. IEH’s aim is to strengthen its members’ efforts to promote decent working and environmental conditions in their supply chains, and to strengthen support for ethical trade in general. We are a member organisation for companies, organisations and public enterprises. Our members range from some of Norway’s largest companies to sole proprietorships, public bodies and organisations. The majority of our members are small- and medium-sized enterprises.


Danish Ethical Trading Initiative (DIEH)


DIEH is a nationwide organisation whose purpose is, through cooperation between different stakeholders, on a non-profit basis, to promote international trade that respects human- and labour rights, environmental considerations and contributes to global sustainable development by strengthening members’ efforts in ethical trade. The Danish Ethical Trading Initiative was established in 2008 and has grown in to a strong organisation that operates across a range of sectors.


SustainabilityXchange was made possible thanks to these funding partners:

Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)


SECO is the federal government's centre of expertise for all core issues relating to economic policy. Its aim is to ensure sustainable economic growth by putting in place the necessary regulatory and economic policy conditions. On the domestic front, SECO acts as an interface between business, social partners and government. It supports the regionally and structurally balanced development of the economy and ensures the protection of employees. In terms of foreign trade policy, SECO is active in the formulating of efficient, fair and transparent rules for the world economy. SECO is also involved in efforts to reduce poverty in the form of economic development cooperation.




Hivos is an international development organisation guided by humanist values. Together with local civil society organisations in developing countries, Hivos wants to contribute to a free, fair and sustainable world. Quality, cooperation and innovation are core values in Hivos' programme development and business philosophies. One of the guiding principles of our philosophy is strengthening the social position of women.


UTZ Certified


UTZ Certified stands for sustainable farming and better opportunities for farmers, their families and our planet. The UTZ program enables farmers to learn better farming methods, improve working conditions and take better care of their children and the environment.

Through the UTZ-program farmers grow better crops, generate more income and create better opportunities while safeguarding the environment and securing the earth's natural resources. Now and in the future.


Global Coffee Platform (former "4C Association")


As of April 2016, the 4C Association has become the Global Coffee Platform, having merged with the Sustainable Coffee Program powered by IDH. The Global Coffee Platform is an inclusive multi-stakeholder sustainability platform aligning the activities of a diverse network of stakeholders to set into action the global commitments made through Vision 2020 and create a thriving and sustainable coffee sector. Combining the expansive membership of the 4C Association with the pre-competitive activities of the Sustainable Coffee Program, the Global Coffee Platform marks a new era of sustainability for the coffee sector.

Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH)


IDH accelerates and up-scales sustainable trade by building impact oriented coalitions of front running companies, civil society organizations, governments and other stakeholders that will deliver impact on the Millennium Development Goals 1 (poverty reduction), 7 (safeguarding the environment) and 8 (fair and transparent trade). The strength of IDH derives from the public and private partners we work with who bring in funds, enterpreneurship, procurement power, legislation, laws, regulations, know-how, networks, local expertise and credibility.


ITC’s partners in implementing the platform were:

HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation (Helvetas)


HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation is one of the most experienced and largest development organisations in Switzerland. It implements projects for rural development in 33 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. HELVETAS advisory services consist of several teams that provide technical advice and expertise to internal and external clients. The Rural Economy Team operates with twelve experts in sustainable agriculture, value chain facilitation and business development to support local project teams, producer organisations and service providers in improving production and management systems.


Fair & Sustainable Advisory Services (FSAS)


FSAS was established in 2010 by ICCO, the inter-church development organization from the Netherlands, and offers consultancy services to producer organizations and companies on sustainable agriculture, value chain development, business planning, certification and learning strategies. The FSAS Netherlands team advises traders and retailers on how to tackle sustainability issues including compliance with certification requirements.




FAQ is an advisory service working on the cutting-edge of development support and commercial business. FAQ specializes in sustainable supply chain and quality management for smallholder producer and trade organisations