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Since May 2017, a group of experts from WWF, Welthungerhilfe and the Centre for Development Research (ZEF) have been working on the establishment of a Food Security Standard (FSS). The aim of the project is to test the set of food security criteria in regions with high levels of food insecurity in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Cover: Publication of Food Security Standards

All documents related to the Food Security Standard Project.

What We Do

The goal of the FSS Project is to test on the ground the set of food security criteria in agricultural production sites in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The food security criteria will be implemented as an integrated or additional module by different existing sustainability certification schemes. Together with stakeholders in the respective producing countries and in Germany we aim to demonstrate that the FSS is a viable and valid tool to integrate the human right to adequate food as a new building block into existing sustainability standards and certification schemes. With this we intend to increase the application and demand for the FSS by companies, society and governments. A handbook for auditors and training materials will be developed to enable a smooth adoption into certification practice.

Joint FSS Projects worldwide

Zambia: CmiA (Cotton made in Africa)

CmiA (Cotton made in Africa) was founded in 2005 to improve the working and living conditions of smallholder cotton farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa sustainably. Through its sustainability standard CmiA fosters continuous improvements for a social, environmentally friendly and economically viable cotton production. 

In agricultural and business trainings, which are given by agricultural extension staff of CmiA verified partners, smallholders learn efficient and environmentally friendly cultivation methods. At the same time an international alliance of textile companies and brands is being built to create a strong demand network for CmiA cotton. Partners of the alliance integrate the CmiA verified cotton into their supply chains and pay a licensing fee for using the CmiA seal. With the proceeds of the licensing fees, trainings, regular verification by third parties on field and gin level, impact assessment as well as further projects in the Sub-Saharan region are financed. Through community cooperation projects, such as support for women's clubs or water and sanitation, other issues relevant to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the regions are tackled as well.

Guatemala & Bolivia: ISCC

ISCC (International Sustainability & Carbon Certification) is a certification system for sustainable and deforestation free supply chains. It is applied to all kinds of agricultural and forestry feedstock on a global scale. Independent third party certification ensures compliance with high ecological and social sustainability requirements, greenhouse gas emissions savings and traceability throughout the supply chain. ISCC is applied in various markets, including food, feed, bioenergy and industrial biomass use. ISCC was developed and is continuously improved through an open multi-stakeholder process with several regional and technical Stakeholder Committees. It is governed by the ISCC Association which has nearly 100 members. Currently more than 3000 companies in more than 100 countries are using ISCC.

Find out more: www.iscc-system.org

Kenya: UTZ / Rainforest Alliance

UTZ is a programme and certification label of the Rainforest Alliance that promotes sustainable farming and better opportunities for farmers and their families. The objective is to create a world where sustainable farming is the norm. A world where farmers can grow better crops to generate more income to eventually have better opportunities. Workshops for farmers are organised by UTZ to enable them to learn better farming methods, improve their working conditions and to take care of the environment. UTZ is the largest programme for coffee and cocoa and they have certification schemes in other commodities including (herbal) tea, rooibos and hazelnuts. The UTZ certified label features on over 15,000 different products across 131 countries. Find out more about how the UTZ programme contributes to better crop, better income, a better life and better environment.

Malaysia & Indonesia: RSPO

RSPO (Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil) includes stakeholders from different sectors of the palm oil industry and environmental groups to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil. The goal is to minimise the negative impact of palm oil cultivation on the environment and communities in palm oil-producing regions.
Therefore, a set of environmental and social criteria has been created which companies need to fulfill in order to get a classification of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO). With the help of the criteria, the production, procurement, finance and use of sustainable palm oil products can gain ground. Companies that have obtained the CSPO seal have committed to produce, source and/or use sustainable palm oil which is certified by RSPO.


Kritischer Online-Dialog zur Kaffee‑Lieferkette

Vom Feld in die Tasse: Wie wird die Kaffee-Lieferkette gut für Mensch und Umwelt?

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Fact Sheet 8: Is Food Security Important to Consumers?

The significance of sustainability standards in German consumer behaviour was investigated using the example of chocolate.

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The Food Security Standard

What is the Food Security Standard in concrete terms and to what extent does it make companies work more sustainably and show responsibility?

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How we work

The FSS I Project is a cooperation between the Center for Development Research (University of Bonn, Germany) and the NGOs Welthungerhilfe (Bonn, Germany) and WWF (Berlin, Germany), funded by the German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL) via the agency “Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe” (FNR).

Food Security Standard (FSS) Organisational Chart



The Food Security Standard is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft). Funds are managed by “Fachagentur für Nachwachsende Rohstoffe“ (FNR).