The sustainable vanilla initiative is a multi-stakeholder global initiative advocating for a set of measures to streamline the vanilla industry along the entire supply chain in Madagascar. The initiative brings together stakeholders such as farmers, manufacturers, retailers, and governmental and non-governmental organizations with the aim of improving the welfare and livelihoods of vanilla bean farmers. Therefore, working conditions and fair employment practices have come at the forefront of industry concerns for sustainability. The consumer countries in Europe and the USA are pushing brokers that manage financial transactions and large manufacturing firms for the adoption of better trade practices and environmental responsibility to ensure better power relations (Campbell 2018). Strategies to deal with social and environmental issues that arise from or that are reinforced by large-scale production of vanilla would, therefore, address the sustainability of the value chain, especially for farmers and environmental awareness issues that have been identified as critical for stakeholders in the upstream of the supply chain.
The vanilla initiative embraces cross-sector partnerships in standards setting initiatives for collaboration among business, governments, and other private society actors in developing regulatory standards for the industry. The standards that will be adopted in the industry should be framed by theories of environmental sustainability ethics and creating shared value across the entire supply chain. Stakeholder theory frames the ideals of equity in sharing the return from the industry by managing different stakeholders. Such standard is based on the complexity of the political and socio-cultural context of the industry as relates to the chain of value-added activities and competitive positions of different industry participants. Corporate social responsibility ideals inform sustainability objectives for the natural environment. The industry has to address contemporary global issues of climate change, energy and water shortage, food security, and biodiversity presented by deforestation and committing more land use to commercialized agriculture. Integrative theories suggest certain market ethics for governance and regulation of multi-stakeholder market relations to ensure responsibility and sustainability of global production networks in the upstream for small-holder and estate stakeholders.
Campbell, M. (2018). Ethically Sourced Vanilla: Certifications in the production of vanilla in the SAVA Region of Madagascar. Independent Study Project (ISP) Collection, 2821. Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.sit.edu/isp_collection/2821/
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