Small-‐scale farmers—whose output supports a population of roughly 2.2 billion people worldwide—manage roughly 85% of the world’s farms. And every day, companies trade with these farmers in a wide variety of products. As companies seeks more transparency through complex supply chains and invest together with development and financial organizations, there is more and more interest in tools and approaches to gain insight into the sustainability and livelihoods of farmers.
Over the past years, with the support of the Ford Foundation, the Sustainable Food Lab has convened a learning community focused on sharing the learning and challenges associated with performance measurement in small-‐scale producer systems. This community consists of a number of M&E practitioners from companies, and NGOs working with smallholder farmers in developing countries. Members of the community include individuals from the Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA), the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling Alliance (ISEAL), the Center for Development Innovation at Wageningen (CDI), Rainforest Alliance (RA), and many others.
This guide summarizes years of work to build consensus on why we undertake performance measurement, and how we do so effectively and affordably in a credible way. This guide is intended to illustrate that there is an easy and credible path for performance measurement in smallholder agricultural supply chains, and to lie out that path so that practitioners may design their own performance measurement approach.