New ABIS tool will optimize VSS implementation in Colombia

A new digital tool for coffee’s sustainability was recently launched in Colombia. The Assistant for the Implementation of Good Practices in Sustainability (ABIS) will facilitate and improve the implementation of Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) conducted by producers, associations and organizations in the coffee sector. The application was developed by Solidaridad for the Sustainable Trade Platform’s projects supported by the Global Coffee Platform.

ABIS not only helps structuring both individual and group action plans to guide the implementation of VSS, it also generates reports on practice implementation percentages. This feature helps orientating work plans and identifying actions demanding immediate attention to comply with mandatory certification criteria or with specific objectives defined by organizations in their sustainability plans. Within the system, a technician can group the data of coffee growers to understand which practices are the most common applied, the easiest to carry out and even which ones need financial investment.

ABIS eases the design of work-plans by optimizing resources, time and prioritizing tasks according to a specific context. The prioritization of qualitative evaluated entails four approaches: ease of implementation, immediate benefits to the producer, mandatory compliance and cost of implementation (quantitative variable). Thus, the implementer, hand by hand with the farmer, will be able to structure an action plan and meet the requirements for multiple certification schemes.

Producers, associations and organizations can now register in the portal by sending their data to an administrator who will create a profile and notify the user. The profile allows characterizing the user according to variables such as location, sustainability practices performance, farm size, among others. It also groups the standards’ criteria into five thematic areas: administrative, environmental, social, crop management and agrochemicals.

ABIS evolves with a promising potential

The Solidaridad team in Colombia started the development of ABIS in 2016. The tool was originally conceived as an Excel-based application to support the work of agricultural technicians within member organizations of the Sustainable Trade Platform. Now, ABIS is user friendly and it is hosted in ABIS will be useful for organizations and producers participating in multiple certifications schemes or in the process of acquiring them. Its main objective consists on facilitating and improving the implementation of the Voluntary Sustainability Standards, by grouping the criteria of Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ Certified and 4C.

You can test the tool (in Spanish) by using the following “tourist” credentials:

Web address:


Find out more about the Sustainable Trade Platform and its work in Colombia by clicking here