GCP leads discussions in Delta Framework

GCP is leading a new phase of the Delta Framework. We hear from Andreas Terhaer, GCP Manager IT & Data Programs, on the latest progress being made and how discussions will contribute to this measurement initiative. 

The Delta Framework, a multi-stakeholder initiative designed to bridge the gap in measuring and reporting sustainability performance across agricultural sectors, is entering a new phase of discussions and consultation led by GCP. 

“GCP has started hosting targeted discussions with stakeholder groups along the value chains, including producers, extension services, processors, governments, retail and more,” said Terhaer. From these use cases, GCP will derive options for data use, establish common definitions and data aggregation levels for different stakeholder groups. 

The Delta Framework, which was spearheaded by GCP, the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) and the International Coffee Organization (ICO) with funding from the ISEAL Innovation Fund, will harmonize the efforts of varied sustainability reporting schemes, ultimately providing a clearer path for coffee stakeholders to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

“To report on the SDGs, a large amount of credible data is needed from a wide variety of stakeholders. This data needs to be collected in a manner that doesn’t burden coffee producers, add pressure to standard holders or compromise data privacy. Good data management and data use are key if the coffee sector wants to be a leader in SDG reporting,” said Terhaer. The new phase of the project will be focused on use-cases and benefits for digital usage of sustainability performance data. 

The Delta Sustainability Framework holds a set of 15 farm-level, outcome/impact indicators across the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability, complementing existing standards, initiatives and schemes. The Delta Framework indicators were developed in consultation, and by assessing 200 metrics currently used in cotton and coffee sustainability reporting. GCP’s Coffee Data Standard also played an important role in developing these indicators.  

According to Terhaer, GCP will use this phase to derive options for data use, establish common definitions and data aggregation levels for different stakeholder groups. Following this, GCP will establish a data schema that aims at operationalizing the Delta Framework into M&E systems, based on industry standard formats and protocols. To wrap up this phase of the project, GCP will establish data governance principles and recommendations on compliance such as GDPR.  

The Delta Framework aims at establishing value added feedback mechanisms to farmers in order to support continuous improvement towards more sustainability. Farmers can also receive better targeted services. Private sector can better quantify their SDG contributions and add more credibility to their sustainability claims. For governments and the public sector, the cross-commodity measurement provides a comprehensive overview of agricultural sectors and outcome-oriented measurement of sustainability progress. The Delta Framework will also contribute to the Public-Private Coffee Task Force of the International Coffee Organization, which is supported by the Global Coffee Platform in various lines of work.  

“As the project unfolds, it will also provide examples of good practices, tools to facilitate the framework’s adoption and recommendations on how companies can communicate their sustainability progress to the international community.” 

In time, the Delta Sustainability Framework can be used for governments’ SDG progress reporting, evidence-based policy recommendations, upgrading extension services, company transparency and identifying business opportunities in sustainable value chains.

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