To encourage dialogue between actors involved with sustainability initiatives (and the supply chains that they are aimed at influencing), the Research Fund convened the 2020 Supply Chain Sustainability Research and Learning Symposium.

The Symposium provided a chance for researchers to share highlights from their research with those who will translate their findings into action.

Over the course of a three-week arc in June 2020, the symposium convened curated groups of researchers, NGOs, and private sector leaders to discuss new research findings and identify action-oriented insights that can be applied to real-world supply chain sustainability initiatives and future research.

Through focused discussion and distillation of key insights and actions, the Symposium provided a window into cross-cutting insights about supply chain sustainability initiatives and the next frontier of research.


Below is a video of our Symposium Kick-Off event. Four research teams presented on factors influencing effectiveness of supply chain sustainability initiatives.

Research Teams Presentations:

Supporting smallholder farmers for a sustainable cocoa sector: Exploring the motivations and role of farmers in the effective implementation of supply chain sustainability in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire (34:26-48:40)

Characterizing compliance in cattle supply chains: What factors encourage deforestation-free production in the Brazilian Amazon? (49:30-1:10:15)

Improving the broader effectiveness of zero-deforestation commitments and commodity standards (1:12:12-1:27:50)

The efficacy and value generated from sustainable cotton programs in the United States (1:29:00-1:47:25)


Below is a video of our Symposium Synthesis event, which explored cross-cutting themes across sectors, geographies, and commodities and shared takeaways for supply chain sustainability initiatives and the next frontier of research.


See our high-level summary of the Symposium, focusing primarily on key insights, next steps, and possible future research topics our discussions illuminated.