GRI: Final Recommendations Report and Executive Summary
On March 30 2020, the Global Resource Initiative (GRI) Final Recommendations Report and Executive Summary was published. Efeca led the GRI secretariat, as facilitators and lead authors.
The Global Resource Initiative (GRI) aims to ensure that the UK’s global commodity supply chain footprint on land, natural resources and ecosystems is sustainable, avoids deforestation and other environmental degradation, and supports jobs, livelihoods and investment in resilient and sustainable food systems.
The GRI Taskforce of sustainability leaders from finance, business and civil society, chaired by Sir Ian Cheshire, was convened to come forward with recommendations for how to achieve this aim, and consider how the production, trade and consumption of food and agricultural commodities need to change to meet the needs of:
- People supporting the livelihoods and human rights of farmers, workers, forest communities and indigenous peoples; and
- Environment protecting and restoring forests and important native habitats that are critical to maintaining global biodiversity, mitigating carbon emissions and ensuring planetary and human health.
The report sets out a package of measures that represent a new strategic approach to tackling deforestation and land conversion linked to UK supply chains, as a first step towards ensuring global agricultural and forestry supply chains have a positive impact on people and planet, with roles for business, finance, civil society and producer and consumer governments.
The publication of this report (30 March 2020) comes at a time of unprecedented challenge for the world in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The priority for supply chains at this time must be entirely focused on supporting the response to COVID-19. However, the strategic challenges for supply chains identified in the report won’t go away and the GRI Taskforce remain ready to restart this conversation once conditions allow.
Background on the GRI Taskforce
- The independent Taskforce, chaired by Sir Ian Cheshire (Chairman of Barclays and former CEO of Kingfisher plc), was made up of 20 sustainability thought-leaders from across finance, supply chains, and civil society.
- The GRI was launched jointly by Ministers from DEFRA, BEIS and DFID in 2018 in response to a commitment in the 25 Year Environment Plan “to identify actions across supply chains that will improve the sustainability of food and forestry products and reduce deforestation”.
- Efeca staff, Jonathan Gorman, Matthew Ford and Emily Fripp were the main authors of the report.
- Since July 2019, over 200 organisations have supported the Taskforce in seeking opportunities to: accelerate existing action; develop new initiatives; and to leverage UK government and business to deliver these aims.
- The GRI Taskforce Terms of Reference can be found here.
- The Final Recommendations Report is also available at gov.uk and on the Partnership for Forests website with an explanatory video.