Theme 2: Transparency and traceability in commodity chains
Transparency is rapidly moving to the centre of sustainability governance of (global) commodity chains, and is accompanied by new actor roles and changing power relations. Pressure is increasing to supply information about the environmental performance of commodity chains (products as well as production and processing methods) through labelling and certification schemes or other means. In the context of globalizing modernity, enhanced sustainability is often seen as resulting from transparency through traceability.
Yet, how is the quality and reliability of information within commodity chains assessed by different involved actors? What forms of and challenges to trust exist between different commodity chain actors)? Who is deciding on information standards and who is in control of informational flows? How can the need for clear and reliable standards be balanced with the search for continuous improvement in commodity chains? If transparency becomes a marketable product in itself, what are the consequences for sustainability and different societal actors?