South-South Trade and Voluntary Sustainability Standards
Coherent Identifier 20.500.12592/x89c13

South-South Trade and Voluntary Sustainability Standards

13 September 2023


This report explores how voluntary sustainability standards (VSSs) are being used in trade policy to increase the trade of more sustainable products between developing countries. This can lead to improved well-being and prosperity for farmers and promote trade relationships that protect the environment.Trade between developing countries and regions—known as “South–South trade”—is growing rapidly. In the past couple of decades, its value has grown almost tenfold, from USD 600 billion in 1995 to USD 5.3 trillion in 2021.To achieve stable and sustainable growth that benefits small-scale producers, communities, and the environment, these countries need to adopt trade policies that support positive social and environmental practices and improve market access opportunities for small-scale producers and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Published in
IISD, 2023


Steffany Bermúdez
Policy Advisor I

Florencia Sarmiento
Policy Analyst


trade food and agriculture responsible business standards and value chains