Green Commodities Programme

The UNDP Green Commodities Programme, funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), exists to improve the national, economic, social and environmental performance of agricultural commodity sectors. In 2010, UNDP launched the GCP in recognition of the importance of global agricultural commodities in achieving the SDGs, with a mission to:

  • Improve the lives of farmers and their communities.
  • Protect high conservation value forest and important vulnerable ecosystems.

The Challenge

Most commodity sectors in developing countries are afflicted by poor production practices that lead to increasing pressure on ecosystems and fail to improve the livelihoods of rural communities. Poor production practices lead to negative environmental impacts such as biodiversity loss, deforestation, carbon emissions, soil erosion, depletion of water resources and contamination from chemicals.

But despite the progress made through standards and supply chain initiatives, weaknesses in the underlying enabling environment limit change at a larger scale. Improving the enabling environments will increase the chances of sector-wide change to work towards sustainable production practices.

Our Strategy

The UNDP Green Commodities Programme acts as a catalyst of mid to long-term national, structural and systemic commodity sector changes in support of sustainable agriculture. To achieve this, we:

  • Strengthen stakeholder cooperation towards a shared vision and collective action.
  • Seek to change mindsets, behaviors, regulations and practices, improving the enabling environment that will allow sustainable production.
  • Work systematically, mindful of the political and economic context.
  • Promote gender balance.
  • Promote transparency, accountability and good governance as drivers of success.

GCP as part of UNDP's new Food & Agricultural Commodity Systems (FACS) practice

After decades supporting food and agricultural commodity systems through country-level projects, UNDP is now launching a new Food and Agricultural Commodity Systems (FACS) Strategy to bring everything together, focus its vision, enhance its support and guide the organization's engagement with partners, including sister UN agencies such as FAO and UNEP, to transform these vulnerable systems.

GCP’s Signature Process

Sustainable commodities can only be achieved if developing countries align their stakeholders behind a shared vision for the future of their commodity sectors and engage and commit all actors in effort to generate change.

The typical sequence is for UNDP as a neutral broker to bring together all stakeholders into a commodity and country-specific National Commodity Platform, which then collaboratively creates a National Action Plan.

Platforms are led and owned by government, driven by participants and enabled by UNDP through its country offices and GCP. A steering committee for the platform provides coordination and helps reach decisions by consensus. The National Action Plans articulate all agreed courses of action.

National Commodity Platforms and National Action Plans are driven by the need for coordinated action by all commodity stakeholders around a common agenda.

Download GCP Signature Process here.

In 2023 UNDP and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) launched the third phase of the Green Commodities Programme (GCP). Building on the efforts started in 2010, the renewed partnership aims to further enhance sustainable agricultural commodity production in five countries: Peru, Indonesia, Malaysia, Ghana, and Brazil. More information is available here.