What is SHARP?

SHARP has been developed by a multi-stakeholder partnership of organisations who all share an interest in supporting smallholders globally to produce commodity crops sustainably. This partnership comprises of a range of stakeholder groups including producer and supply chain companies, financiers, non-governmental and civil society organisations, governments, as well as smallholders and their representatives.

Enabling environment for discussions and development of solutions

Smallholder agriculture commodity production represents a significant proportion of the products that enter into the global supply chains for food, fuel and fibre. It is widely acknowledged that there are many advantages to responsibe smallholder production, however there are also a number of challenges faced by both the smallholders and the companies they supply.

Various stakeholder groups are committed to address these challenges and support sustainable smallholder development, many of whom already have significant experience of working directly with smallholders. However, these stakeholders, including the smallholders themselves, continue to face challenges in developing practical and long-term solutions for smallholders, and in scaling up activities that deliver meaningful change on the ground. This situation is further exacerbated as there are currently very limited opportunities for companies, smallholders and other stakeholders to come together and discuss collectively about how to most effectively develop, implement and scale up solutions to the challenges faced by smallholders.


Smallholders growing commodity crops face many challenges ranging from poor planting material, and lack of market information and affordable finance to inadequate training on managing environmental impacts. As a result, yields can be low, negative environmental impacts significant and livelihood gains limited. Additionally, it can be challenging for smallholders to meet responsible sourcing requirements of major buyers and hence get access to sustainable supply chains.
Private sector companies
Private sector companies along the agriculture value chain are increasingly committed to sourcing their agricultural commodities responsibly. This is driven by internal company commitments as well as increasing pressure from customers, governments and NGOs to ensure that the agriculture products they procure and use contribute to local livelihoods and limit deforestation and negative environmental impacts. Many companies are therefore putting responsible sourcing policies in place which they require producers to meet, however are finding that this is very challenging for many smallholders. This creates a risk that smallholders may be excluded from responsible supply chains.
Governments pursuing sustainable agriculture development often face the challenge of finding the appropriate balance between economic development and environmental and social pressures. This challenge becomes more complex particularly when internal resources and institutional capacity are stressed and limited.
NGOs and civil society organisations
NGOs and civil society organisations who are already working on many sustainable smallholder initiatives such as improving environmental practices and strengthening internal organisational capacity, are often faced with the challenge of scaling up their impacts.

SHARP is one of the few global initiatives which brings together these stakeholders, and provides a neutral space and an enabling environment for stakeholders to discuss, share their views and learn from each other’s experiences on supporting sustainable smallholder development. Based on the common challenges faced by companies, SHARP jointly develops practical solutions which aims to support and scale up sustainable smallholder agriculture commodity production.

More information

download iconDownload our briefing note An Introduction to SHARP

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Organisations that have contributed to the SHARP Partnership
Organisations that have contributed to the SHARP Partnership

Production and supply chain and financial companies

Sime Darby | Olam | GAR | Unimills | REWE Group | Carrefour | IFC | Zurich | Rabobank | Unilever | Wilmar

Governments, NGOs and consultants
SNV | Rainforest Alliance | Daemeter | DFID | USAID | Solidaridad | Proforest Initiative | The Forest Trust | The Prince's Rainforest Project | Fauna & Flora International | Conservation International | GIZ | BBOP | RSPO | UN Global Compact | Wild Asia | IPAM | IDH | WRI | Aidenvironment | PwC | E2 Group | GBP International | Climate Policy Initiative