Disrupting the Global Commodity Business

The recent cascade of corporate commitments to zero-deforestation procurement is a “disruptive innovation” that is starting to transform the agricultural commodity business. Underlying this innovation is a growing recognition of the previously hidden costs of the old model of commodity expansion – including loss of the world’s natural forests and the biodiversity they contain, human rights violations and loss of livelihoods of indigenous peoples and local communities who inhabit them, and increases in the carbon emissions that drive climate change.

To help tell the story of the potential for transformation in this trillion-dollar global business and focus attention on how different sectors, including governments and local communities, can work together to achieve this reform, the Climate and Land Use Alliance has prepared this white paper, entitled: “Disrupting the Global Commodity Business: How Strange Bedfellows are Transforming a Trillion-Dollar Industry to Protect Forests, Benefit Local Communities, and Slow Global Warming.” The “strange bedfellows” refers to the emerging group of indigenous, NGO, corporate and government leaders who increasingly share this common goal.

In this video, closing an event on forests and climate hosted by the Climate and Land Use Alliance and the Ford Foundation in September 2014, David Kaimowitz, Ford Foundation’s director of Sustainable Development, reflects on two key themes: disrupting commodity systems, and strange bedfellows.


Agriculture drives 71% of tropical deforestation
Agricultural production uncouples from deforestation
Cascade of corporate commitments to zero deforestation palm oil
Palm oil transformation: Agents of change

How to feed the world, protect forests, benefit communities and slow global warming

Please cite this report as:
Climate and Land Use Alliance (2014) Disrupting the Global Commodity Business