Sustainable Value Chains

Building a fair and sustainable world

Sustainable Value Chains are becoming increasingly more important, as fair trade and eco-friendly produce are ways to increase better livelihoods for all. As a value chain expert, you will create a better existence for the producers and their organisations. You will be analyzing the processes and activities by which products are being developed, from the ground until the store. You will be working together with businesses, NGOs and (local) governments. In order to achieve responsible trade, you will use your knowledge of sustainable food production as well as your people skills and, not least, your economic drive. 

Fortunately, people, organisations and companies increasingly see the necessity of change in the value chain and are acting accordingly. Value chains which can ensure a better life for people from developing countries are for example in coffee, tea, cocoa, bananas, pineapples, palm oil, cotton, and many other tropical crops.

Making a difference through trade

No more business as usual. In this professional field you learn how to set up (international) value chains that do not harm our planet and provide a decent income for all those involved. Farmers and rural communities all around the world face environmental, economic and social challenges e.g. effects of climate change, lack of access to market, loss of biodiversity, overuse of pesticides or the struggle to earn a decent income. The Sustainable Value Chains Specialisation hands students tools and knowledge to address these issues. Are you all about sustainable agricultural production, fair trade and environmental protection? Then this is the study for you. 

Work placements

In the second year, you will do a 10-week internship placement, for instance in an eco-village, a multifunctional farm or work in the rural area as a leader of a group of youngsters. Most often these internships are undertaken in the Netherlands, Europe, US or Canada, sometimes in a developing country. 

In the third year you will do a 20-week internship placement. This is often in an organisation for regional/rural development. Examples of internships in foreign countries are India, the US, Ghana, Benin, Argentina and Uganda.  

Both internships will help you to discover more about the area of work, about communication, cultures, teamwork, working independently and it will simultaneously challenge you personally. 

Career opportunities

Sustainable trade is something that many companies are trying to and willing to achieve. As more and more producers and consumers worldwide become conscious of the social impact of trade, the more career opportunities there are.

You can become a campaign officer where you draw up plans for how a company can improve their trade methods, you can be a sustainable trade trainer, a buyer for a company or a certification analyst that determines whether a product has been bought and produced fairly.