In recent years, numerous companies have made commitments to better recognize and respect land rights throughout their supply chains. Although making such commitments is a critical first step towards achieving more responsible investments, many companies struggle with how to practically implement such commitments – from not understanding what questions to ask to measure compliance with best practices, to not knowing what internal and external support is needed to ensure the company has the capacity to meet its commitments.
The LandAssess Tool is designed to help build this capacity by providing a clear and simple system for agricultural companies to track and manage their journeys toward better recognition of and respect for the land rights of smallholder farmers and communities. With funding from UK Department for International Development, Landesa created the LandAssess Tool to apply to both new and existing operations, as well as to a range of business models (e.g., large-scale estate landholdings, outgrower schemes). Landesa worked closely with Illovo Sugar Africa to pilot the tool throughout Illovo’s operations in Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania and refined the tool based on input from company staff, local civil society organizations, and expert practitioners.