Alex Sutton

PGCert Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Value Chains (Commendation), Cambridge University Institute for Sustainability leadership, 2016
DipSBP (Distinction) Sustainable Business Practice, Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, UK, 2013
MSc (Distinction) Sustainable Development, University of St Andrews, 2011
BA (Hons) Geography, University of Oxford, 2010.

Alex is a Consultant & Project Manager focused on forestry, agriculture, and value chain assignments. He has over seven years of experience providing sustainability, supply chain and programme management services to businesses, governments and international development agencies. Since completing his BA (Hons) in Geography at Oxford University, Alex has attained an MSc in Sustainable Development from St Andrews University, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Value Chains from Cambridge University Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). Previously Alex worked for a multinational food and beverage company corporate sustainability team and a government environmental regulator. His focus and interest has been on better understanding sustainable forest product trade, forest management and smallholder land use dynamics. Since joining LTS, Alex has project managed the UK Department for International Development (DFID) China-UK Collaboration on International Forest Investment & Trade Programme (InFIT), the UK Central Point for Expertise on Timber (CPET) and delivered several forest risk commodity and supply chain assignments. The InFIT programme is focused on supporting the development of a Chinese Timber Legality Verification System and timber, rubber and palm oil responsible investment guidelines for Chinese businesses. Alex has a strong understanding of forest governance, zero deforestation commitments, landscape approaches and smallholder natural resource management. This has been supported by his practical experience working on an arboretum and community forest management programmes in East and West Africa. He has developed expertise in forest product certification schemes, responsible sourcing, supply chain assessments, and value chain development. Alex provides research, analysis and project management for clients in Africa and Asia.

China-UK Collaboration on International Forest Investment & Trade (InFIT)

InFIT aims to reduce the negative impacts of China’s international trade on forest cover and degradation. LTS operates the InFIT Project Management Office (PMO) in Beijing which is responsible for day-to-day operational coordination of activities under this four-year programme and is accountable for its effective and efficient implementation.

  • The £3.9m InFit programme represents ongoing collaboration between the UK and China on forestry and timber legality, through the DFID’s Forest Governance, Markets and Climates-China (FGMC-CN) programme.
  • The main recipients are Chinese State Forestry Administration (SFA) and the Ministry of Commerce (MofCoM). The Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF), China’s Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals & Chemicals Importers & Exporters (CCCMC) and the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-Products (CFNA) are also key implementing partners.

The programme has four outputs around: timber legality verification; guidelines for Chinese companies; sharing tenure reform lessons; capacity and awareness around timber legality.


This programme arose from a 2011 study that: examined international timber legality standards; prepared recommendations for a Chinese Timber Legality Verification Scheme (CTLVS) to ensure that China’s timber imports and exports are legal; and flagged that more work was needed to develop an operational system. Consequently, DFID and the Chinese authorities agreed to continue cooperation on timber legality verification and demonstration of the standards applied by Chinese companies involved in timber production and processing worldwide.


LTS fields a TA team responsible for day-to-day operational coordination of activities under the programme, facilitating stakeholder participation and the implementation of outputs. This includes:

  • Providing key-technical advice to the programme, including coordinating due diligence and comparative analysis of producer/consumer timber legality laws to establish a Chinese Timber Legal Verification System (CTLVs).
  • Administering and monitoring the programme, including funds to implementing partners.

Managing programme implementation, including work planning, backstopping implementing partners, providing technical expertise, overseeing responsible forestry guidelines, networking and promoting the programme outputs, organising events, donor coordination.

Value and benefits

The intended outcomes are that impacts of China’s international trade in timber products and other commodities grown on forest land whose production affects forest degradation are reduced through: measures aimed at eliminating illegally harvested timber from its trade; and codes of practice that promote environmentally and socially sound resource management practices in developing countries.

See Below for InFIT Newsletters:

1st issues:


2nd issues:






Market Development of Bamboo and Rattan Products with Potential

The overall objective of the project administered by the International Network on Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) is to improve the quality, durability, market opportunities and resource base of bamboo and rattan commodities and their sustainable development in Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar. The project will achieve this by assisting bamboo and rattan producers, craftsman and traders for resources base development, design improvement, value addition and market promotion. The project will contribute to poverty alleviation by generating additional income to rural communities and providing employment in processing facilities. The project has three components to achieve the desired objective:

  1. To develop and introduce rehabilitation and certification systems of bamboo and rattan resources
  2. To provide design improvement of the bamboo and rattan commodities meeting medium and high quality standards of the developed western markets
  3. To ensure dissemination of the new technologies through the training and networking with particular stress on integrating women into the dissemination process

LTS is the Supervisory Body for this project. This involves:

  • Monitoring of project progress
  • Examination of project workplans, budgets and reports, financial statements and auditor’s reports
  • Guidance on best practice re project implementation, management and technical issues to ensure effective project impacts
  • Mid-term review and terminal evaluation

Picture Credits to Christopher Augapfel