The transition to sustainable food production requires the inclusion of small-holder producers. Given many of these small holders are integrated into global systems of trade market-based approaches such as third party certification appear to hold relevance. But certification as it is now practices is focused on proving sustainability at the farm level. Evidence shows us that this approach is costly and leads to the exclusion of those with some of the biggest sustainability gains to make. Is there a way to shift this burden of proof to those that demand sustainability in global markets? If we can’t certify consumers, then why not retailers?