FLO Invites Expertise on how to Broaden, Deepen and Strengthen the Impact of Fairtrade

24 June 2010

Fairtrade´s Global Strategy strives to bring more farmers, workers and traders into the system and to support partners in scaling up their operations.

The strategy seeks to consolidate Fairtrade as an inclusive system where the message behind the label is not a guarantee of “perfection” in ethical issues but a promise that every purchase supports the efforts of producers to work towards a socially and environmentally sustainable livelihood.

In order to reach our ambitious strategic goals three interlinked areas of work have been launched at FLO: strategies and policies on issues such as climate change and producer set ups, redesign of our producer support systems and a New Standards Framework (NSF). Read an outline of the entire process on our Standards page here.

Upgrading the Fairtrade system was envisioned during the two year Strategic Review process, which identified core areas of FLO’s producer facing activities to be evaluated and enhanced. These activities are now undertaken in a coordinated manner by Strategy and Policy, Standards and Producer Services and Relations Units, and closely linked with the independent certifier, FLO-CERT to assure that changes in the standards system align with the certification model.

The Strategy and Policy Unit sets out strategies to make Fairtrade more accessible and its requirements closer to producers’ realities. The environmental strategy for instance informs both the Standards Units and the Producer Support and Relations Unit on how to translate the necessity for sustainable agro-ecosystems into standards and support, so that producers can apply and make progress.

Producer Support and Relations’ redesigned services program will work with producers to design their own development path (linked to the Business and Development Standard), and connect them to resources and partnerships that will enable them to meet their goals and aspirations.  In implementing our new global strategy, the Fairtrade system must adapt to producer’s needs rather than the system imposing its own model on producers. While the underlying principles of standards need to be applied universally in a consistent manner, a “one size fits all” approach is not helpful. Standards must provide a basis for producers to prepare their own development plans and including the milestones and indicators needed to monitor implementation. FLO is redesigning its producer services, and developing strategies that will enable producers to cope with environmental requirements and climate change measures as well as to have greater benefits from participating in Fairtrade and create lasting impact themselves.

The New Standards Framework (NSF) will be built on the current standards model but it aims to help strengthen producers’ social organization and self determination, reinforce the unique features of the Fairtrade standards and build the basis to create an even more effective Fairtrade system. For the longer term FLO will evaluate at how to include producers that are currently outside the system and how to adapt its economic mechanisms to bring optimal benefits to producers.

The Standards Unit set forth an action plan covering activities for 2010 with the aim to deliver the NSF to the FLO Board for final decision in December 2010. It is expected that the new standards will be used in auditing and certification by FLO-CERT from 2011 onwards. New producer services and the implementation of environmental and climate strategies will launch simultaneously. The summer stakeholder consultations assure appropriate levels of input to enhance the NSF, producer services and new strategies. 

Call for Expert Advise

Stakeholder input is the key to the development of the NSF and our new strategies and policies. We invite all interested parties to participate in the public consultation phase on the draft framework from June 15th to August 15th, 2010.

Workshops for producers (co-sponsored by the three Producer Networks), traders and Labelling Initiatives will also be conducted during the consultation period. During these workshops comments and input on the new PSR structure and the new strategies and policies will be gathered.

For more information about the consultations and the new work at FLO please contact:

Dorothee Jung, Standards Unit, d.jung@fairtrade.net.

Louise Luttikholt, Strategy and Policy Unit, l.luttikholt@fairtrade.net

Kimberly Easson, Producer Services and Relations, k.easson@fairtrade.net





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