FLO International among pioneer organizations to set high standards for ethical trade

12 October 2007

Fairtrade Labelling Organizations (FLO) International and six other non-profit organisations have reached the highest standards for defining credible behaviour in ethical trade by complying with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards.

The ISEAL Code of Good Practice is the international reference for setting credible voluntary social and environmental standards. It is referenced by a range of governmental and intergovernmental guidelines as the measure of credibility for voluntary social and environmental standards.

The ISEAL Code of Good Practice requires that standards be set in open, transparent, participatory, multi-stakeholder processes. It demands there must be a demonstrable need for the standard and includes measures to ensure that even the most marginalised stakeholders have a say in the standard’s development.

During 2006, FLO International made changes to its standard setting practices in order to comply with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice. This compliance offers an additional guarantee to consumers. It ensures that for a product to bear the Fairtrade Certification Mark it must meet relevant, high level performance criteria that create genuine social and environmental change.

“Today 1.4 million farmers and workers in the developing world benefit from consumers’ trust in the standards behind the Fairtrade label. But we must never take that trust for granted. Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International is therefore proud to commit to the ISEAL Code of Good Practice, which ensures a clear and consistent framework for setting social and environmental standards” said Ian Bretman, Board Member of FLO International, on the occasion of the official launch of the ISEAL Code of Good Practice which took place in London on October 11th.

ISEAL members are the first organisations to be fully compliant with this Code. In that respect, Richard Howitt, the European Parliament’s spokesperson on Corporate Social Responsibility, commented: “The ISEAL Alliance is a leading example of collaboration between labelling initiatives. Its members’ compliance with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice gives a clear sign to both governments and industry that these initiatives are the leaders in the field, backed by credible standards and capable of delivering genuine social and environmental change.”

For more information about ISEAL activities and the Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards please visit the website: http://www.isealalliance.org/

 
Notes to Editors:

  • The ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards was developed through open consultation and is the international reference for setting credible voluntary social and environmental standards. It is referenced by a range of governmental and inter-governmental guidelines as the measure of credibility for voluntary social and environmental standards. Recent references to the Code includes:
  1. FAO Guidelines on Ecolabelling of Marine Fishery Products (2005)
  2. World Bank - WWF Alliance criteria for assessing forest certification schemes (2006)
  3. European Parliament resolution of 13 March 2007 on corporate social responsibility.
  • The ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards is available to download in full along with case studies from organisations in compliance at www.isealalliance.org/code. The following organizations, which are members of ISEAL, are compliant with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards:
  1. Fairtrade Labelling Organizations (FLO) International
  2. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
  3. International Federation of Agriculture Movements (IFOAM)
  4. Marine Aquarium Council (MAC)
  5. Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
  6. Rainforest Alliance (RA)
  7. Social Accountability International (SAI)
 
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