Social aspects and the safety of farm workers is the focus of this popular certification which also covers basic water management requirements. The certification provides minimum price for products, assuring farmers’ financial stability and a social premium to invest in the local community.

Description

The Fairtrade Standards are designed to tackle poverty and empower producers in the poorest countries in the world. Fairtrade provides two main sets of standards; one set of standards for small producer organizations and another for organizations that employ hired labour. In addition, about 20 product-specific standards are available, covering among other things tea, coffee, fresh fruits and nuts. Fairtrade also offers certification for composite products that include at least 20 % of Fairtrade certified ingredients.

The Fairtrade Standards cover terms of trade and most products have a set Fairtrade Minimum Price, which is the minimum amount that must be paid to the producers. Thereto, producers receive an additional sum – the Fairtrade Premium – to invest in their communities or businesses. Manufacturers, producers, traders and retailers can apply for using the Fairtrade mark on products or for promotional purposes. Audits are conducted by FLOCERT, Fairtrade’s independent certifier. Support to farmers who wish to become certified is offered by locally based liaison officers who provide training, guidance on certification and facilitate relationships with buyers. Producers pay for auditing and re-inspection fees. The standards include both core requirements, which need to be fulfilled before certification, as well as development requirements that are added gradually to ensure improvements over time. Fairtrade currently operates in 24 countries and has certified 1210 producer organisations representing over 1.4 million farmers in 74 countries.

Farming

Water sources used for irrigating and processing listed. Producers should be informed about situation of water sources in the area. In case local environmental authorities or other entities consider that water sources are being depleted, or are in a critical situation or under excessive pressure, producers must engage in a dialogue with the authorities or local existing initiatives in order to identify possible ways to be involved in research or solution finding. Sustainability assessment through monitoring existing knowledge on sustainability of water sources for related information and/or claims with local authorities, universities or organizations working in the region.

Training provided to members of the organization on measures to use water efficiently. This training must include: estimating how much water is needed to irrigate and/or process Fairtrade crops; measuring (or estimating) how much water is extracted from the source; measuring how much water is used for irrigation and/or processing; providing maintenance to the water distribution system; adopting as applicable, methods to recirculate, reuse and/or recycle water.

Training in appropriate use of fertilizers, including measures to ensure appropriate quantities in relation to nutrient need of crops. Nutrient content of soils determined by producers based on their knowledge or in laboratories. Storage separated from pesticides unless label allows mixing.

Integrated pest management implemented, including monitoring of pests and diseases, alternative control methods and preventive measures to avoid that they build up resistance to pesticides. Alternative controls refer to methods other than the use of chemical pesticides, including e.g. biological controls such as introduction of natural enemies or physical controls such as sticky traps. Preventive measures refer to cultivation techniques that may reduce presence or effects of pests, such as crop rotation, ground covers, mixing compost into the soil, removing pest infested plants and plant parts and intercropping.

The producer must be able to demonstrate that pesticides are applied based on knowledge of pests and diseases. Pesticides from accompanying Fairtrade International Prohibited Materials List prohibited. Plan to substitute these materials. Limited use of herbicides. Training to members and workers who handle pesticides and other hazardous chemicals. Pesticides and hazardous chemicals avoided close to human activity, especially when spraying from air. Safe storage and disposal to minimize risks to humans and environment. Proper equipment to handle leakage. Proper cleaning of equipment and containers.

Integrated pest management taught and implemented. GM seeds or planting stock prohibited. Producers must avoid negative impacts on protected areas and in areas with high conservation value within or outside farm or production areas. Areas used for production of the Fairtrade crop must comply with national legislation in relation to agricultural land use.

Report on activities that carried out to protect and enhance biodiversity. Such activities are identification of key biodiversity issues in the region and counteractions, raising awareness about biodiversity or training in techniques to protect it, agro-forestry systems, maintaining and restoring natural ecosystems in areas not suitable for cultivation and in buffer zones around water bodies, watershed recharge areas and between production and areas of high conservation value, activities to increase ecosystem connectivity. Knowledge and advice can be provided by local authorities, universities, NGOs or online data bases. Restoration of ecosystems can take place by actively replanting native vegetation or by actively protecting it to allow regeneration of native vegetation.

Construction of buffer zones around water bodies and watershed recharge areas and between production areas and areas of high conservation value, either protected or not. Pesticides, hazardous chemicals and fertilizers must not be applied in buffer zones. Restoration of ecological corridors by actively reintroducing native vegetation or protecting it to allow regeneration.

Training provided to members of the organization on measures to use water efficiently. This training must include adopting, as applicable, methods to recirculate, reuse and/or recycle water.

In central processing facilities where non-renewable energy used, records must be kept of energy consumption, measures taken to use energy more efficiently and replace non-renewable sources by renewable. An example of more efficient energy use is the adequate maintenance of processing equipment.

Clean drinking water and clean toilets with hand washing facilities close by for workers; clean showers for workers handling pesticides. Plans to improve sanitary conditions at member level could complement training in waste water and related health risks.

Waste water from central processing facilities handled in a way to avoid negative impact on water quality, soil fertility or food safety. This includes water contaminated by the processing itself and waste water from sanitary facilities. A plan to monitor water quality including baseline levels of acceptability for waste water quality, method(s) of analysis of water quality, specified frequency of monitoring and means to correct any incidence of contaminants down to adequate levels.

Water filtration or other treatment systems in processing facilities. The organization must provide training to members about waste water and health risks, prevention of risks and treatment methods of waste water and their implementation. Buffer zones implemented around fields where pesticides or other hazardous chemicals applied. Clusters of small farms can be considered a single production site, with buffer zones at its perimeters only.

Measures to reduce erosion risk implemented on land in risk of erosion and on already degraded land. These include measures that prevent erosive conditions, remedial actions, establishing groundcovers or other kinds of vegetation.

Not explicitly mentioned but closely linked to measures to enhance Soil fertility and reduce Soil erosion.

Implementing measures such as crop rotation, intercropping, agroforestry, use of ground covers, or incorporating compost or green manures into the soil.

Processing

Water sources used for irrigating and processing listed. Sustainability assessment through monitoring existing knowledge on sustainability of water sources for related information and/or claims with local authorities, universities or organizations working in the region. Training provided to members of the organization on measures to use water efficiently. This training must include: estimating how much water is needed to irrigate and/or process Fairtrade crops; measuring (or estimating) how much water is extracted from the source; measuring how much water is used for irrigation and/or processing; providing maintenance to the water distribution system; adopting as applicable, methods to recirculate, reuse and/or recycle water.

Waste water from central processing facilities handled in a way to avoid negative impact on water quality, soil fertility or food safety. This includes water contaminated by the processing itself and waste water from sanitary facilities. A plan to monitor water quality including baseline levels of acceptability for waste water quality, method(s) of analysis of water quality, specified frequency of monitoring and means to correct any incidence of contaminants down to adequate levels.

Water filtration or other treatment systems in processing facilities. The organization must provide training to members about waste water and health risks, prevention of risks and treatment methods of waste water and their implementation. Buffer zones implemented around fields where pesticides or other hazardous chemicals applied. Clusters of small farms can be considered a single production site, with buffer zones at its perimeters only.

Keeping farm free of hazardous waste. Informing the organization’s members to handle and store hazardous waste properly in order to minimize risks. Designated areas for the storage and disposal of hazardous waste. Burning of hazardous waste allowed only if aligning with local regulation and safety recommendations. Re-using organic waste recommended through practices that allow nutrients to be recycled (composting, mulching and using green manures). Feeding animals with organic waste contaminated with pesticides and burning organic waste considered unsustainable. Using organic waste as fuel could be considered a more sustainable practice.

Training provided to members of the organization on measures to use water efficiently. This training must include adopting, as applicable, methods to recirculate, reuse and/or recycle water.

In central processing facilities where non-renewable energy used, records must be kept of energy consumption, measures taken to use energy more efficiently and replace non-renewable sources by renewable. An example of more efficient energy use is the adequate maintenance of processing equipment.

Clean drinking water and clean toilets with hand washing facilities close by for workers; clean showers for workers handling pesticides. Plans to improve sanitary conditions at member level could complement training in waste water and related health risks.

Report on practices carried out to reduce GHG emissions and increase carbon sequestration; one example being incorporating green manure in fields to increase organic matter.

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