Christopher Wunderlich introduced the Sustainable Commodity Initiative – a multi-stakeholder platform facilitated by UNCTAD and IISD.
He argued that the success of Fair Trade has brought new dynamics into the wider trade sector. Supply chain concentration is increasing, and end-markets are shifting to new countries. To respond to the complexity of the issues at stake, a collective multi-stakeholder approach is needed.
The first issue being addressed by SCI is the need for more robust information on the impacts of Fair Trade. At the moment, there are mostly case studies plus a very few thorough and neutral analyses. Tools are therefore being developed to measure the costs and benefits of such programs at field level. The goal is to provide a tool for producers to plan their activities and for public and private policy-makers to guide decisions. This information will also help to identify the benefits deriving from Fair Trade.
The second issue is access to affordable finance. The SCI also supports an association of financial service providers that work with small and medium scale Fair Trade producers.
The third area is capacity building to develop sustainable enterprises. Fair Trade producers have to increasingly perform in competitive environments. Through networking, support can be jointly provided at the producer level.
See more from the 16 April Briefing