Human rights and environmental due diligence are integral cornerstones of a sustainable society. Ensuring the protection of human rights empowers individuals to live with dignity, freedom, and equality, fostering social harmony. Simultaneously, environmental due diligence safeguards our planet’s delicate ecosystems, preserving resources for current and future generations. Their synergy exemplifies our commitment to a balanced world, where respect for both human well-being and the environment forms the foundation of progress. Hence, organizations must arrange consistent upgradation of their existing standards to ensure alignment with the rapidly evolving and dynamic changes in the world.
Keeping this in mind, Fairtrade NAPP in association with Fairtrade International organized 2-day consultation workshops to review and discuss changes to the Fairtrade Standard for Hired Labour Organizations and Trader standards. The objective of the workshops is to review and propose requirements on Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence (HREDD) in Fairtrade Standards for Hired Labour and for Trader organisations. The workshops were conducted in the English language. This workshop was attended by 11 representatives of Hired Labour Organization on the 1st day and 45 traders on the first day of the workshop respectively.
Throughout these dynamic workshops, stakeholders actively participated in discussions about their existing trading practices. The stakeholders gave utmost importance to comprehending the diverse perspectives regarding the proposed subjects and ideas, as well as exploring potential strategies to tackle them. At the Hired Labour Organization’s workshop, Mr ARM Arutselvan of Fairtrade NAPP and Jabel Yegon contributed as a resource person. The workshops were facilitated by Iresha Sanjeewanie, Programme Consultant (Sri Lanka), from the Fairtrade Network of Asia and Pacific Producers, along with Oksana Forkutsa, Senior Standards Project Manager at Fairtrade International. Additionally, Eleonora Gutwein, Head of Standards / Assurance and Oversight Manager, facilitated the workshop remotely. The involvement of audience was actively encouraged to engage in group discussions to share their ideas with each other. In addition, various traders and hired labour organizations organized booths to display their products.
Upon the conclusion of the workshop, participants were encouraged to complete a survey that reviewed Traders and HLO’s standards on HREDD. The details pertaining to the survey’s revision were communicated to the participants. Additionally, Fairtrade’s approach to HREDD standards and the importance of their feedback to the organization were communicated to the participants. Participants are kindly requested to submit their survey responses by August 17, 2023. Following the consultation phase, Fairtrade International’s standard and pricing team will compile the submitted comments into a concise synopsis paper. In addition, Traders and HLOs were encouraged to make available the consultation paper during the consultation duration.
Fairtrade Standard reviews are developed on broad stakeholder consultation to ensure that Standards reflect Fairtrade’s strategic objectives, are based on farmers, workers, and commercial partners’ realities, and meet consumer expectations. In a rapidly evolving global landscape, it is imperative to regularly review human rights and environmental standards to align with the dynamic shifts of our contemporary society. As new challenges emerge and societal expectations evolve,
ensuring these standards remain adaptable and relevant is essential to foster a just and sustainable future for all stakeholders.
“I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the workshop organized by Fairtrade Organization on Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence (HREDD). It was truly an honour and a privilege to represent English Tea Shop during this enlightening event.
The workshop provided an invaluable platform for us to gain a comprehensive understanding of the significance of HREDD, and we were thrilled to be part of the policy-making process. Fair Trade’s proactive involvement of its members in shaping policies is commendable and underscores the organization’s commitment to fostering collaborative growth within the community.
We are immensely appreciative of the efforts made by Fairtrade Foundation in facilitating such a productive and engaging workshop. The interactive sessions allowed us to share our ideas and contribute to enriching the HREDD standards. The experience has undoubtedly strengthened our resolve to align ourselves further with the values and principles of fair trade.
As we move forward, I wish to extend our warmest regards and best wishes to Fairtrade Foundation. Your dedication to promoting fair trade practices and uplifting communities is truly commendable. We are enthusiastic about the prospects of working closely with the organization and supporting its noble initiatives.
Once again, thank you for the remarkable workshop and the opportunity to collaborate. We remain committed to upholding the highest ethical standards and are eager to contribute to the success of Fairtrade endeavours.
Looking forward to a meaningful and fruitful association in the years to come.” – Mihiran Liyanage, Trader