Full and Fair Trade
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The Copra Problem
Timor Leste (East Timor)
Papua New Guinea
The push for a unified set of international "Fair
Trade" standards that would genuinely reflect what happens on
the ground and truly benefit primary producers in developing countries
is not over yet. Criteria or protocols have been set up for a wide range of commodities (eg Coffee, tea, cocoa, vanilla, certain handicraft products etc)
their Fair Trade status in export markets. At the present time, no protocols have been established by the Fairtrade Labelling Orgainisation (FLO)
for Fairtrade with coconuts.
We are currently (2009) associated with three fair trade models
Kokonut Pacific's Fair Dinkum Fair Trade
Kokonut Pacific developed the "Fair Dinkum Fair Trade" when no other
suitable set of standards existed in response to a need to express what was
happening on the ground. As a result, Kokonut Pacific has been proactive in implementing the FT principles with its DME technology for more than ten
years. For this reason we have developed our own logo to reflect our passion for justice and FT.
We have used the phrase "Fair Dinkum" because it is an Australian expression meaning "the real thing" or "absolutely genuine". The vision for the potential economic transformation of remote island communities is summarised in the
two flow diagrams
contrasting "a current island scenario" based on copra exports and the potential "sustainable development scenario" achievable by the production of
high quality virgin coconut oil (VCO).
- A fair price for their goods (that is significantly better than the average world-price).
- Long term contracts which provide real security.
- Support in gaining knowledge and skills needed to develop their businesses and operate successfully in the global economy.
This vision of "empowering" local communities is being implemented by:
- Introducing a process (DME) which results in a 4 to 5-fold increase in the value of coconut exports compared to
Making much more effective use of an existing sustainable resource with 'zero-waste' potential.
(see a DME Pictorial
Kokonut Pacificis a foundation member of the Fair Trade Association of
Australia and New Zealand (FTAANZ) which is closely linked with the international
FT organisation FLO. FTAANZ is currently working with European groups to establish suitable criteria for coconuts.
- Dramatically increasing rural employment in a gender neutral manner (local employment of men, women and youth, minimising urban drift).
- Helping set up complete Systems (such as training, extension services, oil purchase and quality control) to ensure
full support for otherwise isolated producers.
- Purchasing all the DME Virgin Coconut oil (VCO) offered for export and finding markets for this oil.
- Arranging for (and in some cases funding) the Organic Certification of Producers and Packers by an internationally
accredited OC Agency (NASAA).
- Providing technical support by regular email communication.
- Actively promoting the enormous health benefits of virgin coconut oil domestically and internationally (by advertising and attending
- Promoting the downstream use of virgin coconut oil in local soap making and as a sustainable diesel biofuel.
- We consider all of these to be good indicators of our commitment to
Full and Fair Trade.
The general Fair Trade Principals
Whilst different ‘fair-trade’ type certification bodies offer different standards with differing emphasis, they all cover the following principles based on fairness, mutual respect and transparency:
- Employment is chosen freely
- Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected
- Working conditions are safe and hygienic
- Enforced child labour shall not be used (remembering that, in India
and in Africa, farms are family enterprises, and children have their
duties in support of their family)
- Living wages are paid
- Working hours are not excessive and are reasonable
- No discrimination is practiced;
- Regular employment is provided
- No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed
- There should be sustainable trading relationships, based on trust, transparency, equity, accountability and continuity. These should be long term, based on mutual advantage, which includes price stability
- There should be a social and cultural emphasis within and external to the business that benefits the wider community
- That the whole chain of product supply is covered, from farmer to retailer
NASAA Social justice general principals
taken from NASAA website
Social justice and social rights are an integral part of organic agriculture and processing.
Operators should comply with all International Labor Organisation (ILO) conventions relating to
labour welfare and the UN Charter of Rights for Children.
All employees and their families should have access to potable water, food, housing, education,
transportation and health services.
Operators should provide for the basic social security needs of the employees, including benefits
such as maternity, sickness and retirement benefit.
All employees should have equal opportunity and adequate wages when performing the same level
of work regardless of colour, creed or gender.
Workers should have adequate protection from noise, dust, light and exposure to chemicals that
should be within acceptable limits in all production and processing operations.
Operators should respect the rights of indigenous peoples, and should not use or exploit land whose
inhabitants or farmers have been or are being impoverished, dispossessed, colonised, expelled,
exiled or killed, or which is currently in dispute regarding legal or customary local rights to its use or
Contracts should be fair, open to negotiation, and honoured in good faith.
- Where national laws fail to address social justice then operators shall have a verbal or
written policy on social justice. Operators who hire fewer than ten (10) persons for
labour and those who operate under a state system that enforces social laws may not
be required to have such a policy. At a minimum, and where relevant, such a policy
- In cases where production is based on violation of basic human rights and clear cases of
social injustice, that product cannot be declared as organic. The certification applicant
shall not engage in or support the use of corporal punishment, mental or physical
coercion or verbal abuse.
- Operators may not use forced or involuntary labour.
- Employees and contractors of organic operations have the freedom to associate, the
right to organise and the right to bargain collectively.
- Operators shall provide their employees and contractors equal opportunity and
treatment, and shall not act in a discriminatory way.
- Operators shall not hire child labour. Children are allowed to experience work on their
family’s farm and/or a neighbouring farm provided that
- Such work is not dangerous or hazardous to their health and safety
- It does not jeopardize the children’s educational, moral, social, and physical
- Children are supervised by adults or have authorisation from a legal guardian
- Employers shall provide all employees with potable drinking water, latrines or toilets, a
clean place to eat, adequate protective equipment and access to adequate medical
- All employers shall ensure that workers have received safety training.
Kokonut Pacific recognised for Fair Trade work
The European Commission carried out a study in its 2002 Work Program to investigate Responsible Entrepreneurship (RE) for Small and
Medium Enterprises ((SMEs). “Responsible Entrepreneurship means how to run a business in a way that enhances its positive
contribution to society whilst minimising negative impacts on people and the environment. Responsible Entrepreneurship is,
therefore, a way of adding value to both the business and society.” RE denotes voluntary business strategies to achieve
the EU’s definition of
sustainable development and is fully in line with the notion of
corporate social responsibility,
which the EU has defined as
"a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis".
Kokonut Pacific has worked within this definition and framework since its inception by being involved in socially responsible activities without being familiar with the CSR concept per se.
This was recognised by the Asia Pacific Forum for Environment and Development (APFED) when it presented the
2006 Ryutaro Hasimoto Gold Award (First Prize) to Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands for the work it was doing in ‘Rehabilitating a rural economy with virgin coconut oil production’.
DME has set a new Standard for coconut oil, in production and
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