The development of a unified set of international Fair Trade standards that genuinely reflect what happens on the ground and truly benefit primary producers in developing countries is a work in progress.
Whilst different fair-trade-type certification bodies offer different standards with differing emphases, they all cover the following principles based on fairness, mutual respect and transparency.
Currently we are associated with three fair trade models:
- Kokonut Pacific's Fair Dinkum Fair Trade
- NASAA Social Justice Policy
General fair trade principles
Whilst different fair-trade-type certification bodies offer different standards with differing emphases, 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
- The whole chain of product supply is covered, from farmer to retailer
Kokonut Pacific’s Fair Dinkum Fair Trade
Kokonut Pacific developed "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 was proactive in implementing the Fair Trade principles with its DME® technology since its inception in 1994. For this we developed our own logo to reflect our passion for justice and fair trade.
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 these two flow diagrams which contrast "a current island scenario" based on copra exports with the potential "sustainable development scenario" achievable by the production of high quality virgin coconut oil (VCO).
Fair trade includes:
- A fair price for the goods produced (that is, a price significantly better than the average world-price).
- Long-term contracts which provide real security.
- Supporting producers by helping them gain the knowledge and skills they need to develop their businesses and operate successfully in the global economy.
Our vision of "empowering" local communities is being implemented by:
- Introducing a process (DME®) which results in more than a 5-fold increase in the value of coconut exports compared to copra.
- Making much more effective use of an existing sustainable resource with 'zero-waste' potential. (see a DME® Pictorial Flow Chart 368Kbpdf)
- 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® extra virgin coconut oil (DME®-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 agency, NASAA
- Providing technical support by regular email communication and skype
- Actively promoting the enormous health benefits of virgin coconut oil domestically and internationally – by advertising, and by attending organic trade shows
- Promoting the downstream use of virgin coconut oil in skin care products, 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.
Fair Trade Sustainability Alliance (FairTSA)
Our actual practice of ‘Fair Dinkum, Fair Trade’ received third party endorsement and certification from FairTSA in May 2014.
The Fair Trade Sustainability Alliance is the fair trade standard holder for organic certifiers: an open system where every ISO 65 accredited certifier can become a collaborating partner.
Linking fair trade with organic certification had always been our dream. Indeed, having fair trade as a totally separate certification process was extremely costly and time consuming for producers and as such was itself actually ‘unfair’.
It has taken many years for the Alliance to be formed and we are delighted that NASAA is a ‘collaborating partner’ with FairTSA.
Social justice and social rights are an integral part of organic agriculture and processing.
This means our entire operation – from the palm tree to final packaging - is inspected annually by an independent third party body which reviews our processes and assesses our social justice practice. We have passed with flying colours since we started inspections back in 2005.
It is important to note that our certifications will not transfer to your business. You will need to apply for your own certifications as relevant.