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Second Expert Meeting on Socially and Environmentally Responsible Banana Production and Trade - Report

San José, Costa Rica,10-11 December 2001







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    Report of the Third Expert Meeting on Socially and Environmentally Responsible Horticulture Production and Trade
    Theme: Building partnerships for responsible trade
    2003
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    The Third Expert Meeting on Socially and Environmentally Responsible Horticulture Production and Trade was held in Nuremberg, 16 February 2003. Various representatives of standard setting and certification bodies, as well as producers and traders of fresh produce presented their experiences and opinion on the theme of the meeting: "Building partnerships for socially and environmentally responsible horticultural trade". In the afternoon discussions were held in three groups. The debate on "buil ding partnerships" concentrated on the responsibilities of the actors in the supply chain and the need for transparency. It was felt that small farmers should organize to increase their marketing and bargaining powers and to be able to create partnerships with market operators on a more equal level. Both the costs and the value addition associated with social and environmental improvements should be distributed in a fair way among the parties. The debate on responsible pricing concentrated on the transparency of price building along the supply chain, especially on the part of the retailers. Such transparency would facilitate negotiations of fair prices. The group saw no evidence that price guarantees to cover the cost of production would stimulate overproduction, as low prices have often triggered increased output. The debate on the role of certification in partnerships concentrated on the role of certification bodies beyond verification. It was recommended that the certification bodies organize open training sessions and provide more information on buyer and consumer requirements. Certification bodies could help to evaluate the certification systems by sharing their experiences in standard implementation with accreditation agencies, producers and consumers.
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    Ad-hoc Expert Meeting on Socially and Environmentally ResponsibleBanana Production and Trade, Rome, 22-24 March 2000
    Report
    2000
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    The adoption of more sustainable practices in agricultural production and trade is a primary concern for FAO. In the banana sector, the Horticultural Products Group of FAO’s Commodity and Trade Division, which holds the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Group on Bananas and Tropical Fruits (IGG), is exploring what steps can be taken with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector and governments to further the development of responsible banana production and trade. At its last meeting in May 1999, the IGG discussed the topics of fair trade and organic bananas, as well as other modes of sustainable banana production and trade. In order to initiate a process of dialogue, FAO held an expert meeting in Rome from 22 to 24 March 2000. The main goal of the meeting was to explore the scope for collaboration and for defining a common approach to environmentally and socially responsible banana production and trade.
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    Environmental and Social Standards, Certification and Labelling for Cash Crops 2003
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    Workplace safety and environmental sustainability can be promoted by agreed standards, certification and labelling. Relevant standards for cash crops in developing countries are reviewed here, including organic agriculture, fair-trade labelling, SA8000, Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Programme, the ETI, ISO 14001 and EurepGap. The origins of these initiatives, their scope and certification system are explored. In addition, stakeholder involvement, the standard-setting process, ver ification methods, the relation with WTO agreements and the potential role of governments are discussed. Twenty-two case studies on the impact of these standards and certification programmes on production costs and revenues for farmers in developing countries are presented, in addition to the latest data available on markets for labelled bananas, coffee, tea and citrus. Governments, private companies and NGOs facing complex decisions regarding environmental and social standards, certificatio n and labelling will find this material useful.

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