The Fairtrade movement in the Philippines has been around for more than two decades but only few producers, especially farmers, are aware of it. Part of the goal to change this, is to form a Fairtrade Marketing Organization (FMO) in the Philippines that will promote fairtrade certification and increase the sales of fairtrade products.
ASSIST in partnership with FLO-Cert, OURFood and SIGNAsia implemented this project to support the establishment of FMO and increase awareness on the benefits of fairtrade to farmers and businesses.
ASSIST developed awareness raising materials on fairtrade, including international standards for small producers and the certification process. This was achieved through the conduct of workshops, forums and a market research; and strategy to identify commercial partners. The project also secured the commitment of future fairtrade product retailers in the Philippines. Two workshops were conducted in the Visayas region (Bacolod and Cebu) to provide basic information about Fairtrade International, FMO, standards for small producers and the certification processes. This was attended by civil society organizations (CSOs), including farmer organizations and small businesses.
In Asia, Cambodia has exhibited one of the highest rates of diminishing forest cover due to several drivers of degradation such as unsustainable and illegal logging. While consuming its forest resources not only for local use but for export to Vietnam, China and Laos, woods and timber extraction have been prevalent even in the protected areas. ASSIST together with Bureau Veritas and DEG launched PRO-FOREST – a project that aims to promote sustainable forest management and minimizing further socio-economic and environmental impact, through demonstration of FM concepts, principles and techniques.
The project carried out stakeholder awareness and capacity building events on sustainable FM systems and demonstrated compliance with regulatory requirements as well as preparation for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-FM Certification. Local consultants and auditors’ training and gap assessments were launched with learnings showcased during the best practices forum.
As a result of the project’s actions, collaboration with local communities and stakeholders was established. Knowledge transfer was effectively organized and representatives of local communities, experts, and local auditors were trained to implement the FSC certification schemes in Cambodia. In order to ensure project sustainability, forest owners and managers were trained in developing forest management plans while pilot communities were also oriented for the preparation of FSC certification.