Markets working to support sustainable development

In the News: 18th August 2015

18 Aug 2015

Here you will find a round-up of all the latest news and events in market governance from around the world.

Forests

  • WWF has produced a report showing that Forest Stewardship Council certification can boost the bottom line of forest operations. They found that globally, companies that had FSC certified roundwood or similar production earned an additional US$ 1.80 annually for every cubic metre. Read the report here.

Farming

  • A project has been launched in Ghana to 'climate-smart' cocoa production in the country. Using applied climate science, the project will collaborate with farmers to boost the resilience of cash crops, alongside local food crops, and provide guidance on adaptation practices. Certification scheme Rainforest Alliance is implementing the programme, along with the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture and a number of other research institutes. 

Fairtrade bananas. Source: Wikipedia

Fairtrade

  • Fairtrade International CEO, Harriet Lamb, has argued that the Fairtrade model of structurally changing developing world markets for goods is more effective than donation-based charity. This responds to claims made by author William MacAskill, who argues that rather than focusing on providing fair prices for products made in the developing world through Fairtrade and similar schemes, individuals in the developed world should simply make greater personal donations. Lamb counters that this argument is both economically flawed –trapping people in cycles of poverty – and ignores the important work done by Fairtrade and others to promote safe and dignified working practices.
  • See here this video report from a Fairtrade banana cooperative in Peru.

Fisheries

  • Reporting on American consumption, research has shown that tuna is no longer considered a cheap eat and shoppers were wary of the harmful sourcing of tuna and the existence of chemicals like mercury in canned tuna. Companies who pursued more sustainable practices are now able to develop premium products while dispelling shoppers concerns. One such company, co-operative American Tuna, said that it recently obtained MSC certification, and was going to apply for 'Fairtrade Tuna' status.

Yellowfin tuna. Source: Wikipedia

Mining

  • Oil and Gas companies fall behind the standards set by mining companies in gaining 'Free, Prior and Informed Consent' (FPIC) from indigenous local communities. FPIC is enshrined in international law as a best practice in community engagement around sensitive extractive-based projects. A report from Oxfam shows that organisations like the International Council on Mining and Metals have been successful in spreading adherence to the principle. However, they caution that more should be done to both support companies implementing FPIC but also hold them accountable. A number of challenges still remain around implementation of FPIC across the extractives sectors. See further research around FPIC from IIED here.

Climate

  • Environmentalists and policymakers should recognise that fossil fuel companies are feigning climate action by calling for a global carbon price, according to E3G's Tom Burke. He argues that fossil fuel companies are attempting to divert attention from their unsustainable business models by arguing for a price that would be politically impossible and challenging to coordinate.