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Developing Standards for Responsible Soy: Lessons from other criteria and indicator development processes RTRS General Assembly, Sao Paulo, Brazil. May.

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Presentation on theme: "Developing Standards for Responsible Soy: Lessons from other criteria and indicator development processes RTRS General Assembly, Sao Paulo, Brazil. May."— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing Standards for Responsible Soy: Lessons from other criteria and indicator development processes RTRS General Assembly, Sao Paulo, Brazil. May 8, 2007 Dawn Robinson and Anders Lindhe ProForest

2 RTRS Objective: “ a forum for developing and promoting principles, criteria, indicators, and verification tools for responsible soy production, processing and trading” “Responsible soy is economically viable, socially beneficial, and environmentally appropriate” (RTRS statutes, Nov 2006) Lessons can be learned from other, similar initiatives.

3 Sources of Practical Lessons Palm Oil Sector –Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Forestry Sector –Forest certification schemes [e.g. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)] Agricultural Certification –Sustainable Agriculture Network, EUREPGAP Organic Certification –Eg. IFOAM Fairtrade schemes –Eg. FLO Coffee – 4 Cs (common code for coffee community), Utz coffee Associations of voluntary verification schemes –International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling (ISEAL Alliance). Eg. Code Good Practice in standard setting. International Standards Setting bodies –e.g. ISO Guide 59

4 Key questions in developing credible schemes What is ‘sustainable’ or ‘responsible’ production? (definition) Who decides? (participation) Is a producer implementing ‘sustainable’/ ‘responsible’ production practices? (verification/certification) Is what I am buying coming from a producer implementing sustainable/ responsible practices? (product tracing)

5 What are the components of a credible scheme? Standards or set of criteria and indicators Independent certification or verification Product traceability Accreditation

6 Why standards are necessary Provide clear definition of sustainability (or responsibility) Provides a means of measuring improvements, performance Provides credibility for the sector and those involved

7 What makes a credible standard setting process? Adequately addressing key sustainability issues: –Economic –Social –Environmental Implementable in practice Development through a transparent and consultative process Acceptability to whole range of interested parties

8 Developing the standards or criteria -First step in achieving credibility -Foundation of any future verification system

9 Standard-setting group Participation –Involving key stakeholders Decision making –Clear mechanism for making decisions ensuring: no single interest can dominate no single interest over-ruled Should operate transparently Should consult widely

10 Standard Setting: The Experience of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil Criteria working group Balancing interest groups Developing standards Defining sustainability Implementation Finalisation & Adoption Transparent and consultative process 10- Producers 5-Supply chain 5-Env & 5Soc NGOs Review drafts Stakeholder consultation

11 Defining policy and practice: The experience of the FSC Plantation Working Group 4 environmental chamber (2 north/2 south) 4 social chamber (2 north/2 south) 4 economic chamber (2 north/2 south) Balanced working group across chambers and regions Selected by chamber members. Representatives not necessarily FSC members System for decision making agreed up front. All decisions taken by consensus, except 1, where voting used. 1 st meeting 6 months from concept (define how and select group) 1.5 years to achieve recommendations

12 Standards development: Lessons learned (1) Formation of a Working group adequate participation –Geographical spread production/processor/consumption regions –Broad range of opinions –Representation –Either bring expertise, or directly affected by production the right individuals –represent other stakeholders –willing to commit to the process. Openess –Experience in standards helpful Clear process is important for legitimacy

13 Working group dynamics Common understandings - training on standards development Time committment. Outside of meetings Draw on technical expertise at relevant points External facilitators ease process decision making processes –Determine and document at start –No single group should be able to dominate. –No single group should be dominated. Content Keep in mind practical implementability of standards Use specialist sub-groups and expert advisors Standards development: Lessons learned (2)

14 Stakeholder input and credibility Ensure opportunities for participation: Allow enough time for consultation on drafts. Respect different realities of time to input. Ensure translation of key documents into relevant languages. Standards development: Lessons learned (3)

15 Standards development: Lessons learned (4) Planning Agree realistic timelines, including –time for translation –public consultation periods (rec. 60 days) Ensure adequate resources –Face to face meetings –Translation / interpretation –Professional facilitation –Publishing of drafts on internet

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