By learning from each other and learning together about stakeholder needs, our members identify strategies for improving their practices. This interaction spurs collaboration between standards systems and leads to innovative solutions to a variety of challenges the standards movement is facing.
ISEAL acts as a catalyst for this innovation and uses its strong convening power to bring standards systems together with emerging initiatives and users of standards, through conferences, consultation processes, publications and collaborative projects. Collaborative and coordinated efforts can serve many purposes: to improve efficiencies, to share expertise, to expand the value and accessibility of certification and to achieve mutual goals.
Coordination on the rise
ISEAL and our members are working on impacts-focused project to understand the contribution that certification has made towards poverty alleviation. ISEAL members are also working in small groups on ways to increase access to certification for small producers. Standards managers have come together to work on harmonisation or interpretation projects focused on specific challenges, such as pesticides. Specialised groups are also exploring the feasibility of joint audits and a common approach to living wage. Future working groups will focus on topics such as living wage, gender, labour and high conservation values.
In addition to ISEAL-led working groups, ISEAL members and subscribers are also organising in their own groups on different initiatives and we commend these independent achievements in collaboration, coordination and recognition:
- FSC and Fairtrade have collaborated on dual labelled wood products
- Rainforest Alliance, Max Havelaar and UTZ Certified have advised the Dutch State Secretary to include additional social conditions in the sustainable procurement policy of the Dutch government
- Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials has recognised Rainforest Alliance Certified farms to bring the benefits of certification to more farmers, producers, and companies
- Marine Stewardship Council and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) have partnered on chain-of-custody certification for ASC certified fish to add efficiency to supply chains
- Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has recognised the Fairtrade and Fairminded Standard for Gold as a Responsible Mining Standard under RJC chain-of-custody certification
- The Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), Rainforest Alliance and IOAS have launched the SAN/RA Accreditation Program
- Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and UTZ Certified have launched RSPO eTrace, the improved traceability system for administering the trade in certified sustainable palm oil
- Accreditation Services International has become the accreditation provider for Aquaculture Stewardship Council and Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
- Aquaculture Stewardship Council has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with GlobalG.A.P. to work together to achieve greater efficiencies