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Press Release | Global Launch of the Accountability Framework

July 24, 2019

Brittany Weinke
Rainforest Alliance
bweinke@ra.org

Global coalition of NGOs announces launch of the Accountability Framework,
a practical roadmap for companies to achieve ethical supply chain commitments in agriculture and forestry

Washington, DC: The Accountability Framework initiative (AFi) announced the release of the Accountability Framework, a set of common norms, definitions, and guidance for establishing, implementing, and monitoring ethical supply chain commitments in agriculture and forestry. By using this common framework, companies and other supply chain actors now have a clear path to accelerate progress and improve accountability for the achievement of these commitments.

“Many NGOs strive to make the same changes in the world, but to really speak the same language and align targets so that we move forcefully in the same direction – that’s not so easy. The Accountability Framework represents a great milestone in achieving consensus on a path forward.”
~ Han de Groot, CEO, Rainforest Alliance

“When companies first made deforestation commitments, they lacked the clarity needed to implement these pledges in a credible way. Now the Accountability Framework... can fill the information gap and produce such guidance for companies, much of which has already been road-tested with businesses around the world.”
~ David Cleary, Director of Global Agriculture, The Nature Conservancy

The Framework is based on a consensus of leading environmental and social organizations. Developed through an open consultation process with stakeholders around the world over the past two years, the Framework reflects the collective experience of companies, NGOs, and governments about what “good” looks like for ethical supply chains. The Accountability Framework is not a new certification standard, nor does it seek to supersede existing efforts--instead, it closes gaps between those efforts and creates a clear way forward for companies to fulfill their commitments on environmental and social responsibility.

Without a consistent system for everyone involved in producing, trading, and selling commodities, it’s difficult to ensure supplies of ethically produced products. The Accountability Framework provides consistent measures of progress across commodities, regions, and supply chain positions. In this way, soy producers in South America, cocoa growers in West Africa, and multinational retailers can use the same terms, norms, and metrics to define, implement, and monitor their commitments.

Knowing that these complex global supply chains cannot be transformed overnight, the Accountability Framework presents a path for companies to credibly demonstrate continuous improvement and fulfillment of their commitments across their supply chains. Companies can report progress for commodities at different stages on the path to fulfilling commitments. The use of common metrics enables companies to track improvement processes over time and share data across their supply chain networks.

The Accountability Framework is available for public use as of June 2019. For more information, visit www.accountability-framework.org

Even before the official launch last month, some major companies, organizations, and institutions already adopted parts of the Accountability Framework, including Cargill, Mars, RSPO, and LTKL in Indonesia.

The Accountability Framework initiative is comprised of the Forest Peoples Programme, Imaflora, National Wildlife Federation, the Nature Conservancy, Proforest, the Rainforest Alliance, Resourcetrust Network Ghana, the Rights and Resources Initiative, Social Accountability International, Verité, World Resources Institute, and the World Wildlife Fund. Producing the Framework was possible thanks to a grant from Norway's International Climate and Forest Initiative, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, UK Aid, and the ISEAL Innovations Fund, which is supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO.