Smallholder Inclusion in Ethical Supply Chains

Guidance on how companies may facilitate smallholder inclusion in ethical supply chains through contextualized implementation of supply chain commitments


Download Guidance on Smallholder Inclusion

Stage of the ethical supply chain journey

Implement ethical supply chains

Report progress

Purpose & Summary

This Operational Guidance elaborates on several of the Accountability Framework’s Core Principles to support effective engagement of smallholders in ethical supply chains in order to provide benefits and positive incentives to smallholders while enabling companies to fulfill their supply chain commitments and secure adequate volumes of responsibly produced commodities.

Smallholders produce a high percentage of many major forest-risk commodities, such as cocoa, coffee, palm oil, and rubber. As such, they form an integral part of the supply chains for many companies dealing in these commodities. For smallholders, participation in supply chains covered by companies’ ethical supply chain commitments can provide an opportunity to increase the stability and sustainability of their livelihoods while avoiding deforestation and improving labour practices.

The Accountability Framework does not provide a recommendation regarding the scope or content of company commitments related to smallholder inclusion, as the appropriate approach is highly context-specific. Rather, the Framework aims to facilitate smallholder inclusion in ethical supply chains by clarifying how the implementation of company supply chain commitments can be adapted to smallholder contexts.

Topics in this guidance

1. The smallholder context

2. Traceability and risk assessment in a smallholder context

3. Smallholder engagement, support, and communication

4. Addressing non-compliance of smallholder suppliers

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Core Principle
Supply chain assessment and traceability
Core Principle
Managing for supply chain compliance
Core Principle
Collaboration for landscape and sectoral sustainability

Still have questions?

If you have specific questions about how the Framework can be applied in your context, or would just like to speak directly with a member of the AFi, please contact us below.

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