Farmers, forest managers, and rural communities are the foundation of the world’s agriculture and forest supply chains, and it is essential that their capabilities, needs, and perspectives are fully included in efforts to establish ethical supply chains. Central to the AFi’s vision is the idea that these producers and communities can thrive while serving as effective stewards of the land, and that they are centrally involved in decisions about commodity production and associated conservation and human rights issues.
The Framework advances this vision by specifying how supply chain actors should engage and support farmers and communities – for instance, through smallholder inclusion, community-based monitoring, participatory land-use planning, stakeholder engagement processes, and company involvement in multi-stakeholder landscape and jurisdictional initiatives. The Framework strongly encourages commodity-buying companies to retain purchasing relationship with smallholders and to use their influence to help address environmental, social, and governance challenges on the ground.
For farmers and forest managers, the Accountability Framework brings clarity on market expectations for responsibly-produced commodities, providing them with information that can facilitate their engagement in ethical supply chains. This clarity enables farmers to make land-use decisions and invest in the future of their operations with greater confidence. The Framework addresses the needs of smallholder farmers in a dedicated section of guidance, which emphasizes the role of smallholder groups in facilitating inclusion of and benefits for smallholders in ethical supply chains.
For workers as well as people and communities affected by commodity production, the Framework bring greater accountability around companies’ commitments and obligations to protect human rights and support sustainable livelihoods. It calls on supply chain actors to institute systems and practices that strengthen the voices of these people and engage them as partners in building ethical supply chains. Workers’ groups, communities, and NGOs that represent them can use relevant sections to better understand these stakeholders’ rights and opportunities to participate in processes to fulfill and monitor ethical supply chains.
Use the Framework
To review and apply the Framework, please refer to the Contents of the Framework to access specific sections that are relevant to your context: