Revisions to Framework Drafts – December 2018

The following sections of the Accountability Framework that were released as earlier drafts in July 2018 have been revised in the following ways:

Core Principles

A few sections of the Core Principles have been revised since the July 2018 version to reflect further elaboration of the subject topics or to improve clarity. These revisions are as follows:

  • Core Principle B2, addressing the protection of workers’ rights, has been added following expansion of the AFi Steering Group to include additional organizations focused on social accountability .
  • Former Core Principle C, which was a placeholder for commitments on other topics, has been removed as a Core Principle and the associated text has been placed in an explanatory box. Former Principle D, on specification of commitments, is now identified as Principle C.
  • Core Principle 3, on managing for supply chain compliance, has been revised after deliberations by the AFi Steering Group to reflect a more broadly applicable approach, while placing further in the Operational Guidance on Supply Chain Management
  • Core Principle 6, on remediation and access to remedy, has been revised to more explicitly identify core requirements, which are complemented by the now-available Operational Guidance on this topic.
  • Core Principle 9, on Reporting and Disclosure, has been revised to better reflect distinctions between regular reporting and company disclosures, in concert with the development of the Operational Guidance on this topic.
  • Other Principles have received minor edits for consistency and clarity.


The Terms and Definitions have been revised to include definitions corresponding to topics that have been further elaborated in the new Operational Guidance sections, particularly related to workers’ rights, monitoring and verification, supply chain management, and smallholders. There have been no substantive changes to definitions pre-existing in the July 2018 Terms and Definitions draft.

Relationship Between Voluntary Commitments and Applicable Law

This document has been re-organized to incorporate material on applicable law that was previously found in the July 2018 draft of the Operational Guidance on Applying Voluntary Commitments in Context. The substance of the AFi’s position on the relationship between voluntary commitments and applicable law remains unchanged.

Applying Voluntary Commitments in Context

The material related to applicable law that was included in the July 2018 draft of this document has been removed (and is now part of the Operational Guidance on the Relationship Between Voluntary Commitments and Applicable Law). The substance of the AFi’s position on applying voluntary commitments in context (i.e., related to multi-stakeholder processes and landscape and jurisdictional initiatives) remains unchanged.

Monitoring and Verification

The Operational Guidance on Monitoring and Verification has been substantially revised, as follows:

  • Topics not specific to monitoring or verification – including content on supplier management systems, supply chain mapping and traceability, and risk assessment – have been removed from this Guidance and are now found in the Operational Guidance on Supply Chain Management.
  • New content has been added on the appropriate scope of and methodologies for monitoring, including characteristics of effective monitoring systems and tools, approaches to monitoring, and metrics for monitoring deforestation and conversion.
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