I am really proud to announce that Pachacuti is the first Fair Trade organisation in the world to be Certified Fair Trade by the World Fair Trade Organization. We can now put Fair Trade Certified WFTO Reg 001-2009 UK on all of our product range.
An audit was carried out by accredited EU auditors, both in the UK and in South America, and Pachacuti has been certified against The Sustainable Fair Trade Management System (SFTMS) v2. The certification is for the organisation as an entirety, rather than taking a product by product approach. It involves a strong environmental management component, as well as a focus on the overall management of the certified organisation including administration, labour issues, production systems and quality control. It will certify that an organisation has a proven set of practices, procedures and processes which demonstrate social, economic and environmental responsibility.
The Sustainable Fair Trade Management System seeks to provide a certification system for Fair Trade organisations and their supply chains which complements FLO, the existing product-based labelling approach. FLO's Fairtrade Certification system was designed for commodities and many Fair Trade Organisations such as Pachacuti find that their products are not catered for by the Fairtrade mark. Pachacuti’s principal raw materials, paja toquilla for making Panama hats and alpaca for clothing and accessories, are not currently certifiable under FLO.
This will be the first Fair Trade certification which looks at an integrated supply chain, rather than just certifying the commodity i.e. cotton. In terms of garment production, most of the added value is in the design and production of the garment or accessory and it is therefore essential that there is a reputable label which guarantees that cutting, weaving, sewing, knitting, dyeing and finishing all adhere to high Fair Trade and environmental standards.
We have seen so many We have seen so many improvements since starting work on this certification process 18 months ago. All of our producer groups are really excited to be part of the first Fair Trade organisation in the world to be certified. We are sure that this certification will lead to increased sales and bring lasting benefit to all of our producers.