Smallholders to benefit from carbon finance: Fairtrade and Gold Standard collaboration opens up new opportunities for farming communities in developing countries

Doha, Qatar

Fairtrade International and The Gold Standard Foundation have announced a ground-breaking agreement to incorporate Fairtrade principles into Gold Standard carbon projects, with the first credits expected by the end of 2013. Through Fairtrade’s extensive network of farmer communities, thousands more smallholders in developing countries will be able to access the carbon market and receive much needed finance to mitigate and adapt to climate change.


Announced at the climate change negotiations (COP18) in Doha, the move brings together two of the world’s leading voluntary standards, addressing a market and corporate need for clarity and simplicity in certification.


For farmers this means a welcome opportunity to receive financial support for their efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change on their farms and communities, such as tree planting, reducing use of fertilizers and improved soil management. Some Fairtrade farmers have seen yields decrease by up to 50 percent over the past year. Research suggests that, due to climate change, yields will continue to decrease, threatening farmers’ livelihoods, impacting food security and global supply chains.


“Rural communities and smallholders in developing countries contribute least to climate change yet are being affected the most and their efforts to mitigate are often not recognized,” says Andreas Kratz, Director of Strategy and Standards at Fairtrade International. “This new collaboration will deliver much needed finance, ensuring smallholders benefit from the carbon market and drive development that is fair to both people and planet.”


“The growing collaboration between ‘best-in-class’ standards represents what the market wants – streamlined and simplified processes and reduced transaction costs. This will scale up and fast-track sustainable resource management and low carbon development,” states Adrian Rimmer, CEO of The Gold Standard Foundation. “It’s the obvious choice for responsible corporates and project developers to make fair, transparent and credible environmental and social investments.”


The Fairtrade-Gold Standard collaboration marks a further cooperation between leading standards, following The Gold Standard’s collaboration with Forest Stewardship Council® on land use and forest carbon earlier this year.

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