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Article

19 Oct 2021

Author:
Fair Trade Advocacy Office & 12 others

Joint paper: Legislating for impact - Three recommendations to make mandatory due diligence work for smallholders

"Joint paper: Legislating for Impact – Three Recommendations to Make Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence Work for Smallholders", 18 Oct 2021

We welcome the upcoming legislative proposal by the European Commission for a Sustainable Corporate Governance directive, including mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence (HREDD).  

To effectively stop human rights violations and negative environmental impacts in global supply chains, EU policymakers should ensure the upcoming legislation leads to positive impacts for rightsholders and improves the situation and the livelihoods of smallholders. It is key that the HREDD directive addresses the root causes of adverse impacts on human rights and the environment such as persistent poverty among smallholders.

While smallholders can be active drivers of sustainable development, the conditions for them to produce in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable way are often lacking. Unchecked predatory purchasing practices, trade barriers, and additional costs to comply with codes of conduct push smallholders further into poverty...

Thirteen civil society and producer organizations join this call to action and release a briefing that provides three overarching recommendations to make HREDD legislation work for smallholders. 

The briefing strongly recommends that the legislation and accompanying guidance should:

  1. Focus on living incomes, living wages and responsible purchasing practices to reduce poverty among smallholder farmers.
  2. Encourage lasting trade relationships and continuous improvement in global value chains. 
  3. Require the engagement and active collaboration of rightsholders in all the stages of the human rights and environmental due diligence processes...

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