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An interesting alternative to "conventional" fair trade certification?

EcoSocial Certification from IBD (Brasil).

Minimum certification requirements include:

1) To comply to labor, sanitary and environmental national legislation;

2 ) To comply to the minimum criteria of economic development – fair trade.

3) To be executing at least two social programs and two environmental programs
aiming the continuing improvement of the standard of socio-environmental quality in the projects.

I like this third point. The entire certification guidelines run to more than 50 pages. Here are some more highlights:

EcoSocial certification aims at auditing businesses, farms and groups of producers through human, social, environmental and economical development criteria. To be certified operations must present an initial diagnostic, pointing the social and environmental demands to be overcome. The operation must present an Action Plan detailing how the improvements will be implemented, with the purpose to fulfill all the minimum criteria listed in the Guidelines and, at least, two progress criteria related to environmental development and two related to the human and social, during the year of certification.
Criteria for Environmental Development:

* Adjustment to environmental legislation and regularization along environment agencies;
* Environmental Conservation;
* Environmental Recovery;
* Adequate management of water resources;
* Adequate management of solid residues;
* Adequate management of liquid effluents;
* Adequate management of gaseous effluents;
* Biodiversity conservation and increment;
* Reduction of environmental impacts generated by the production activity;
* Reduction in the emission of greenhouse effect gases;
* Support to Environmental Education;
* Other environmental aspects specific to each operation.

Criteria for Human and Social Development:
* Commitment to Transparency;
* Lawful property;
* Adjustment to labor legislation and regularization along labor agencies;
* Support to union workers;
* Increment on work safety and salubrity;
* Equal ri9ghts and benefits to full time and part time workers;
* Partaking in results;
* Workers training;
* Training for producers groups management;
* Technical training for groups of producers;
* Ban to child labor;
* No discrimination: social, racial, religious, political, gender;
* Support to fundamental and continued education;
* Improvement on living, food and health conditions;
* Support to the woman worker, support to the pregnant and lactant;
* Support to the aged;
* Prevention and support to addictions users of tobacco, spirits and drugs);
* Support to social organization and participation;
* Other social aspects specific for each operation.

Criteria for Economical Development:
* Promoting a fair trade relationship;
* Support to open, transparent and durable negotiations among the parties;
* Foment Social and Environmental Development in the productive chain, through payment
of EcoSocial Premium;
* Establishment of better production practices aiming at product quality.
* In EcoSocial Program, some criteria are considered critical, in other words, they determine suspension or cancelling of certification, even if other criteria are being fulfilled. They are:
* Break of traceability.
* Deforestation non-authorized by environment agencies.
* Throw of effluents in water bodies in non conformity with Environment Laws.

CERTIFICATION SYSTEM ECOSOCIAL IBD – 8th Edition – doc 8_1_6 – september 2009

* Hunting, capture and trade of wild animals.
* Undue exploitation of the right to property.
* Inexistence of hiring and payment procedures with workers.
* Existence of discrimination: social, cultural, political, religious, ethnic, racial, sexual, age.
* Child labor.
* Forced labor.
* Workers exposed to risks without appropriate individual protection.
* The use of agrochemicals must happen under the responsibility of a properly trained
professional, and following the country’s norms.

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This is an interesting new twist!!! I don't know who or what IBD are but it reads like a menu for utopia!!!!

What are the costs for this service? I am interested in starting a Lucas Certificate and would like to know what the going rate is.

To begin with, virtually all of the items covered with the exception of "Fair Trade" are required by Brazilian legislation. There must be more than 5000 of these operations in Brazil. I personally know of one individual that opened an Environmental University and is living quiet well on the income and grants provided by supporters from outside Brazil. Some of the items that I have to comply with are:

1. 20% of our entire property has to be placed in an environmental reserve "Reserve Legal" utilization whatsoever. You can't clean it, farm it or otherwise disturb the natural growth of weeds, trees, grass etc. In our case this represents 438 acres. This land was purchased and titled in 1919. Recent law took 20% and we received ZILCH! To make it more distasteful, I have to pay the Government Approved survey team and produce maps which also are annotated by a Government Approved Forestry Engineer who identifies the types of trees, flowers, vines and bushes that grow in the environmental reserve.

2. If you are fortunate enough to have a river flowing in the property (we have 2) the border of the rivers are in another legal reserve. You are not allowed to divert any of the water for your use without governmental permission and with fees for the volume consumed. The perimeters may not be cleaned or otherwise utilized. Otherwise used includes prohibition of livestock from drinking from or grazing on the area defined. I had one hell of a hard time training my cattle, horses and mules to stay out of the area!

3. Utilization of wood, including trees that die and fall to the ground are not to be used until permission is obtained from Federal Government Agencies. In our region there are more than five regulatory agencies. You can't imagine the difficulty encountered in getting an "Authorized Government Forestry Engineer" to come to your farm and certify that the tree actually died and fell to the ground.

4. All farm workers are 200% protected by the "Workers Laws"! In addition to paying the highest minimum wages in the cocoa industry, I am required to pay for 30 days of vacation each year, which also has a 33% bonus so the employee can enjoy his leisure time off. We also are required to pay a value equal to 10% of the salary into a government retirement program. There are approximately 20 paid holidays each year. The workers perform 44 hours each week....and those who do not miss a days work receive payment for 1/2 day Saturday and a full day for Sunday. I contribute R$25.00 (US$14.00) per month for each child in the family under the age of 14. If the employee is sick or injured I get to pay for the first 15 days of absence. This is per illness and no limit to the number of events.. All hours over 44 are paid at 1-1/2 time and weekends and holidays are 2X wage rate. I am also required to pay a 13th month salary in December to allow Merry Christmas. Stringent laws define protective clothing and equipment and heavy fins await violations. By the way if I need to lay a worker off, I have to pay a 50% penalty based on the value of the workers retirement fund. ( 10% of the entire salary paid during the employment history) Imagine having to lay a worker off that has been in the force for 20-25 years.

In addition to the listed "benefits" we provide FREE housing and maintain a school and church inside the farm. The teachers are provided by the state but the school and it's maintenance are paid out of our earnings.

Child labor is non- existent in commercial farms. It's fine for families to work 10 year old children but used in commercial farms, under 18years is HUGE FINES!!!!!

With this formula for operation, I also am under the Government Production Analyst to ensure that levels of production are within governmental guidelines. This year the levels were increased approx 100%. If you fail to meet the guidelines, your farm can be seized and reassigned to "family farmers" . This constitutes "Agrarian Reform".

Is there someone out there that is interested in purchasing a model cacau farm in Brazil?

Before you become an advocate of the "Let Me Certify You" groups, do your homework.

I believe I detect more than a small amount of irony in your post.

The program is managed by Associação Beneficente Tobias, who administrates it through Associação de Certificação Instituto Biodinâmico (IBD). It is interesting that this is a Brasilian organization.

No costs are discussed on the program's web site. Attached is an MSWord doc that discusses the steps to achieve certification.

Here's the phone number: +55 [14] 3882 506 - I think it's in São Paulo. Here is the e-mail address:


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