Impact study of Fairtrade Certification on fishing communities

April 2014

How much impact does the Fairtrade Certification have on fishermen communities? Wageningen intern Mariette, with MDPI field staff begin implementation of a baseline study

How much impact does the Fairtrade Certification have on fishermen communities?Recently, some 150 Moluccas fishermen decided to participate in the “Fair Trade Certification of Capture Fisheries” program, a new pilot fisheries program in 2 of the MDPI data collection sites on Ambon and Buru islands. These Fair Trade (FT) registered fishermen have formed fisher associations, and committed themselves to work according to Fairtrade standards so they can hopefully start selling FT certified Yellowfin tuna from June this year onwards. The implementation of the pilot program is being supported and funded through FairTrade and Anova Fishing & Living™.

The main goal of this new Capture Fisheries Standard (CFS) program is to improve the livelihood of small scale fishermen. In order to assess the impact of the program in the long run, to the fishing communities, FT-USA  has requested the MDPI staff to compile a baseline study, also in order to measure the baseline of livelihood at the beginning of this CFS program.

The study will be conducted in phases from April until June, before the FairTrade-USA commissioned independent auditing team comes to the Moluccas to do the first hand-line caught Yellow Fin Tuna audit to this group of fishermen certified.

How much impact does the Fairtrade Certification have on fishermen communities?

According to the principles of a participatory baseline study, MDPI staff discussed several issues together with the FT registered fishermen, among others the Key Performance Indicators, pieces of information on what to measure in order to be able to measure the impact ‘improvement of livelihoods’. Most interaction to date for this baseline study has been through focus group discussions. Phase 2 will constitute a wide reaching community interview/questionnaire including calculating the local poverty index of the community, throughout the certification process. Does FT and the empowernment work of MDPI have the potential to improve the lives of these Moluccan small scale fishers? We sure hope so!

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