Indonesian Fishermen become FairTrade certified

November 2014


(c) FairTade USA/Paul Hilton

In October 2014, 8 fishermen associations became certified against the first FairTrade Wild Capture Fisheries standard. Since August 2013, Fishing & Living, MDPI, Anova USA, Fair Trade USA and, of course, the fishermen, have been working continuously to bring the Central Maluku Yellowfin tuna fishery to FairTrade certification. It has not been an easy journey but it has certainly been a worthwhile one!

FairTrade’s goal is to see more resilient livelihoods in coastal communities, improved working and living conditions, increased supply and demand for responsibly sourced seafood, and enhanced environmental stewardship and ecosystem protection. The philosophy of FairTrade certification is directly in line with Fishing & Living’s vision that sustainable fisheries go hand in hand with thriving fishing communities.

What did it take to achieve FairTrade USA certification?

1. Development of the standard

Since 2012, FairTrade USA has been in conversations with fishing communities, marine conservation specialists, marine certification experts and market partners throughout the supply chain. These conversations and exchanges helped develop the FairTrade standard for capture fisheries. Each of the allies involved in the development and implementation. Anova/ Fishing & Living’s participation, as the one of the market partners has consisted in engaging its supply chain partners and providing feedback on the realities faced by fishing communities, ensuring that the fishermen and its community is at the center of the standard.

In May 2013, the FairTrade Fisheries Advisory Council (FAC) was elected to consult on the conservation, economic and applied aspects of the Fair Trade Fisheries program. The members can be viewed here.

2. Implementation: Fishermen Training and formation of fishermen associations

The implementation phase started in August 2013, when Asilulu (Ambon Island) was chosen as the first site and Coral Triangle Processors (CTP)/ Anova USA were designated as the Market Access Partner. A series of workshops took place, such as FairTrade certified farmers sharing their experience with the fishermen and the formation of 3 initial fishermen associations. From November 2013 to March 2014, fishermen from Buru Island were added to the FairTrade pilot and 5 fishermen associations were formed. Led by Momo Kochen, our partner NGO Masyarakat dan Perikanan Indonesia (MDPI) has been instrumental in carrying out trainings, organizing meetings among fishermen and preparing the Islands’ FairTrade Committees (FTC) for the first audit. A dedicated MDPI FairTrade team are based in each location.


Fair Trade Commitee- Buru Island

In both location (Buru Island and Asilulu) 2 Fair Trade Committees (FTC) were formed in April 2014. Each FTC consists of representatives of each fishermen association. It is the FTCs that receive the FairTrade premium and manage how it will be invested in community development projects as well as improvement of the sustainability of their fishery.

3. Audit

In June 2014, the Year 0 audit was carried out by SCS Global Services. The FairTrade standard uses a stepwise approach over a period of 5 years. This means that every year, the FairTrade fishermen groups will undergo an audit that requires continuous improvements of social, economic and environmental aspec

4. Certification

In October 2014, the two FTCs became FairTrade certified. Read here what it means to the fishermen and the hard-working team of MDPI!

5. The FairTrade Premium


December 2014-Buru Island Fair Trade Committee receives first Premium Fund check

In December 2014, the 2 FTCs received their first FairTrade premium checks. Coral Triangle Processor/Anova USA are the Market Access Partner. This means they are responsible for submitting the premium to the two Fair Trade Committees. The premium is defined by Fair Trade USA and consists of approximately 10% of the price at landing. Safeway, one of Fair Trade’s USA retail partner, will be the distributing the product to market.


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