New FLOCERT Impartiality Committee to monitor Fairtrade systems’ certification
FLOCERT is delighted to announce that the below five candidates have been selected to constitute its dedicated Impartiality Committee, a new governance body monitoring the impartiality of the Fairtrade systems’ certification process:
- Ms Antonia Bierwirth, Spain, representing Civil Society;
- Mr Bastian Quattelbaum, Germany, representing certification industry expertise;
- Ms Emma Hevlund, Sweden, representing consumer interests;
- Ms Elizabeth Kimani, Kenya, representing Fairtrade farmers and workers;
- Mr Sreeranga Rajan, India, representing Fairtrade companies.
The launch of this new governance body comes only nine months after the Fairtrade General Assembly passed a resolution to separate responsibilities within the FLOCERT Supervisory Board. The establishment of an independent Impartiality Committee, which will sit next to the FLOCERT Supervisory Board, is in line with FLOCERT’s accreditation against the ISO 17065 norm and is considered best practice in the certification industry. All five members are excited to start immediately in their new role, monitoring that commercial, financial, or other pressures do not compromise FLOCERT’s impartiality. The Committee members will provide suggestions to improve transparency, support public confidence in certification, conduct case reviews and issue-based risk analysis, and decide on partiality risk mitigation measures.
According to Ms Katharina Wagner, Managing Director of FLOCERT, this new governance body is key to support the credibility of the Fairtrade system: “The new Committee strengthens the vital impartiality needed for FLOCERT as the systems’ global certifier, given its mandate of objective surveillance of certification decisions. Installing a separate Impartiality Committee next to our Supervisory Board will also lead to differentiated governance within FLOCERT, allowing two fit-for-purpose governance bodies with separate mandates.”
Alongside creating an Impartiality Committee, FLOCERT will expand the share of independent members on its’ Supervisory Board. To date, the FLOCERT Supervisory Board comprises three Fairtrade International Board members. Although not required, three more independent Supervisory Board members are now appointed. Having the same number of independent members and Fairtrade International Board members on the FLOCERT Supervisory Board will raise FLOCERT’s public profile of being independent in its function as Fairtrade’s certification body.
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