Fair Trade Program

In 2014, MDPI became the implementing partner for the first pilot project of Fair Trade USA–SEAFOOD, where Coral Triangle Processors — a processor and also exporter of Yellowfin Tuna is the client/certificate holder.

In October 2014 the Maluku handline tuna fishery was certified at entry level. The certification process is a six-year system, with continuous improvements and third party audits required on an annual basis. The world’s first Fair Trade Seafood, in this case yellowfin tuna, is now available at over 1200 Safeway stores across the US, recognizable with the Fair Trade USA logo.

Fair Trade is different from other seafood certifications. It is not focused solely on the sustainability of the resource but also supports improvements socially in the community and the supply chain. The standard considers the stakeholder relationships; the effects of fishing activity on the environment; the method of fishing; the recording of fish catches; product traceability; the factory and its workers, social standards, safety in the workplace and more.While the certificate holder and implementation partner (in this case MDPI) require a strong input, a large emphasis is on fisher and community empowerment. The standard aims to ensure that over time an increasingly larger proportion of program implementation and responsibility is with the community of fishermen. It is in the interest of these fishermen, who depend on yellowfin tuna catches for a livelihood, that sustainability of the resource is maintained in the long run and the program aims to teach them this.

Fair trade is one simple way to make sure every purchase means. When consumers buy a product with a Fair Trade certified label, they know the fishermen and workers who produce it get a fair return for their hard work. This means that prices and wages are better, safer working conditions, environmental protection, and the fishers receive a monetary award, called the Premium Fund. The Premium Fund is calculated as a percentage of the ex-vessel price of fish. 70% of this fund can be spent on community projects and 30% must be spent on environmental projects.

Fair Trade program was initially based only in Maluku, and now expanding the program to Sulawesi. At first there were only four groups of fishermen, and now increased rapidly up to 33 fishers association with a total of 712 fishers involved in this program in August 2016.