MDPI is appointed by Coral Triangle Processors to implementation of the program, where all administrative and managerial role as Certificate Holder become responsibility of MDPI Fair Trade team. Begin with keeping list of Fair Trade list of fishers participate on the program, representing CH in fishers meetings and coordination with all stakeholders, preparing budgets for implementation on the ground, updating risk assessment as well as preparing trainings for registered fishers.
Fishers Association and Fair Trade Committees
MDPI introduces the Fair Trade program to the yellowfin tuna fishing villages after an initial site assessment by the Fisheries Improvement team to understand the local conditions and interest in the local community in participating in Fair Trade. Establishing Fisher Associations and Fair Trade Committees are a requirement of the Fair Trade Capture Fisheries Standard, aiming towards empowering and organizing the local fishermen. For the Premium Fund to be applied to a fisherman’s catch, the fisherman must be a member of a Fisher Association. MDPI assists the Fisher Association to elect their officers, built their Mission Statement and Internal Rules, promote tolerance among the members and building foundations for transparency and equality within the Fisher Association. Every member has the same right in the Fisher Association: they can nominate, elect and give opinion freely – every voice has the same weight, irrelevant of how much they catch.
The Fisher Associations in a district join into one Fair Trade Committee, where each Fisher Association sends two of their representatives to the committee meetings. The same spirit of tolerance and transparency is also applied in the committee meetings. The committees become the honorable member of the fishers who give voices to the other stakeholders representing the fishers. They also review, monitor and approve the implementation of projects using the Premium Fund from each Fisher Association. MDPI also assist the formation, management and training of the officers in the committee.
One of the proudest moments for MDPI after three years of implementing the program is when fishers speak up in meetings and ask questions, give opinion and discuss to find a solution or make decisions. Remembering the early days when it was only the MDPI staff voice you may hear in a meeting. Now fishers have the courage to stand up, raising their hand and ask MDPI to give them a chance to lead and stand in front, to represent themselves in front of government officials.