This program area works towards policies, certification programs, and standards that ensure protections for workers, their families, and their community and for our environment. Currently the Alliance is focused on a trans-local campaign to win adoption of the Good Food Purchasing Policy around the country, on raising the minimum wage, and promoting high-road programs.

A myriad of programs exist to certify food as fair trade or worker-friendly.  These program can often be confusing for consumers. This committee also evaluates these programs and collaborates in this area with other organizations and programs that include workers in their decision-making process. As part of this work, the Alliance is a member of the Domestic Fair Trade Association, which is establishing social justice criteria to evaluate certification programs, fair trade standards, and company claims.

The Alliance also adopted a 2010 Statement on Social Certification to guide our work in this area and to serve as an educational tool to the public, allies, and others.  We have developed criteria that we believe should form the basis for any legitimate market-based claim of fair or just working conditions, as part of a certification, Corporate Code of Conduct, or other private claim.  Our criteria are based on consensus reached in our certification committee and broader discussions amongst all Alliance members.  It borrows heavily from members’ existing documents, including the International Labor Rights Forum’s Roadmap for Ethical Product Certification and Standard Setting Initiatives and the Domestic Fair Trade Association Principles.

The Alliance is also working to promote the programs our member groups are leading and the agreements that they have won from companies and to link up these “high-road” programs, such as the Agricultural Justice Project and the Restaurant Industry Roundtable. Click here for more on Alliance members’ agreements with companies and certification and standards programs.