Analysis

The ITC Releases a Comprehensive Web Knowledge Base on Sustainability Standards (Feb 2011)

Feb 2011

The International Trade Center is a Geneva based partnership between the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) providing both bodies with policy and implementation support.  The ITC has long had an interest in supporting sustainable trade, particular between the developing and developed worlds.  The ITC's Trade for Sustainable Development program (T4SD) is at the center of this and recently launched its Standards Map knowledge base of sustainability standards.  Standards Map was several years in the making and is probably the most in-depth centralized database on this growing area.  The Map contains in-depth information on the most-used standards such as Fairtrade, FSC and MSC but also many lesser known but equally respected standards covering agricultural commodities, raw materials and manufactured goods.  The database allows users who may be prospective buyers or suppliers to compare issues across standards and gain an objective view quickly as to the relative merits and demerits of the various standards.  This is especially important when there are several standards covering the same product area, such as in forestry, where SFI and FSC compete.  Market participants can now quickly gain an informed comparative view, rather than one based on sometimes biased opinions.  The database is available free to developed world users but a charge applies, in line with ITC policy, for the developed world.

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Ekobai.com is a supplier directory listing over 50,000 companies from around the world producing and selling products certified to sustainability and organic standards such as Fair Trade, FSC, MSC and the Soil Association mark.  Our B2B directory is free for companies to list on and the information is open to all viewers at no charge.  Companies listed on ekobai.com find new customers from around the world and buyers can short list and contact new suppliers based on ethical and sustainability criteria.

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