The Fairtrade Foundation has responded to today’s announcement that the government’s new Environment Bill is to include measures prohibiting UK firms from selling products linked to illegal deforestation overseas.
The Fairtrade Foundation’s Policy and Advocacy Manager, Alice Lucas, said:
‘While we welcome the government’s announcement today to introduce a law to tackle deforestation in company supply chains as part of the Environment Bill, we are keen to ensure that any due diligence legislation is robust, producer focused, ensures smallholder farmers and workers do not lose out, and is effective in ensuring compliance with meaningful impact.
‘Despite submissions to the consultation from ourselves and civil society partners, we remain concerned that the government continues to press ahead with a law that will only hold companies to account in line with local laws, which may be weak or ill-enforced. We are also concerned that the new law would not include action on human rights abuses, and only covers illegal deforestation – as we highlighted in our consultation response, national laws in some commodity-producing countries are not yet effective in preventing deforestation, so we now risk seeing a situation where companies remain complicit in unacceptable levels of deforestation while claiming compliance with the UK law.’
For more information contact Tomilola Ajayi: firstname.lastname@example.org