Several international suppliers and exporters spanning all major markets have entered into FIP Partner Agreements (“Agreements”) with WWF Coral Triangle Programme and relevant WWF National Office, to help ensure the effective implementation of the FIP Action Plan, including identification of on-the-ground activities taken up by industry.
The Agreements further aim to ensure that recognized industry partners are achieving appropriate standards for traceability, corporate communication and marketing in their FIP-related activities.
Recognizing that the private sector will be essential to the ultimate success of the FIP, the Agreements detail the agreed objectives, commitments and responsibilities of industry partners. Through an annual fee, the Partner Agreements help secure finances for “core” activities and support services to Partners provided by WWF and VinaTuna. More essentially they help pave the way for further application of financing models that engage (and derive support from) the supply chain, to ensure that the prescribed activities under the Action Plan are fully supported.
Some of the essential elements of the Agreements (and overall structure of market recognition related to the FIP) are:
Only companies with signed and valid Agreements are recognized by WWF as providing FIP fish.The rationale is to avoid creating “new” demand (and therefore more pressure on the resources likely counteractive to the FIP) through the FIP.
It was also recognized that, given the fragmented and complex nature of the yellowfin tuna supply chain as well as the many national processors involved, it would be impossible to provide market recognition for the entire industry nor at the processor level (however, the structure of the FIP does allow for important foundations to be made that will enable smoother MSC Chain of Custody verification at such a time when the fishery enters the MSC process).
COMMUNICATION GUIDELINES AND TRACEABILITY REQUIREMENTS
By putting the onus on the international suppliers that enter into these Agreements, WWF is taking direct measures to ensure appropriate marketing of the FIP product, including clear communication protocols and “Fit as FIP” traceability requirements (i.e. that differentiate yellowfin tuna harvested by Vietnamese handline or longline vessels from those products derived from “re-exported” raw materials).
The Agreements are prototyping the application of the WWF FIP communication guidelines and corporate engagement guidelines, which are explicit in the Agreements.
OTHER ELEMENTS OF THE AGREEMENT
Other pre-qualification requirements include that the company hadalready engaged the yellowfin tuna supply chain in Vietnam prior to the launch of the FIP (again, to prevent the artificial creation of new demand).
Various other commitments are stipulated in support of FIP Action Plan activities and milestones, including for example Observer Program expansion, improved governance and joint advocacy.
It is important to note that WWF’s focus remains on achieving improvements in the fishery itself, including through the mobilization of the supply chain in activities prescribed in the FIP Action Plan. WWF does not intend to assume the role of “Supply Chain Certifier” or assessor of the Chain of Custody etc., other than to regularly monitor progress of individual FIP Partners. All FIP Partners are considered “in good standing” unless otherwise indicated by WWF.
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