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Geo Fair Trade:

Geomatics & The Fair Trade Industry

Project status
Project type
European Research Project
Umbrella project
FP7 Cooperation Work Programme ENV.2008.
Project's coordinator
  • Chambre de Commerce et Industrie du Gers (CCI Gers)
  • Geo Fair Trade

    Fair Tradeis an actively pursued concept where Civil Society Organisations (CSO) andNon-Governmental Organizations (NGO) play a key role. Fair Trade promotes the best social, economic and environmental practicesfor sustainable development. Unfortunately CSOs do not have the means to developconcerted strategies in Research and Technology Development all alone. Their short termconcerns often prevent them from having the necessary hindsight. The main objectiveof the GEO FAIR TRADE project is to bring together Fair Trade CSOs and Researchand Technology Developers (RTD).


    Taking advantage of the results obtained in two(FP5 and FP6) research projects, the CCI of Gers and its partners CRA-W and CIRAD,together with six Fair Trade CSOs, have defined the main objectives of theproject as follows:


    1. To select sustainable development indicators with a spatial component and related to the three dimensions of Fair Trade (social, economic and environmental)
    2. To adapt the Geo-Traceability Integrated System set-up in the previous research projects: enabling finding and browsing of all relevant information corresponding to the needs of Fair Trade actors
    3. To validate this approach with five case studies to be chosen by CSOs
    4. To develop training and education tools to disseminate this approach


    The GEO FAIR TRADE project is based on a permanent communication between RTDs and CSOs, to validate theresults or to re-orientate the Research and Technology Development activities. The finalexpected result is a reference framework built on the sustainable developmentof Geo-Indicators that can be used in all the traceability systems alreadyimplemented in Fair Trade. This reference framework will improve the certificationof the best practices implemented by Fair Trade actors.

    Work Package One: Data acquisition

    Fair Trade production systems are often located in remote areas, in what can be consideredas data poor regions. As a result, significant time will have to be spent onthe identification and acquisition of geographical data (likely to originatefrom a wide range of actors). The realisation of this task will be facilitatedby the local presence of and contact with consortium members.


    The aims of this Work Package are:


    • To identify and acquire existing spatial data sets
    • To identify gaps in data procurement and propose sustainable solutions for filling them
    • To secure the collection of field and other geographical data sources for the future

    Work Package Two: Fair TradeGeo-Sustainable Development Indicators

    The large diversity of Fair Trade products, and related production systems, throughoutthe world requires a wide range of sustainable development indicators. Theyhave to reflect regional, economic, environmental and social differences. Theaim of this Work Package is to provide a list of sustainability developmentindicators (Geo-SDIs) relevant to Fair Trade as well as comprised of a spatial dimension.

    The aims of this Work Package are:


    • To select a structured set of sustainable indicators with geographical components that can be applied to a wide range of temporal and spatial scales. This will then result in the measurement of the fair trade impact on equitable development, food security and safety, natural resource conservation and rural income.
    • To analyse quality attributes (sensorial and safety) and associated indicators that may have an impact on economic issues.
    • To define the minimum data/information requirements and standardized calculation capabilities for completing the set of Geo-SDIs.
    • To identify and describe interrelationships between social, economic, environmental and product indicators in order to develop a cross-cutting SDI for assessing global sustainability in the framework of fair trade.

    Work Package Three: Integrated Information System for GEO FAIR TRADE

    An Integrated Information System enables access to existing multidisciplinarydata, services, and systems from many sources, hence taking advantage ofexisting data to achieve multiple goals that historically have been the domainof separate agencies, offices, or programs.

    The adaptation of the Integrated Information System concept to the Fair Tradesector, will concern the following main components:


    • Web services to guarantee the interoperability between the different databases, services (Geo-SDI calculation modules), and platforms (end user interface)
    • A central database, to overcome practical constraints during the project, will be defined and set up in order to host data specifically collected for Sustainable Development Geo-Indicators (Geo-SDI)
    • A metadata catalogue willfacilitate and manage access to all data. Specific Fair Trade norms and standards will be defined. 
    • Geo-Identifiers are unique keys, representing an object with a spatial character (e.g. land parcel), including its geographic location and a time stamp, and enable rapid spatial analysis (e.g. intersection with geographic databases).
    • Geo-SDI's designed in Work Package Two, will be implemented as stand-alone modules. Web services will enable both the access to the required data sources as well as the connection between the calculation modules (back office) and the platform for end users (front office).
    • An operational and user-friendly platform for end users will be set up, to manage and to exploit the Geo-SDI's and the traceability data. The platform will be web based to ease its access via traditional web navigators and to avoid the necessity of high performance computers.

    Work Package Four: Proof of Concept

    The WP4 is an interface between the Work Package One, Work Package Two and Work PackageThree.


    Organisation of theinterface between WP1, WP2, WP3 and WP4 for RTD

    The main objective of Work Package Four is toevaluate and to test the tools and indicators developed in Work Packages Twoand Three. Secondary objectives include:

    • The selection of five experimental partner sites for the case studie
    • The collection of local data
    • The recommendations for improving the system

    Work Package Five: Dissemination

    Dissemination will primarily be carried out through a dedicated website describing projectobjectives, project results, and providing a detailed presentation of the casestudies. This website will be operational from the beginning of the project.

    A presentation toolkit will be made available on CD ROM, once the objectives are completed. This toolkit willbe mainly intended for CSOs and public institutions likely to integrate Fair Trade commodities in their purchasing policy. This toolkit will include asuppliers' database and a list of examples. A specific version, educationallyoriented, will be meant for colleges and schools.

    Objectives of this Work Package, as previously stated, are:

    • To disseminate at a large scale the project results
    • To prepare a presentation toolkit and dissemination material that will be mainly intended to CSOs, public institutions likely to integrate Fair Trade commodities in their purchasing policy.

    Start Date: January 2009 End Date: January 2012