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Meridian Institute

Accountability Framework initiative

Related: Agriculture and Food Security, Environment and Natural Resources

The Accountability Framework Initiative is a collaborative effort by a group of international NGOs to develop a common set of norms and guidelines for companies and other stakeholders working to eliminate ecosystem destruction and human exploitation from commodity supply chains. The Steering Group of the Accountability Framework Initiative is comprised of representatives from each of the participating NGOs and meets on a regular basis. Meridian convenes and facilitates these meetings. Alongside staff from Rainforest Alliance, Meridian is a member of the “backbone team” for the Initiative, meaning that we help convene and facilitate Initiative dialogues. The Lands Working Group is a subset of Accountability Framework members, tasked with developing an “Operations Manual” to accompany the main document. The Operations Manual will go into greater detail than the framework document, providing concrete guidance on how to implement and measure sustainable supply chains. The Lands Working Group meets once every three weeks, and a subset of Operations Manual drafters meet more frequently. Meridian facilitates these meetings and has provided some substantive writing support. 

  • In the August meeting, the Steering Group was able to agree on a full draft of the framework document. 

  • The Accountability Framework members have shared the framework document in a private consultation with selected companies and CSOs, as well as later in a public consultation. The goal of these consultations is to determine whether other actors in the sustainable supply chain space agree with the principles set out by the member NGOs, as well as to anticipate any major opposition to the framework.

  • Meridian is working to keep the consultation process organized, to ensure that feedback is obtained in a usable format. This includes managing a special submission process for Consumer Goods Forum companies, particularly Mars.

  • The Steering Committee is considering the creation of a Verification Work Group

  • The project received funding from the GBMF, and NICFI is being targeted as the next funder

  • Strategy sessions are coming up to respond to the feedback from the consultations and determine next steps.