The Accountability Framework Initiative

When companies commit to maintaining environmentally and socially responsible supply chains, they need clear guidance for doing so. Meridian co-manages a coalition of NGOs developing a roadmap for ethical supply chains.

Major corporations’ supply chains wrap around the globe, often encompassing both small-scale farm producers and consumers a continent or two away. Because of this complexity, even companies deeply committed to eliminating deforestation and human rights violations from their supply chains can struggle to do so. In partnership with Rainforest Alliance, Meridian Institute co-manages a group of experts from NGOs who are developing and promoting guidance for maintaining ethical supply chains: the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi).  

Governed by 14 member organizations, AFi involves scores of experts from regions around the world who are well-versed in either environmental or human rights issues. The group has produced Version 1.0 of a framework that provides guidelines for establishing, implementing, and monitoring ethical supply chain commitments in agriculture and forestry supply chains. AFi is now working hard to ensure that the framework is used by companies that have made such commitments.

Alongside Rainforest Alliance, Meridian serves on the “Backbone” team for the AFi. We have supported them through: 

  • providing strategic guidance to the AFi’s decision-making group
  • setting agendas for group meetings
  • tracking tasks and milestones
  • helping the group resolve differing perspectives to agree on the content of the framework

To date, the Accountability Framework has already been referenced in several companies’ supply chain commitments, as well as in the French national strategy against imported deforestation. It plays a key role in helping public and private leaders reduce deforestation and ensure human rights worldwide.