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Organic-Fair Farming HAND IN HAND-Fair-Trade-Program

HAND IN HAND: the criteria

Updated criteria for Rapunzel’s HAND IN HAND program – for a partnership at eye level with the countries from the South
In order to guarantee that fair-trade with organic food products is really fair, binding rules are needed that both sides can agree with: those who cultivate, process and sell the food products in the countries of the global south and those who purchase these products. We have specified such rules for Rapunzel’s proprietary fair-trade program in the HAND IN HAND criteria catalogue. This criteria catalogue gets regularly updated. The latest update became effective in June 2021.

„Transparency and reliability are essential for fair-trade relations with people in Asia, Africa and Latin America. According to this principle we have continually refined the criteria for our fair-trade program “, explains Barbara Altmann, head of the department for strategic resource security.

The criteria for the HAND IN HAND (HIH) program developed through Rapunzel’s daily, direct contact with the HIH partners. The updated criteria include the feedback from independent inspectors and experts as well as the feedback from our trade partners in Ecuador, Tanzania or Sri Lanka. Finally, Rapunzel also included daily common practice and/or articulated these aspects with greater clarity. Thanks to the long-standing partnership with HIH suppliers, Rapunzel has always been at eye level and in close exchange with the HIH suppliers. This also had an impact on the updated version of the HIH criteria and the entire HAND IN HAND program.

Fair, reliable and effective for all participants

The HAND IN HAND criteria are based on the ILO (International Labour Organization) core labor standards, the definitions and requirements of the international SA 8000 Standard (Social Accountability) and the IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements) guidelines for social justice. The criteria apply to cooperatives, plantations, exporters and processors who provide HAND IN HAND products.

The certification of Rapunzel and the HAND in HAND suppliers according to the HAND IN HAND criteria is performed by an external certification agency.

Rapunzel pays the external costs for the HAND IN HAND inspection and certification of the partners.

The HAND IN HAND program is a proprietary fair-trade program. Rapunzel is the founder of the HAND IN HAND program and acts as direct importer of HAND IN HAND raw materials as well as distributor of HAND IN HAND products. This private program complements the fair-trade programs of other organizations and different organic certification agencies.
Sofía Huarina Chacon, farmer from the cocoa cooperative El Ceibo in Bolivia – HAND IN HAND partner since 25 years
Sofía Huarina Chacon, farmer from the cocoa cooperative El Ceibo in Bolivia – HAND IN HAND partner since 25 years
Sofía Huarina Chacon, farmer from the cocoa cooperative El Ceibo in Bolivia – HAND IN HAND partner since 25 years

Who controls HAND IN HAND? 

Up to now, the fair trade sector has no comparable international standards that are subject to public legislations as is the case in the organic sector, e.g. with respect to the EU organic regulation. Social standards or fair trade programs are subject to private law – since they were initiated by individual organizations / initiatives. Precisely for this reason, Rapunzel Naturkost takes its responsibility very serious. 

Independent organic inspection

Every HAND IN HAND producer – worldwide - must be certified by an independent organic inspection institute. The control takes place once or twice a year, even without advance notification. The product quality is continuously examined through the analysis of samples both in our own laboratory as well as in independent, external laboratories.

Independent HAND IN HAND inspection

The HAND IN HAND criteria are examined every two years by independent inspectors. Rapunzel coordinates the inspection. The evaluation of the inspection results and the certification - in case of compliance with the HAND IN HAND criteria - are performed by an external, independent certification agency. The additional expenses for the inspection of the HAND IN HAND criteria and for the certification process are paid by Rapunzel.

Personal inspection

As important as the independent controls is the personal contact with our suppliers. Rapunzel organizes regular, mutual visits with the suppliers. The close personal contact makes it possible to identify problems and opportunities in an early stage and to create a strong base for long-term collaboration. 

Rapunzel HAND IN HAND – you can count on it

Every two years, the independent Institute for Market Ecology (IMO) inspects and certifies the correct handling of the HAND IN HAND work and Rapunzel's own compliance with the HAND IN HAND criteria. The audit includes Rapunzel’s compliance with the HAND IN HAND criteria, the pricing policy, the logistic handling, as well as consultation and documentation. Upon request, we will send you the latest certification.  



Fair trade and organic farming are central for Rapunzel

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