The ISEAL Alliance is of interest to students of fair trade coffee

Caffeine is a widely used psychoactive plant ingredient that many of us enjoy ingesting on a daily basis especially in the mornings.

Given my interest in fair trade coffee – as brand and back story – I’ve had the occasion, with regard to coffee and other other products, to learn about the ISEAL Alliance.

What I’ve learned to date, through several conversations with an ISEAL Alliance expert who is based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, has impressed me.

Among other things, I’ve learned about ISEAL’s work involving the development of best practices related to traditional shamanistic medicines including Ayahuasca in Peru, a topic of interest to many people including visitors from developed countries. In this area, you’re dealing among other things with issues related to safety as well as rainforest sustainability.

The purpose of this post is to highlight information that is available at the ISEAL Alliance website.

I find the information of interest as it helps me to establish a context when reading about recent independent research related to how fair trade coffee fares, for example in Uganda and Ethiopia, in meeting the needs of impoverished coffee farmers.

What it’s about

The website notes:

  • ISEAL is a non-governmental organisation whose mission is to strengthen sustainability standards systems for the benefit of people and the environment. Its membership is open to all multi-stakeholder sustainability standards and accreditation bodies that demonstrate their ability to meet the ISEAL Codes of Good Practice and accompanying requirements, and commit to learning and improving.  Through membership in ISEAL, standards systems show a commitment to supporting a unified movement of sustainability standards. ISEAL also has a non-member, subscriber category to engage with governments, researchers, consultants, private sector organisations, non-profit organisations and other stakeholders with a demonstrable commitment to the ISEAL objectives.

[End of excerpt]

Mission and theory of change

Also of interest is ISEAL’s mission and theory of change, which you can access here.

I look forward to learning more about this NGO.

Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council

Of related interest is the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council, which describes itself as “a nonprofit organization dedicated to assuring the sustainability and safe use of traditional plants, and enriching the communities who work with them.”

Ayahuasca Dialogues

Among the projects of the latter organization is the Ayahuasca Dialogues. As the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council website notes:

  • The “Ayahuasca Dialogues” will develop consensus around sustainability and safety norms for growing and working with Ayahuasca, and do so in a transparent manner by working to engage all relevant stakeholder groups in the Ayahuasca value chain from growers to healers, from vendors to site operators, from policy makers to subject experts.


A Feb. 6, 2015 CBC article is entitled: “Jennifer Logan, who died after drinking Peruvian tea, to be memorialized this weekend: Cleansing ceremony at rainforest retreat ended in tragedy for Canadian woman.”

A Feb. 8, 2015 CBC article is entitled: “Jennifer Logan’s death in Peru puts focus on purging ceremonies.”

A Huffington Post article, downloaded July 19, 2015, is entitled: The Myth of the Ethical Shopper. We’re still trying to eliminate sweatshops and child labor by buying right. But that’s not how the world works in 2015.

Also of interest: The Rebel Sell: How the Counterculture Became Consumer Culture (2004).

A Jan. 29, 2016 CBC article is entitled: “Coffee cups: 3 months later, are they being recycled at Tim Hortons and Starbucks?”


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