New York & Tokyo, 9 September 2016
Caux Round Table Japan (CRT Japan) will provide bluenumbers to farmers in Japan, and help Japanese companies buying agriculture and seafood from Asia to know the farmers and fishers they are buying from. CRT Japan has partnered with Bluenumber Foundation to deploy a farmer-centric online platform for the food and agricultural sector in and to Japan.
Bluenumber Foundation, a non-profit organisation based in New York, maintains an independent, neutral registry of “bluenumbers”: unique identifiers for farmers to publicly self-declare who they are, where they are and what they produce. This directory is displayed on BlueView – a global map and shared registry resource.
CRT Japan helps companies embed sustainability into their corporate strategy and management systems, with a focus on business and human rights since 2012. Hiroshi Ishida, Executive Director of CRT Japan, says “We believe bluenumbers will greatly help companies to respect human rights across supply chain by making every farmer and actor in their value chain clearly visible. Such precise geo-located information will support development of human rights policies, conduct human rights due diligence and, especially, allow meaningful impact assessment and measurement”.
Japan significantly sources food, fish and shrimp from countries such as Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, the first ASEAN countries to begin bluenumber pilot projects for palm oil, rice, fruits, oilseeds and farmed seafood. Japanese retailers also operate extensively in the ASEAN region. They can use bluenumbers to ensure that the products sold in their stores meet international expectations of sustainability and human rights.
Puvan Selvanathan, CEO of Bluenumber Foundation, notes that “Bluenumbers establish who food comes from. Supply chains today cannot be ‘black boxes’. If you buy from a 100,000 farmers and say they are treated well – what are their names and where are they? Large companies and brands claiming to respect human rights, or providing livelihoods for farmers, cannot credibly do so unless they can show that they know exactly who is in their supply chains”.
The bluenumber platform offers anyone the chance to establish a global identity instantly, and build trust by offering basic information for open public viewing. They can link and provide other information to organisations, buyers and consumers if they wish. This allows for full traceability and transparency of who is involved in chains, and encourages questions to avoid layers that add cost without value, and exploitation of farmers at the base of the pyramid.
The CRT Japan and BNF partnership is the outcome of several discussions between intergovernmental organisations and industry. For Japan the bluenumber pilot project will focus on fishing, agriculture and food industries to address human rights impacts of foreign workers supplying commodities, for traceability and transparency of processes and produce sourced from ASEAN, and to encourage small farmers and fishers to present themselves directly to consumers.
Caux Round Table Japan
Miho Okada, Director
+81 (0)3 5728 6365
Terry Lee, Director
+1 (510) 541-4548
About Bluenumber Foundation
The Bluenumber Foundation (BNF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organisation headquartered in New York and operating globally. BNF is transforming how the world uses data to recognize and enable the ‘digitally-disenfranchised’. A ‘bluenumber’ enables anyone to let themselves be recognised globally. An individual uses a bluenumber to put a basic set of information about themselves into the public domain. Any existing serial number, code, name, identity card number or telephone number in the world can be designated as a bluenumber. BNF promotes the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs) and offers the global public registry of bluenumbers (‘BlueView’) to measure the achievement of the SDGs. Governments, businesses, NGOs and communities use BlueView to make better policy-making decisions and design targeted sustainability solutions. BNF believes making better things happen means having people telling the world exactly who they are, where they are, what they do, what they need and what they want.
For additional information please see www.bluenumber.org
About CRT Japan
The Caux Round Table (http://www.cauxroundtable.org/) (CRT) is an international network of experienced business leaders, who work with business and political leaders to design the intellectual strategies, management tools and practices to strengthen private enterprise and public governance to improve our global community. In Japan, Caux Round Table Japan (http://crt-japan.jp/en/) (CRT Japan) helps companies embed sustainability into their corporate strategy and management system. Since 2012, CRT Japan organizes a platform to discuss business and human rights with multi-stakeholders, and hosts an annual event titled “Business and Human Rights Conference in Tokyo”. CRT Japan helps companies to respect human rights across supply chain, and supports their activities to develop human rights policy, conduct human rights due diligence and impact assessment, utilize supply chain data sharing platform between buyer and multi-tier suppliers, and e-learning platform on human rights.