Faced with the growing number of certification and guarantee systems that are developing in international markets and their increasing complexity, Fair Trade Lebanon has designed a guarantee system adapted to the Lebanese market. The TEQ guarantee system (Transparency, Ethics, Quality) is a synthesis of several standards, developed in a version more accessible to small Lebanese producers. It applies mainly to local food products of agricultural origin. The system is offered to individual producers or producer groups (cooperatives or family businesses) in marginalized rural areas. For those targeting export markets, the TEQ guarantee is a first step towards accessing the certifications required by fair trade importers and facilitates their administrative procedures and requirements.
The TEQ guarantee system aims to consolidate the commercial network of Fair Trade Lebanon through a unified local logo and to reinforce the fair trade products’ credibility on the Lebanese market, while promoting the respect for human rights, the integrity of workers and the environment.
TEQ Standards meet different types of criteria: social, economic and environmental; relying on the three pillars of Transparency, Ethics and Quality.
- Good commercial practices: the structure must be engaged in long-term relationships with its suppliers. It must not engage in competition between suppliers. In addition, the producers must not impose exclusivity contracts on their suppliers.
- Commitment to Communication: the structure cooperates well with FTL and inspectors. Inspectors must have access to account documents, list of producers, beneficiaries and activities.
- Label transparency: Consumers are able to have access to all the required information through the label. They have the right to ask for further information on the attestation of conformity and the TEQ standards.
- The structure has at its core democratic rules, it is open to all people, and it encourages the work of women. Medium to large enterprises are able to build up strong sustainable organizations with annual general assembly.
- Respect of workers’ right and decent working conditions; it is fundamental to respect workers’ and human rights. All persons who participate in the work are equally treated regardless of their nationality, religion and social status. The working conditions are decent and do not impose any danger on personal health and security. Particular attention is given to the work of minors under strict working conditions.
- Good social and environmental impact: the structure is an economic center for the community; it provides business for the local community. It promotes Fair Trade principles. Work activities do not endanger the environment and there is no use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) crops.
- The product is safe for human consumption. Personal hygiene and structure cleanliness are essential for obtaining the TEQ conformity attestation. There is a constant control on hygiene in food preparation and a constant control on the cold chain (refrigeration). Food sampling is done and analyzed for bacterial, chemical and physical contamination in conformity with the standards of the local and export markets.
- The product is of high quality, the structure works with defined product recipes, which are applied and constantly controlled (PH, Temperature…).
- The Product is traceable from the field to the market: in case of contamination or a product defect there is a quick reaction and the product is withdrawn from the market.
Find out what can be TEQ Guaranteed and the procedure to apply for the TEQ Conformity attestation.