The EMA is committed to engage all interested parties in the standard-setting process and to provide for a balanced representation of stakeholders in its governance structure. Transparency, impartiality and confidentiality shall be the guiding principles to guarantee relevant stakeholders a meaningful opportunity to participate in the development of the EMA.
Analysing the environment of the EMA, the following interested parties have been identified: governments, supranational organizations, standards systems, national standards bodies, industry, trade, retailers, research organizations, cleaner production centers, consumer organizations, NGOs and relevant forums and networks.
There are good reasons and benefits that accrue to stakeholders who take an active role in the EMA's standards development.
These benefits include for example:
- Greater understanding of the reference standard, its underlying design, tradeoffs, and operating conditions.
- Reduction in commercial risks through lower development costs as a result of knowledge and experience gained.
- Relationships and contacts that can become valuable resources.
- Greater opportunity to influence the final reference system and thus assure that the final standard is implementable and meets your requirements.
- Enhanced image as a leader in your field of operation and public relations benefits.
A first Stakeholder Consultation was held on 8th and 9th December, 2010 in Nairobi, in order to disseminate the EMA's concept to the public, to define the added value of the EMA and to receive feedback on the feasibility and effectivity of the concept.
Full Report of the Stakeholders Meeting
Apart from attending such stakeholder consultation meetings to provide overall feedback, you can get involved through:
Sector Working Groups (SWGs):The SWGs will be the key forums to engage stakeholders in the standard-setting process. The four presently foreseen Sector Working Groups will each comprise approximately ten experts representing different key stakeholder groups such as standards systems, environmental NGOs and national standards bodies. The SWGs shall meet in person but shall be encouraged to collaborate on the issues at hand via appropriate means of communication such as e-mail or telephone throughout the development phase of the EMA Standard. Draft documents compiled by the SWGs shall be published and made available in the internet for comments submission through the wider public.
Public consultation:During the development phase of the EMA standard documents, public consultations shall be conducted in at least two rounds. After comments have been integrated, the revised draft documents shall be published for a second consultation period. The documents will be available for commenting on this website.
Furthermore, the EMA offers the opportunity, particularly for the private sector, to get involved in the marketing of the African Eco-label: To align the development of the EMA with stakeholder needs and develop a sound marketing strategy, a Marketing Panel will be convened. The Marketing Panel will comprise relevant stakeholders, including in particular marketing experts from trade companies and retailers. The Marketing Panel will be convened irregularly in person and otherwise communicate via appropriate means of communication.