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Hetal Sheth 8/29/22 4:51 AM 3 min read

Economic Development Through Centralized Impact Management Platform

Small-scale farmers around the world produce the goods we enjoy every day. Their hands bring you coffee, tea, flowers, chocolate, cotton, and more. In today’s globalized trade system, supply chains can be fraught with problems. We see human rights abuses, unfair labor practices, and environmental degradation. Despite economic development efforts, conventional trade practices even discriminate against producers from low-income countries. Fairtrade International works to ensure fair conditions for producers and consumers. This is how Fairtrade and Sopact work together to improve the global trade framework. As a result of Sopact's impact management platform, Fairtrade effectively manages vast data of various programs all over the world to meet its economic development objectives. 

The Challenge - Decentralized Impact Data

Fairtrade International is an organization co-owned by 1.8 million farmers and workers. They organize to earn fairer prices, build strong communities and have control over their futures. Fairtrade International’s measures have a profound impact on the economic development of communities around the world. 

Fairtrade International works across 72 countries, 1822 producer organizations, and manages over 35,000 different products. With such a large and diverse global reach, measuring and managing this impact has always been a challenge. Unified impact measurement and management (IMM) was an immediate need.

Prior to working with Sopact, Fairtrade managed the impact data of programs, projects, and countries in different systems with different technology tools. Communication across platforms and borders was a challenge. 

It was laborious for Fairtrade to demonstrate the global impact that aligned with its goals without the ability to increase the impact data capacity of each initiative at a country level.

Read More: How can social impact data be used to measure and manage the impact?

Lessons Learned

Centralized Impact Management Platform

Through engagement with Sopact, Fairtrade migrated its data to a single impact management platform. Using Impact Cloud®, Fairtrade is now able to:

Communicate effectively across countries as their impact data capacity is increasing

  • Readily aggregate global results for external reporting when necessary
  • Collect stakeholder data using one platform
  • Plug-in different countries’ data according to their capacity 

With a single platform setup, the IMM process for Fairtrade’s country programs is more efficient. Each country can manage its own impact data governance efficiently according to local regulations. They can easily decide and control permissions for what data is shared with Fairtrade International headquarters and what remains confidential. 

Fairtrade continues to build its IMM capacity with Sopact’s Learning Management System (LMS) for impact and technical training. The LMS will help Fairtrade users access IMM concepts, best practices, and practical exercises. 

Read More: Mentoring Young People into Adulthood with Impact Data

Read More: 3 Reasons: Why measuring impact for nonprofits is essential?

Economic Development Outcomes

Fairtrade International now saves time by centralizing its data and streamlining the reporting processes. This cuts down on administrative costs.

Fairtrade can also use easily-accessible impact data to make key decisions about programs. Following strategic data-based decisions, it’s much easier to scale impact efficiently.

Read More: 5 Ways Economic Development Organizations Should Enrich Impact Data

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Putting Farmers in the Driver’s Seat

Farmers and workers are a major population that benefits from Fairtrade International’ efficiency measures. As a cooperatively-owned organization, Fairtrade International is consciously putting impact data and data analysis tools directly in the hands of farm workers. The more accurate and intelligent data is, the more efficiently workers can make strategic decisions about shared resources. Improved access to business information reduces information asymmetry and increases organizational transparency. The new system puts farmers and workers in the driver’s seat.

Read More: Case Study: Scaling Up to End Poverty

Impact Management Platform Making Economic Development More Efficient

For Fairtrade International, the benefits of leveraging IMM to produce better impact encompass the breadth of economic development. Their programs are reducing poverty, increasing education, reducing inequalities, gender equality, livable wages, decent work, and protecting the environment. With improved IMM, Fairtrade can maximize their impact and change more lives. 

Learn more about Fairtrade International’s economic development work here. To learn more about Sopact’s impact measurement solutions, contact us.

End-to-end impact data, impact management, and impact dashboard Solution

Impact data can be turned into actionable insights with the help of an impact management platform. Using data analytics is essential for maximizing impact and scaling your organization in the social sector. Sopact offers end-to-end impact management solutions for nonprofits, social enterprises, impact investors, and accelerators. This platform is designed to streamline strategy, data management, and real-time analytics. As a result, data-ready enterprises can have a dashboard with continuous impact insight in minutes, not days and months.

Photo by Canva


Hetal Sheth

The founder of Ektta, and co-founder of SoPact, Hetal holds a deep passion for establishing enduring impact management practices in the social sector to have built-in learning and accountability.