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Be The Turtle

Integral Trade® and the Integral Trade® logo are open source for use in the Integral Trade® community. Use of this logo is an affirmative assent to all of the values expressed in Integral Trade®.

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The supply chain of human consumption is polluted. From the dawn of industrial trade, oppression and degradation of all terrestrial life has characterized the extraction and exploitation of the earth, its people and its resources. Seeing land, air, and sea, and their respective bounty and inhabitants as utilities for asymmetric wealth control has led to thoughtless consumption and violent oppression.

In the face of this stain on humanity, courageous efforts have emerged to begin to address these concerns ranging from efforts to end slavery to the Fair Trade movement. These great campaigns and their energetic supporters have raised the level of awareness that passive participation in unjust and inhumane practices merely reinforces the tyranny of the incumbencies. And now, in the face of the global indictment of unchecked greed and consumption, humanity has an opportunity to turn over a new leaf. We are invited to manifest Integral Trade®.

Essential to Integral Trade® is a fundamental belief that an informed humanity, in the main, will choose wisely if given adequate visibility. In short, if one knows that slavery produced a cheaper product and fair wages were paid for a more expensive one, the value of human dignity will be accepted at greater cost. If one chooses between renewable, farmed timber versus clear-cut virgin forest, the choice will be for the renewable material. If the consumer electronics product contains metal extracted by despot warriors and its alternative comes from recycled metals, the recycled will prevail. And if water and air were contaminated in the preparation of one product and were respected in another, a premium would be acceptable. In short, the economics of expediency is supported on ignorance. A call center that degrades its workers versus one that provides meaningful life status improvement will be preferred by those seeking its service. Silver and gold would lose their luster if each coin was stained with the blood of those whose lives were lost in its minting.

The mechanics of Integral Trade® involve the interaction between producer and consumer. To achieve “Integral Trade® Certification”, the producer bears the responsibility to tell the story of the product or service purveyed. This can be achieved in a number of ways which have become infinitely accessible given the expansion of digital communication. However, in its final manifestation, the “Integral Trade® Certified” designation is verified when the public can access knowledge about every step of the process required to produce the good or service consumed. While a series of community standards will emerge within the Integral Trade program, only a few are inextricable to participation:

I. Conflict Free – all materials must be sourced from places and people who willfully, and with consent, participate in the stewardship of their local resources.

II. Oppression Free – all extraction, processing and production must be conducted with the consent of persons who are free to choose their engagement and are not engaged under duress.

III. Ecological – all methods and utilities used in the extraction, processing, production, and logistics must evidence active steps to transition from polluting to clean methods and must show year-on-year evidence of such transition implementation. Further, the consumer must be affirmatively advised as to how to recycle every component of a Integral Trade Certified product.

IV. Reciprocal – all end products, processes and their use must be actively shared with all participants in the supply chain allowing those at the origination of resources to learn how to manufacture, distribute and sell the by-products of their labor thereby building knowledge capacity for subsequent endeavors.

One will note that the standards set forth above relate to human and environmental Vitality, Harmony, and Prosperity – the essential standards of the “Integral Trade® Certification.”

In its inauguration, applicants for Integral Trade® participation will be required to provide written and accompanying photographic documentation of the people engaged in every part of the production of the end product. This will include a photo essay of the sourcing of raw materials and the place from which they come; the refining and processing of such materials; the preparation and packaging of the materials; and the utilities involved in bringing the materials to market (including transportation, storage, and distribution). To achieve the designation of “Integral Trade® Certification”, a representative from each part of the process will sign an affidavit of compliance and their signed affidavit will be made publicly available through the Integral Trade®’s Certification Registry.

Integral Trade® is meant to be self-sustaining and require no grant or donor support. As a result, an Integral Trade® good or service will pay a licensing fee of 0.5% of the published retail price to use the Integral Certification. These fees will be used to cover administration and audit costs and any excess will be invested in sourcing communities for the development of schools and community centers.

The inaugural corporation participating in pursuing the Integral Trade®’s Certification is an organic farm in East New Britain, Papua New Guinea – Amruqa. In recognition of their courageous leadership and in light of the fact that Papua New Guinea has been the nexus of some of the most egregious violations of human and ecological dignity, the town of Rabaul, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea has been selected as the location for the Integral Trade® Certification Registry. As the global headquarters for Integral Trade, it will commit to employing not less than 50% of its work force (at every level of administration) from the local community and shall serve as the location for the First Annual Meeting of Integral Trade participating companies.

Integral Trade® will operate with a board of twelve members elected from nominees submitted by participating member companies and organizations. Board members will serve for three year terms with one third replaced each year. Board members may serve up to two consecutive terms but shall be required at least one year furlough before being elected to a third term.

The management of Integral Trade® shall include an Executive Director, Director of Accountability, and Controller. These positions will be appointed by the board and will serve at the pleasure of the board.