On March 19, 2020, at the annual World Consumer Rights Day of 2020, in furtherance of the global theme for the year; “The Sustainable Consumer”; the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC or Commission) promoted and proposed the adoption of certain Guiding Principles for Sustainable Consumption (Principles).
Key stakeholders including the FCCPC, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), Federal Ministry of Environment (FMoE), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Industry represented by Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA) adopted and committed to the Principles, which are:
- Encourage consumers to purchase recyclable products and recycle
- Encourage the Farm to Fork principle.
- Promote the development and use of international standards, with respect to patterns, practices, systems and progressively improve land and soil quality
- Promote awareness of the benefit of environmental, social and economically sustainable consumption to preserve the environment
- Promote transparent labeling with respect to specific sustainable claims
- Deploy appropriate technology to encourage environmentally friendly products and services to avoid waste, e.g. recyclable materials
- Encourage co-location of waste management among businesses, across industries
- Commit to a broad-based stakeholder engagement to further promote and develop these principles for business guidance and a regulatory frame work
- Recognized the urgency required and as such agreed that the engagement and guidance development process must occur and conclude shortly and timely.
The stakeholders also resolved to establish a Task Force to develop an enforceable framework from both the self regulatory and public regulation standpoints.
In furtherance of this resolution, on August 18, 2020, the Commission inaugurated the Sustainable Consumption Task Force (SCTF).
At the inauguration, the Commission reiterated the importance and urgency of the objective and task before the Task Force.
Members of the Task Force recognised and agreed that as policy makers, regulators, watchdogs and industry players; together, they are the “conscience of operation” and owe a responsibility to the present and future generations.
The Task Force realises that industry’s action in establishing the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA) and the creation of the SCTF are commendable initiatives. However, the work and impact of the Task Force is what will translate these commendable initiatives to credible efforts and meritorious outcomes.