News Archive

Mike Read has been asked by trustea to help them assess their systems against the ISEAL Codes with a view to achieving compliance and membership.

MRA has been commissioned by LEAF to research the added value of LEAF Marque beyond certification. MRA will also suggest how critical links might be strengthened or mutually reinforced.

Mike Read has completed work for the Better Cotton Initiative, strengthening their risk management.

Mike Read has withdrawn from the Sustainable Biomass Partnership’s Standard revision due to its flawed process.

MRA has been commissioned by FSC to research and propose solutions to systemic threats to certification assessment integrity and credibility. This follows the passing of Motion 61 at the last FSC General Assembly.

Mike Read Associates has been retained by Fair Trade USA to assist with drafting their risk management plan.

Liz Read is taking a lead on semi-structured interviews as part of MRA's work with Bonsucro to review and revise their Code of Conduct.

Mike Read has been retained for further work with FSC through 2019 to assist in risk-based assurance and streamlining FSC's Normative Framework, and with IFFO RS to continue to prepare them for full ISEAL membership.

MRA have been asked to work with James Sullivan to support Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch in development of guidelines for logo usage and assurance claims.

Mike Read is undertaking compliance evaluations of the Responsible Jewellery Council, Bonsucro and the Union for Ethical Biotrade with the ISEAL Impacts Code.

Mike Read has recently designed, delivered and provided a report to the Ethical Trading Initiative on their company reporting calibration.

MRA has recently assisted RSStandards to develop in a research questionnaire for Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch scheme.

MRA has been asked by the Forest Stewardship Council to help with streamlining its 'normative framework' and to help FSC with a 'risk-based', and 'outcome-oriented' approach.

MRA is now helping the Aquaculture Stewardship Council develop its Integrity Programme, including development of a risk register and risk management plan.

Liz Read of MRA has been commissioned to work with R4C to carry out market research for the Cranborne Chase AONB audience development plan.

MRA have been commissioned by IFFO RS to develop a Theory of Change, and a Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning System.

MRA has been contracted by to develop a series of quality manuals for Fair Trade USA, to facilitate improvements to the efficiency of FTUSA’s work.

Following assisting with a successful £3.9m funding bid, MRA is assisting with Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning for the Building Bridges programme. This is a partnership of organisations, led by Community First, that has come together to deliver the Building Better Opportunities Programme across Swindon and Wiltshire. The funding is part of the Building Better Opportunities (BBO) programme, jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund. The Building Bridges programme will support people across Swindon and Wiltshire facing significant challenges in being able to develop their skills, access education or move towards the world of work.

Lottery Funded logo

Mike Read Associates has just been appointed to carry out an outcome evaluation of the Better Cotton Initiative in Turkey. The evaluation will consider working conditions, the business case, and environmental improvements.

Mike Read Associates is now be working with Resources for Change to carry out a participatory evaluation of ISEAL’s DFID-funded project Credible Standards for Responsible Business.

Liz Read has been contracted to commission Councillor training for Parish and Town Councillors in Wiltshire. She will be designing and delivering a day course on the law, procedures and finances of a Parish Council. She is happy to hear from other organisations looking to run courses or facilitated workshops.

MRA has recently researched and co-authored ISEAL's Impact and Outcome Claims and Communications Good Practice Guide, and ISEAL's Sustainability Claims Good Practice Guide.

Impact and Outcome Claims and Communications Good Practice Guide

Sustainability Claims Good Practice Guide

Mike Read steps down from the GSTC Accreditation Panel after 6 years. "I want to acknowledge Mike’s significant contribution both in the establishment of the Panel through input on the manuals, business plans and other documents at the beginning of the process and then for his work over the past 6 years in diligently reviewing the assessments of standards applying for Recognition and later applications for Approval". Cathy Parsons, GSTC Panel Chair.

In 2015, MRA was commissioned to raise awareness, to forge a consortium of over 30 community groups and to develop a ‘Stage One’ application for funding. The Big Lottery have announced this consortium as the only one chosen in its region to go forward to a ‘Stage Two’ application for £4million to build employment opportunities for disadvantaged people.

Mike Read has been asked by Accreditation Services International to work with James Sullivan Consulting to review ASI's assessment findings procedures.

Mike has been asked to write a guest blog on ‘The Kitbag’. See his post on certification, cost and confidence.

MRA has been retained by Community First to review and rewrite the Good Practice Guide to community transport.

Mike Read has been appointed to the Accreditation Committee of ASI.

MRA is now working with JJS Consulting to help the Aquaculture Stewardship Council design sampling and risk management strategies.

Mike Read has been appointed as an independent Impacts Code evaluator for ISEAL.

Mike Read Associates has been asked by ISEAL to further develop work for ISEAL on risk management. This will now be applied to ISEAL members' claims and labelling policy and practice.

Mike Read Associates has been retained by RSB - the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials. Mike will be working with our talented new design Associate Patrick Williams to write and design guides to RSB's certification and standards system.

MRA has been commissioned by Community First to administer a new agreement that will help community groups access European Union funding through the European Social Fund. This is an exciting new opportunity to bridge the gap between the EU and poorly-resourced, local groups representing disadvantaged people.

Mike Read Associates has been commissioned by Fairtrade International to research, review and develop a Risk and Opportunity Register for the global Fairtrade movement.

Research paper views near 500

A ground-breaking paper by Mike Read considering whether tourism has a net positive or negative impact is approaching a remarkable 500 online 'views/downloads'.

The paper, which appeared in Tourism Management Perspectives, trials a prototype cost-benefit analysis tool. Research indicated that despite contributions to local economies, many holidays have a net negative impact.

The paper also identifies the major aspects of overseas tourism that need attention in making tourism less unsustainable.

Mike Read Associates has been asked by Earthwatch to review and make recommendations on the monitoring and evaluation of the Fresh Water Watch, Earth Skills Network, and Project Better World programmes they run they run in partnership with HSBC and with Shell.

Mike and Associates have just completed a research report on traceability of local agricultural, responsibly farmed products to mainstream tourist hotels in Turkey.

Mike Read Associates has been commissioned to review and make recommendations on risk management for ISEAL members, and Mike has been appointed an ISEAL independent Code Evaluator.

Mike Read Associates has been commissioned by Earthwatch to carry out an impact review of the Business Skills for World Heritage Sites Programme. This programme is a collaboration between Earthwatch, Shell and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Over the next four months we will be reviewing the impacts, outcomes and outputs of the programme thus far, and making recommendations for the future.

Mike Read Associates has recently completed five eTutorials for the ISEAL Alliance. The ISEAL Alliance is the global membership association for sustainability standards. These eTutorials will be available to ISEAL’s online community and will help ISEAL members (which include FSC, MSC, Fairtrade International) to use statistics and sampling both credibly and cost-effectively.