Fairtrade International

Based in Bonn, Germany, Fairtrade International is a global umbrella representing 25 national fair trade organizations and producer networks.  The certified producer networks are in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America.  National labeling and marketing organizations are represented from Australia, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, Korea, and Japan.  Notably absent is the United States.  Until December, 2011, Fair Trade USA was a member of Fairtrade International.

Fairtrade International certifies commodity products only and does not certify handicrafts, due to the difficulties in establishing standardized prices for artisan products.   The FLO-CERT label is also recognized by other  organizations such as the Fair Trade Federation and Fair Trade USA.  FLO has also defined standards for “composite” goods which cannot be made from fair trade sources in entirety due to challenges of transportation or other factors.

Principles and Values

  • Trade should reduce poverty and create sustainable development through more equity and transparency.
  • Disadvantaged workers can be empowered to improve their lives if they can access markets under fair conditions.
  • The developed world will be supportive of fair trade if they understand the needs of the developing world and how fair trade can help.
  • Consumers and businesses that are committed to fair trade can influence international trade rules, resulting in a fairer economic system.

Evaluation

  • Standards are defined for small producers, hired labor, and contract manufacturing
    • Social responsibility through transparency and non-discrimination
    • Economic  development using defined minimum prices and premiums
    • Environmentally sound practices
    • Prohibition on child or forced labor
    • These standards are the basis for the FLO-CERT certification
    • Minimum price database is published online for commodity products
    • Certified products receive the “FAIRTRADE Mark” to indicate that they were produced to FLO standards

Monitoring

  • FLO-CERT inspects suppliers and traders each year
  • Annual monitoring report is released annually

Source: Summary based on material published by Fairtrade International.