International Fairtrade Certification Mark

International Fairtrade Certification Mark

used in over 50 countries. It appears on products as an independent guarantee that disadvantaged producers in the developing world are getting a better deal.

The International Fairtrade Certification Mark is owned and protected by FLO International, on behalf of its 23 member Fairtrade producer networks and labelling initiatives.

For a product to carry the Fairtrade Certification Mark, it must come from FLO-CERT inspected and certified producer organizations. The crops must be grown and harvested in accordance with the International Fairtrade standards set by FLO International. The supply chain is also monitored by FLO-CERT to ensure the integrity of labelled products. Only authorized licensees can use the Fairtrade Certification Mark on their products.

The International Fairtrade Certification Mark shows a cheering person - representing both the producers celebrating a fair deal through Fairtrade, and the consumers who know they are making a positive difference through the purchase of Fairtrade products.

As of 2006, the following products currently carry the Fairtrade Certification Mark: coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa, sugar, bananas, apples, pears, grapes, plums, lemons, oranges, Satsumas, clementines, lychees, avocados, pineapples, mangoes, fruit juices, quinoa, peppers, green beans, coconut, dried fruit, rooibos tea, green tea, cakes and biscuits, honey, muesli, cereal bars, jams, chutney and sauces, herbs and spices, nuts and nut oil, wine, beer, rum, flowers, footballs, rice, yoghurt, babyfood, sugar body scrub, cotton wool and cotton products.


Fairtrade labelled coffee, the first Fairtrade labelled product, was first launched in the Netherlands in 1988. The label, launched by Nico Roozen and Dutch missionary Frans van der Hoff, was then called Max Havelaar after a fictional Dutch character who opposed the exploitation of coffee pickers in Dutch colonies. Fairtrade labelling allowed Fairtrade Certified goods to be sold outside the World shops for the first time and into mainstream retailers, reaching a larger consumer segment and boosting sales significantly. The labeling initiative also allowed customers and distributors alike to track the origin of the goods to confirm that the products were really benefiting the farmers at the end of the supply chain. [Redfern A. & Snedker P. (2002) [ Creating Market Opportunities for Small Enterprises: Experiences of the Fair Trade Movement] . International Labor Office. p7]

The concept caught on: in the ensuing years, similar non-profit Fairtrade labelling organizations were set up in other European countries and North America, called “Max Havelaar” (in Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway and France), “Transfair” (in Germany, Luxemburg, Austria, Italy, the United States, Canada and Japan), or carrying a national name: “Fairtrade Mark” in the UK and Ireland, “Rättvisemärkt” in Sweden, and "Reilu Kauppa" in Finland. Initially, the Max Havelaars and the Transfairs each had their own Fairtrade standards, product committees and monitoring systems. In 1994, a process of convergence among the labelling organizations – or “LIs” (for “Labelling Initiatives”) – started with the establishment of a TransMax working group, culminating in 1997 in the creation of Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International. FLO is an umbrella organization whose mission is to set the Fairtrade standards, support, inspect and certify disadvantaged producers and harmonize the Fairtrade message across the movement.

In 2002, FLO launched a new international Fairtrade Certification Mark. The goals of the launch were to improve the visibility of the Mark on supermarket shelves, convey a dynamic, forward-looking image for Fairtrade, facilitate cross border trade and simplify procedures for importers and traders. The system of Fairtrade has always been about global relationships and global standards of fairness - these were recognised for the first time with an international Fairtrade Certification Mark.

The Fairtrade Certification Mark harmonization process is still under way – as of May 2008, all but two Labelling Initiatives (TransFair USA and TransFair Canada) have adopted the new international Certification Mark. Full transition to the new Mark should become reality as it gradually replaces the old Certification Marks at various speeds in both countries. [Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (2006). [ About Fair Trade] URL accessed on August 4, 2006.]

At present, over 16 FLO Member Labelling Initiatives are using the International Fairtrade Certification Mark. There are now Fairtrade Certification Marks on dozens of different products, based on FLO’s certification for coffee, tea, rice, bananas, mangoes, cocoa, cotton, sugar, honey, fruit juices, nuts, fresh fruit, quinoa, herbs and spices, wine and footballs etc.

See also


External links

* [ Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International]

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