A really fair product. The Fairtrade Mark – sustainability and social responsibility are guaranteed.
We see it everywhere, and yet one often wonders: what does the Fairtrade Mark actually stand for?
Fairtrade companies are certified according to international criteria. These are developed and set by FLO (Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International), which is an association of all national federations. Licences for the use of the mark are granted on a national level; an international certification body regularly monitors compliance with the valid standards by producers, traders and licensees.
The organisation’s central concern is that the producers, who usually are from emerging countries, be treated as partners and receive fair pay.
This social approach marked the very first initiatives which emerged in the US after World War II, but it was not until the nineties that today’s Fairtrade organisation with its international standards was established.
By the way, the first Fairtrade coffee was imported to Holland in 1973 by the Dutch S.O.S. Wereldhandel Foundation. At the time the coffee beans came from an association of small farmers in Guatemala, while today small farmers and workers from 70 countries benefit from Fairtrade and its achievements.
One of these is the determination of a minimum price, which is set above the world market price and which gives producers a higher and reliable income. Great importance is attached to long-term relationships between traders and producers as real partners, allowing the farmers to make investments and to acquire important knowhow; another focus is on socially compatible working hours and equal rights for women. In the last few years the ecological aspect has also been gaining increasing significance. The FLO sets standards exceeding world market standards.
So the Fairtrade Brand stands for the idea of fairer distribution of profits along the way of a product from production to the end user, of fighting poverty in the developing countries as well as of supporting sustainability and ecological conduct.