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Fairtrade International

 

Fairtrade International is the organization that promotes and coordinates Fairtrade labelling at an international level. They set international fairtrade standards, organize support for producers around the world, develop global fairtrade strategy and promote trade justice internationally.

 

Fairtrade International is a global network that consists of three producer networks (Africa, Asia and Latin America) and 25 fairtrade organizations which label and market the fairtrade products (mainly based in the USA, Europe, Canada and Australia).

 

The producers network represents 1.2 million farmers and workers in 66 countries.

 

Fairtrade International is divided into two independent organizations:

  • FLO, which sets fairtrade standards and provides producer support. Producers become full members/co-owners of FLO.
  • FLO-CERT, which inspects and certifies producer organizations and audits traders to ensure they comply with fairtrade standards.

 

Fairtrade is an alternative approach to conventional trade and is based on a partnership between producers and consumers. Fairtrade offers producers a better deal and improved terms of trade. This allows them the opportunity to improve their lives and plan for their future. Fairtrade offers consumers a powerful way to reduce poverty through their every day shopping.

 

When a product carries the FAIRTRADE Mark, it means the producers and traders have met Fairtrade Standards. The standards are designed to address the imbalance of power in trading relationships, unstable markets and the injustices of conventional trade.

 

There are two distinct sets of Fairtrade Standards, which acknowledge different types of disadvantaged producers. One set of standards applies to smallholders that are working together in co-operatives or other organizations with a democratic structure. The other set applies to workers, whose employers pay decent wages, guarantee the right to join trade unions, ensure health and safety standards and provide adequate housing where relevant.

 

One of the instruments to ensure fairtrade is paying producers a minimum price which is determined by Fairtrade Standards. This price aims to ensure that producers can cover their average costs of sustainable production. It acts as a safety net for farmers at times when world markets fall below a sustainable level. Without this, farmers are completely at the mercy of the market. When the market price is higher than the Fairtrade minimum, the buyer must pay the higher price. Producers and traders can also negotiate higher prices on the basis of quality and other attributes.

 

In addition to the Fairtrade price, there is a sum of money, called the Fairtrade Premium. This money goes into a communal fund and is spent to improve the  local social, economic and environmental conditions. The use of this additional income is decided upon democratically by producers within the farmers’ organization, or by workers on a plantation. The Premium is invested in education and health care, farm improvements to increase yield and quality, or processing facilities to increase income.

 

There are now thousands of products that carry the FAIRTRADE Mark. Fairtrade standards exist for food products ranging from tea and coffee to fresh fruits and nuts. There are also standards for non-food products such as flowers and plants, sports balls and seed cotton.

 

The Fairtrade International website contains useful information for producers and consumers, including annual reports, research reports, impact studies, brochures, videos and newsletters.

 

 
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Properties

Type of initiative Knowledge/advice organization, Information/network organization
Field of work Agriculture, Culture
Date of commencement 1997
Founder(s)
Legal form vereniging
Continent Europe
Country Duitsland
City Bonn
One or several keywords that describe your initiative Fairtrade International
Publications Annual reports, research reports, impact studies, brochures, videos and newsletters
More information
 

Contact person(s)

Andreas Kratz / Renate Siemon

 

Contact information

Name Fairtrade International (FLO)
Address Bonner Talweg 177
Zip/postal code 53129
Place Bonn
State/province Noordrijn-Westfalen
Country Germany
Phone +49 228 949230
E-mail info@fairtrade.net
Website www.fairtrade.net

 

 

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