A rigorous certification system
“Fairtrade is an international system of doing business based on dialogue, transparency
and respect,” explains Transfair.ca. “It contributes to sustainable development
by offering better trading conditions for producers and workers in developing countries.
“The Fair Trade certification system begins at the production level in countries
where the source products and ingredients originate. All Fair Trade certified products
come from certified producer organizations. Beyond the source, the entire supply
chain is monitored to ensure the integrity of labelled products. This chain of certification,
monitoring and licensing ensures that the integrity of the supply chain cannot be
compromised. It ensures that only a product or ingredient certified at the source
can be labelled as Fair Trade certified, and not just by anyone. Only licensees
can use the Fair Trade certified label on their products.”
Certification of producers
“FLO certification is run by an autonomous organization called FLOCert who coordinates
all the inspections of producers, trade auditing and certification,” states Transfair.ca.
“It operates independently from any other Fair Trade Certified interests and follows
strict guidelines to ensure the integrity of certification decisions.
“The points of reference for FLO certification of producers are the international
Fair Trade standards. These standards are developed and regularly reviewed by FLO,
in close cooperation with all relevant stakeholders, including the producers and
licensees, who are represented on the FLO board and other decision-making bodies
“In contrast to codes of conduct and other social labels, FLO’s Fair Trade Certified
standards are not simply a set of minimum standards for socially responsible production
and trade. Fair Trade certified standards go further—in addition to the minimum
requirements that producers must meet, FLO standards guarantee a fair price, and,
through process requirements, sees that the producer-run organizations invest part
of the Fair Trade premiums in economic, environmental and social development. The
producers and their organizations must therefore operate both transparently and
democratically and are obliged to make quarterly reports to FLO. Certification of
producers hinges on meeting all the FLO standards for which they are audited.”
For more information on Fair Trade please go to transfair.ca.