How to recognize?
In order to distinguish Fair Trade products from conventional ones, the FAIRTRADE mark was developed. It is used on Fair Trade products worldwide since 2002.
The FAIRTRADE label offers you a positive way to buy products in solidarity with those who produced them. Buying Fairtrade products helps producers struggling to improve their lives. The label is now available on thousands of products in more than 100 countries.
The FAIRTRADE Mark is a registered trademark of Fairtrade International (FLO). It certifies that products meet the social, economic and environmental standards set by Fairtrade. The Mark certifies products not companies. It does not cover the companies or organizations selling the products.
What does the Mark represent?
The graphic symbol inside the FAIRTRADE Mark is of a person with a raised arm representing the optimism of producers and linking the everyday determination of people in developing countries with the aspiration of consumers around the world.
Consumers can be confident that the international FAIRTRADE Mark is only used on products that come from Fairtrade certified producers and that traders meet their social, economic and environmental obligations.
The Fairtrade certification system is run by a separate company called FLO-CERT. FLO-CERT auditors are highly qualified, usually based in the countries and regions where they work, and familiar with local cultures, languages, and legal systems.
By checking compliance with Fairtrade Standards, FLO-CERT ensures that relevant social and environmental standards are met and that producers receive the Fairtrade Minimum Price and Premium.
No producer organization can become certified without an initial on-site inspection. Many Fairtrade producer organizations are large, including hundreds and sometimes thousands of farmers. This makes it impossible for the auditor to visit every single farm. Accordingly FLO-CERT operates a ‘group certification’ model. This includes the audit of the producer organization itself as well as random checks of a representative sample of individual farmers.
A full Fairtrade audit can last from four days for a small producer organization and up to six or seven weeks for the largest cooperatives. The time the auditor spends on the ground depends on the size of the producer organization, its complexity, and the number of certified products it is seeking to sell. After they receive their initial Fairtrade certification, producers are inspected on-site on an annual basis. In some circumstances, where organizations have demonstrated excellent compliance over many years, they may qualify for a ‘desk-top’ review as part of a three year inspection cycle.