|Certified brands: Manner|
trustworthy and sustainable —Greenpeace Label Check AT 2018
Not all trade is fair! Farmers and workers at the beginning of the chain don’t always get a fair share of the benefits of trade. Fairtrade enables consumers to put this right.
—Source: Source fairtrade.net
Fairtrade wants to improve relationships between producers and consumers. Fairtrade defines fairtrade standards, that need to be complied to by products who want to carry that mark. Standards include:
- Standards for small producers
- Standards for hired labour
- Standards for contract production
- Trader Standard
- Climate Standard
- Textile Standard
The goals for these standards are foremost to ensure adequate prices for sustainable production. Furthermore, they also try to provide a Fairtrade Premium (a payment) for investment in projects, pre-financing for producers, etc. There are core requirements and those of continuous development to be met – around social, economical, environmental development and around labour.
The organisation for auditing this whole process is FLOCERT.
Licensing happens via national organisations, e.g. for German speaking countries it's Transfair in Germany, Max Mavelaar-Stiftung in Switzerland and Fairtrade Austria.
In terms of naming conventions (file offline), see Fair Trade as the concept, Fairtrade as the brand by Fairtrade International (FLO) with its Fairtrade organizations, as opposed to Fair Trade organizations, which are alternative trade organizations (or ATO) following the Fair Trade principles. The certificate is called FAIRTRADE Mark with capital letters.
The FAIRTRADE Mark
The FAIRTRADE Mark is mainly a social mark.
The mark with the arrow is for products with multiple ingredients, like chocolate bars or cereal.
Mass balance means that when in production certified goods are mixed with non-certified goods (e.g. 10:90), the same percentage of final products from this production charge is allowed to carry the mark. So, 10 out of 100 final products are allowed to carry the mark, 90 are not. Sounds like a weird regulation, and that's why Greenpeace sees it critical.
Fair Trade critique
Fair Trade as a concept has also been criticised:
- There is no restriction for the declaration of something as "fair", many different unofficial labels make it difficult for the consumer.
- Only parts of raw materials in the finished product can be fair trade, but the percentage is not declared.
- Fraud certification marks on products have also been found, i.e. production environment for products with a label have found to not necessarily be better than for products without a label.
- Certificate website fairtrade.net
- Wikipedia: International Faitrade Certification Mark
- Overview over Fairtrade standards (PDF)
- Fairtrade product classification (PDF)
- What's behind the fairtrade marks
- Fair Trade Glossary (PDF)
- Wikipedia: Fair-Trade-Siegel (DE)