Fair Trade Organizations

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Fair Trade Organizations


The following crucial Fair Trade organizations are explained in more detail:
FLO- The Fairtrade Labeling Organization
TransFair USA
The Fair Trade federation
IFAT- The International Fair Trade Association
EFTA – The European Fair Trade Association
FINE
The Network of European World Shops- NEWS

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FLO- The Fairtrade Labeling Organization
http://www.fairtrade.net

International Fairtrade Product Certification Mark
Reproduced with permission.

This is the global umbrella organization for 19 national Fair Trade certification organizations. It sets worldwide Fair Trade standards and currently allows over 1 million producers in 50 countries to participate in Fair Trade.
FLO certifies producer group that they comply with Fair Trade standards after being inspected. FLO licenses these companies to use FLO’s Fair Trade mark shown above, to imply that the standards have been met for the given product.
FLO’s main objective is to guarantee the integrity of the Fair Trade mark as well as the integrity of the certification and inspection process. Moreover, it is its mission to aid business by matching supply and demand. It is also imperative for FLO to offer support and consultancy to producers to better their business strategies.

To find out more about FLO’s structure click here.
More about the certification procedure can be found here.

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TransFair USA
http://www.transfairusa.org

TransFair Fair Trade mark (USA).
Reproduced with permission.

TransFair USA, a nonprofit organization and member of the Fair Trade Labeling Organizations International (FLO), is the only third-party Fair Trade certification organization in the US today. They audit transactions between US companies offering Fair Trade Certified™ products and the international producers from which they buy. Yearly inspections conducted by FLO members ensure that strict socioeconomic development criteria are being at all steps of the production chain, using increase Fair Trade revenues.

Paul Rice, the CEO and founding president of TransFair wrote “Since launching the Fair Trade Certified label six years ago, TransFair has established Fair Trade as the fastest growing segment of the $19 billion coffee industry. To date, TransFair has developed business partnerships with over 400 US coffee companies (including such leading brands as Starbucks, P&G, Green Mountain and Dunkin' Donuts), launched Fair Trade coffee into 30,000 retail outlets nationwide, certified over 75 million pounds of Fair Trade coffee, and generated over $60 million in additional income for small coffee farmers around the world. TransFair is rapidly expanding Fair Trade certification into tea, chocolate, rice, sugar, bananas and other fresh fruits. Fair Trade certification has helped open the US market to over 1.2 million small family farmers around the world who are now getting a fair price for their harvests and making dramatic gains in their living standards.”
Although the US market is far behind Europe’s, it is catching up fast and steadily increasing its product variety.

To find out more about Transfairs certification services click here.
If you are interested how to support Fair Trade in the US click here.

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The Fair Trade federation
http://www.fairtradefederation.org/


TM
Fair Trade Federation’s label


This is a US-based trade association of Fair Trade wholesalers, retailers, and producers. Everybody that is part of the organization is committed to providing fair wages and good employment opportunities to economically disadvantaged artisans and farmers.
A membership fee exists, which is scaled to turnover and used towards the organization. The members in turn get access to a trade network, member directory, a journal, and information to Fair Trade events.

More about Fair Trade federation’s structure can be found here.
To learn more about Fair Trade federation’s 2005 Fair Trade Trends report click here.

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IFAT- The International Fair Trade Association
http://www.ifat.org

 

This is a global association for both FLO-members and the producers and traders of non-certified goods. Membership is based upon satisfaction of the basic Fair Trade criteria and a membership fee exists. The application process starts with self-assessment that must include existing IFAT members as referees.After being accepted into the IFAT network, members are liable to be externally audited on an ad hoc basis. When a member has met all of its monitoring obligations it becomes registered and entitled to use the FTO Mark (displayed above). This mark does not aim to compete with the FLO certification because it is specifically not a product mark. It was first launched in January 2004.

IFAT has three objectives:
• Market development: to develop a market for Fair Trade
• Monitoring: to build trust in Fair Trade
• Advocacy: to speak out for Fair Trade

The structure of the democratic Organization:
-an elected Executive Committee that makes the strategic decisions and carries out the planning
-an appointed Secretariat which is the link to the membership
- and finally the membership itself

Its mission can be found here.
More about the monitoring here.


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EFTA – The European Fair Trade Association

http://www.eftafairtrade.org/

EFTA is foremost an advocacy and research body that was established in 1990 and is a network of eleven Fair Trade organizations in nine European Countries: Austria, Belgium (Advocacy Office), France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands (Head Office), Spain, Switzerland and the UK. Furthermore, members include Oxfam, Traidcraft, and Gepa.
EFTAs main objectives are to import more efficient and effectively and to promote Fair Trade to commercial and political decision makers.
EFTA publishes a newsletter twice a year and the EFTA Yearbook which contains figures and analysis for Fair Trade in Europe.

You can find a country by country analysis of Fair Trade here.
More about EFTA’s activities here.


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FINE


FINE is a discussion forum for FLO, IFAT, NEWS and EFTA and was founded in response to the recognition that a more coordinated approach to the Fair Trade movement is needed. The aim of FINE is to enable these networks to cooperate on strategic levels on crucial issues affecting the future of the Fair Trade movement, such as advocacy and campaigning, standards and monitoring. The key issue so far is the role of certification in the future of Fair Trade.

The FINE definition of Fair Trade, 2001:

"Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalised producers and workers - especially in the South. Fair Trade organisations (backed by consumers) are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.
The essence of Fair Trade is:
- deliberately working with marginalised producers and workers in order to help them move from a position of vulnerability to security and economic self-sufficiency;
- to empower producers and workers as stakeholders in their own organisations;
- actively to play a wider role into he global arena to achieve greater equity in international trade."


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The Network of European World Shops- NEWS

http://www.worldshops.org

This organization promotes Fair Trade by stimulating, supporting, and linking world shops in Europe, provided they retail Fair Trade products. Currently it functions as umbrella network of 15 national Worldshop associations in 13 different countries all over Europe, representing about 2,500 World Shops and 100,000 volunteers in total. NEWS undertakes campaigns and encourages activism to raise consumer awareness and to translate this awareness into action. It publishes a biannual ‘NEWS!letter', organizes a European Conference in the same time frame, and arranges annual European World Shops’ Day.

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