Fairtrade International (FLO)
Fairtrade Canada is a founding member, and the only Canadian member, of Fairtrade International (FLO). In addition to us, FLO is made up of 20 other national Labelling Initiatives located in other countries and three Producer Networks, all of which are voting members. The Producer Networks represent Fair Trade Certified producer organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean (CLAC), Africa (Fairtrade Africa) and Asia (NAP). Fairtrade Label South Africa and Comercio Justo México are associate (non-voting) members of FLO.
While the term "Fair Trade Certified" has been more common in Canada historically, "Fairtrade" is gaining more and more visibility.
Together, the members of FLO are responsible for producing or promoting Fairtrade certified products around the world. We are also responsible for decision making within FLO, for example at the annual General Assembly.
FLO owns FLO-CERT, an independent, ISO 65 accredited certification company that provides certification services in over 70 countries.
FLO is responsible for the international coordination of:
- Setting international Fair Trade standards
- Organizing support for producers around the world
- Developing global Fair Trade strategy
- Promoting trade justice internationally
Setting International Fairtrade Standards
A key part of FLO’s role is to develop and review the Fairtrade standards. These standards apply to all Fairtrade certified producers. They also apply to the companies who market Fairtrade certified products, such as importers and exporters. Standards are developed by the Standards Unit under the supervision of a Board appointed committee of producers, national Labelling Initiatives, traders and other experts. The standards are all public and can be viewed on the FLO website.
Organizing Support for Producers around the world
FLO also helps producers to gain Fairtrade certification and develop market opportunities. Locally based Liaison Officers provide training, guidance on certification and facilitate relationships with buyers.
Developing Global Fair Trade Strategy
FLO seeks to continually improve the impact of its work and become more effective in the future, in part by developing strategies to address issues such as climate change, the food crisis and the global recession.
Promoting Trade Justice Internationally
One of FLO’s tasks is to make the case for trade justice in debates on trade and development. FLO works on this in partnership with other international Fair Trade organizations, such as WFTO, NEWS and EFTA.