Fairtrade Certification - What It Means & Why It's Important

By Kirsten E. Silven - 06 Mar 2011 10:7:2 GMT
Fairtrade Certification - What It Means & Why It's Important

The Fairtrade mark is a highly recognized label seen on many products found on the shelves of today's markets and retail stores. Many people already realize that the Fairtrade mark is a good indication that the product is sold by a company that pays a good wage to the workers who helped produce it. While this is true, it is only the tip of the iceberg. In reality, the Fairtrade symbol means so much more than that, and is difficult to come by.

In order for a company to use the Fair Trade certification stamp, it must first meet certain standards that have been put into place by Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International (FLO), which is the standards and certification body for the Fairtrade movement. The group is internationally recognized for its efforts in carrying out important research and consulting with participants from around the world.

Of course, the Fairtrade symbol also helps workers and farmers from developing countries obtain a fair living wage for their labor. By purchasing these goods you are supporting a system that aims to reduce world poverty and create sustainable development, which will benefit all communities in the years to come.

The Fairtrade symbol has become increasingly well-known all over the world and recognized as the easiest way for consumers to recognize that the item they are buying has been produced in a way which will not degrade or take advantage of workers. There are numerous products that are available as Fairtrade certified; from coffee and produce, to clothing and accessories. Most supermarkets now carry a Fairtrade line, as do most of the smaller, independent retail stores.

In order to use the word Fairtrade and become licensed to use the Fairtrade mark, business owners muse submit their company and all products for approval by the team at FlO. Once a company has been given permission to use the Fairtrade symbol, it is applied to the labeling of goods, and is also often used in company letters, emails and other promotional materials.

As a consumer it is important to purchase Fairtrade goods that have been made following the guidelines set out by FLO. This way you can be sure that your hard earned dollars are helping people in developing countries work their way out of poverty and lead better lives, which ultimately translates into a better world for all of us.