The main goal of Fairtrade is to give farmers a fair chance to improve their own market position. The Fairtrade Labelling Organizations (FLO) was founded in 1997 to bring together the various fair trade labelling initiatives in consumer countries, the first of which was Max Havelaar in the Netherlands in 1988. Currently, there are 20 such initiatives operating in 21 countries, creating a huge market for Fairtrade products. More than 240 cooperatives in 26 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin-America produce Fairtrade certified coffee.


FLO Standards are divided into smallholder producer standards and hired labor standards. Smallholder producer standards include social development criteria, such as the ability for Fairtrade to add development potential and for producer groups to have a democratic structure and transparent administration.


The FLO system guarantees a Fairtrade minimum or floor price that is based on the estimated costs of sustainable production. The minimum price ranges from US$ 1.01 to US$ 1.21 per pound depending on the type of coffee and the country of origin. When market prices rise above the minimum, a small additional premium is paid (since June 2007 the additional premium is US$0.10 per pound). The premium is intended for use by cooperatives for social and economic investments at the community and cooperative level.


For more information visit www.fairtrade.net