Certified Fair Trade Label

Certified Fair Trade Label

The Fair Trade organization was started to provide a fair alternative for small farmers by offering them a fair price for their products. It provides a partnership with individual farmers and cooperatives that is aimed at greater equality in international trade.

Often these farmers are connected to co-operations so they have more selling power. Many small farmers were being exploited by large corporations. The Fair Trade certification guarantees consumers that the coffee was produced in safe and healthy working conditions, and that a fair price was paid. Often this also means that the coffee cultivation is done in an environmentally responsible way. Fair Trade organizations take a stand against rain forest destruction, for instance, and promote sustainable coffee farming methods.

Not Just Fairtrade Coffee

The Fairtrade certification cannot just be obtained for coffee and tea. There are also Fair Trade:

  • Bananas
  • Honey
  • Wine
  • Rice
  • Cotton
  • and much more

Dutch Connection: Solidaridad

The Fair Trade movement started in the fifties, but it gained more ground as Dutch organization Solidaridad introduced a Fair Trade label “Max Havelaar” in 1988, which guaranteed that the goods were produced taking into account certain labour and environmental standards. Initially only applied to fair trade coffee, but soon it was attached to other products as well and sales outlets for these certified products grew and grew.

Max Havelaar Koffie

Where did the name originate from? Well, “Max Havelaar” is a famous 19th century book about the exploitation of Indonesian coffee plantation workers by Dutch colonial merchants. A not so proud part of Dutch history.