2.3. Fairtrade

The Fairtrade logo.

Max Havelaar (Netherlands) is acknowledged as launching the first Fairtrade consumer guarantee in 1986 on coffee from Mexico. Subsequently, the number of organisations included in the Fairtrade Foundation number some nineteen (19), running the international standard and setting up and maintaining the Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO). Labelling initiatives include many items such as tea, coffee etc. Producers registering with FLO receive a minimum price which covers production costs and an extra premium to be invested in the local community. Members of the FLO Board include four producer representatives two commercial partners and national Fairtrade initiative representatives. By September 2004 there were 422 Fairtrade certified producers operating in 49 countries. Hundreds of Fairtrade registered importers and retailers operate in 19 countries. Sales across the 18 countries that license the Fairtrade market are growing at about 20% year on year. In most of these countries, Fairtrade products are now mainstream items and available in major supermarkets and independent retailers and are beginning to gain market shares.

Thinking question 1

The CafeDirect logo.

Consider below an abstracted version of comments by Robins and Roberts (1997) here, relating to the success of Fairtrade coffee known as Cafédirect.

The timing had to be right for this success. After all, consumers had to be persuaded to switch from their regular suppliers and at an increased cost also. They had to show committment to change.

'A number of organisations have been working with coffee producer's groups in developing countries for many years to develop fair international trade in this commodity...................Cafédirect is one such brand.............now sold in 1700 supermarkets across the UK.....with cafe Direct now accounting for 3 per cent of the roast and ground market and 2 per cent of the instant market....................It has become the third best selling brand of coffee in Safeway's...............despite being 10 per cent more expensive than conventional brands.'

Slideshow 1

Watch the following slideshow of Falaj - Community Water Supply System, Oman demonstrating an eco-community action of historic dimensions can prove highly successful in managing a precious water supply for crops, livestock and human consumption.

The slideshow lasts 4 minutes.

A slideshow of Falaj - Community Water Supply System, Oman

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2.4. Rainforest Alliance Mexico/Central America (USAID)