Finding one's way through acronyms & labels

Finding one's way through the maze of acronyms and labels


FLO-Fairtrade International is the association that defines international fair trade standards. It supports the producers and, in each country, has liaison officers whose role is to inform and assist organisations wishing to join the fair trade movement. These officers may act as go-betweens with banks, facilitate the granting of loans and assess the risks.

FLO-Cert LOGO is the certification and inspection body for the FLO-Fairtrade label. Composed of producers, dealers and traders, industrial concerns and NGOs, it drafts the specifications in which the guaranteed minimum price and the social premium are set. FLO-Cert conforms to ISO 65, an international standard for certification bodies.

FLO specifications are very demanding in terms of the environment and an additional premium exists for switching to organic farming. The environment and fair trade are closely interwoven in the idea of sustainable development.

Max Havelaar is the label created by Father Francisco van der Hoff and the economist, Nico Roozen, both Dutchmen, when communities of Mexican producers organised themselves into cooperatives to market their coffee themselves. Max Havelaar does the job of FLO-Fairtrade in several countries. In France, Max Havelaar France handles promotion for the label and takes part in the organisation of various events.

AB : the Agriculture Biologique (organic farming) label is not directly linked to fair trade, even though two thirds of Max Havelaar labelled coffees currently have this certification.

ISO 65 LOGO is a reference for the inspection bodies. Internationally recognised, it certifies the independence, transparency and equality of treatment of the procedures of certified bodies, including FLO-Cert.