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Fair trade certification strives to ensure that farmers in the developing world get a fair price for their crops and good conditions under which to work. Fair trade helps guarantee freedom of association, prohibits force child labor, preservers agricultural traditions by keeping farming profitable.
One tactic to create market opportunities for disadvantaged producers in developing worlds is to form cooperatives. Cooperatives cut out middle men, guarantee floor prices for crops, setting labor and environmental standards.
In January 2004, Fair trade Labeling Organizations International was divided into two independent organizations: FLO International, which sets Fair-trade standards and provides producer business support, and FLO-CERT, which inspects and certifies producer organizations. The aim of the split was to ensure the impartiality, the independence of the certification process and compliance with ISO 65 standards for product certification bodies.
At present, over 23 labeling initiatives and producer networks are members of FLO International. There are now Fair trade Certification Marks on dozens of different products, based on FLO’s certification for coffee tea, rice, bananas, mangoes, cocoa, cotton, sugar, honey, fruit juices, nuts, fresh fruit, quinoa, herbs and spices, wine and footballs etc.
Fair trade certification also has strong ecological benefits. Through detailed integrated farm-management practices, these standards serve to protect watersheds, virgin forests and wildlife, prevent erosion, promote natural soil fertility, conserve water, and prohibit the use of genetically modified organisms. Trans-fair also guarantees growers a higher premium for organic crops, crating incentives for farmers to go organic.
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