In an international collaborative effort between four joint partners -Commerce Équitable France, Fair World Project, FairNESS France and Forum Fairer Handel- and within the context of significant changes within the fair trade sector, an International Guide to Fair Trade labels has been published.
A label is a special mark put on a product or a service for sale which certifies that specific standards have been implemented for the production of that product/service. Labels can be created and managed by private professional bodies or by public authorities. In the fair trade sector, there is no public label but several private labels: the main ones are analysed in this guide.
In this guide, fair trade labels are defined as marks with the following characteristics:
- They refer to specific standards (criteria on all fair trade principles).
- They implement controls.
- They put a specific logo on the product that can be recognised by consumers.
- They are opened to different economic actors: that is why they differ from brands developed by companies only for themselves.
Labels can apply to products or organizations. Fair trade labels mainly apply to product supply chains but some (WFTO particularly) also apply to organizations involved in producing or selling products.