The international standards which must be met to obtain a Fairtrade label on a product are set by FLO – Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International.
FLO is made up of 24 organisations, with its headquarters in Bonn, Germany, and carries out the following:
Sets international Fairtrade standards – one of the main roles of FLO is to develop and review the Fairtrade standards. The standards set by FLO not only apply to all Fairtrade producers worldwide, but also to the companies who market Fairtrade products, such as importers, exporters and licensees.
Supports Fairtrade producers – FLO has locally based Liaison Officers who work with producers to help them gain Fairtrade certification and develop market opportunities. The Liaison Officers also provide training, guidance on certification and facilitate relationships between the producers and their buyers.
Coordinates global Fairtrade strategy – It is FLO’s role to assess how, together with their members, the organisation can improve the impact of its work and become more effective in the future. In response to the need to address emerging issues, FLO is currently implementing ‘Making a Difference: a new global strategy for Fairtrade’.
Promotes trade justice – FLO’s also makes the case for trade justice as a whole in global and regional debates on trade and development. They do this in partnership with other international Fair Trade organizations, such as WFTO, NEWS and EFTA. Collectively they run the Fairtrade Advocacy Office in Brussels, which co-ordinates the advocacy activities of the international Fair Trade movement in both Europe and worldwide.