Fair Trade Facts: From crop to cup

Fair trade criteria for producers

FLO maintains a Coffee Producers Registry. This registry is open to associations of small farmers who meet several criteria, which include being poor, not dependent on hired labor, and are democratically organized as small farmer associations that are independent and transparent.

Other criteria include:

  • The majority of the members of the organization are small-scale producers of coffee. Small-scale producers are those that manage their farm mainly on their own using family labor.
  • The organization of small farmers is independent and democratically controlled by its members. The members of the organization participate in the decision-making process which determines the general strategy of their organization.
  • The philosophy underlying the association is based on solidarity and consensus among members.
  • No form of political, racial, religious or sexual discrimination is practiced within the association.
  • The organization is open to new members.
  • The organization is politically independent. There must be sufficient guarantees that the organization will not become the instrument of any political party or interest.
  • The organization must demonstrate an interest in economic development, concentrating in improvement of production techniques and diversification of the production, in order to diminish dependency on one single product.
  • The organization must attempt to integrate social development, which includes the creation of educational and health care programs and the improvement of housing and water supply.
  • The organization should implement sustainable development strategies, which include apply production techniques that respect the environment and contribute to the conservation of natural resources.
  • The organization should increase participation among workers, especially women giving them the opportunity to play a more active role in the development process and in the decision-making process and management of the organization.
  • The organization should focus on improving the quality of the products as a strategic requirement for the small producers to remain viable in the fair trade market and the regular market.

© 2006 by Mesa Johnson
E-mail me at mmjohnson2@stthomas.edu