£ $
Wilkinsons of Norwich - Tea & Coffee Merchants


The Fairtrade Foundation

21 May 2008
This is the logo of the Fairtrade Labeling Organization (FLO) International.  The FLO is a non-profit , multi-stakeholder association involving 23 member organizations, traders and external experts.  “The purpose of this organization is to develop and review Fairtrade standards and provide support to Fairtrade Certified Producers by assisting them in gaining and maintaining Fairtrade Certification and capitalizing on market opportunities.”

The “Fair Trade” concept was born in the fifties.  Several partnerships between non-profit importers, retailers and small-scale producers in developing countries formed.  Most were closely associated with volunteer groups and ‘world’ organizations.  As word of the success of these partnerships spread, more and more of them were created in different countries.    These partnerships came to be called Alternative Trade Organizations or ATO’s.

But it was not until 1988 that a Dutch ATO called Solidariad set into motion the ground-breaking idea of labeling products as ‘Fair Trade’ or ‘Fairtrade’.  This first fair trade label was called the ‘Max Havelaar’ after a best selling 19th century book about the exploitation of Javanese coffee plantation workers by Dutch colonial merchants.  This label was first only applied to coffee.  And was a visible guarantee that the product under that sticker met certain labor and environmental standards.  Soon other ATO groups had taken up the initiative and launched their own campaigns and certifications marks.

In 1997 the Fairtrade Labeling Organizations (FLO) International was created in an effort to bring together all of all of the Alternative Trade Organizations under one umbrella.  Their task was to set standards, support, inspect and certify disadvantaged producers and further the recognition of fair trading.

The year 2007 brought us the new Fair Trade label pictured here.  The goal of this new Mark was to “convey a dynamic, forward-looking image for Fairtrade, facilitate cross border trade and simplify procedures for importers and traders.  The fair-trade system has always been about global relationships and global standards of fairness – these were recognized for the first time with an international Fairtrade Certification Mark.”

Wilkinson’s of Norwich is proud to be a Certified Fairtrade Retailer.  This means that we undergo rigorous auditing to maintain the standards and practices of the FLO.  Wilkinson’s has been a member since 1997 and theformation of the umbrella fairtrade initiative. Buying products with the fairetrade logo assures the consumer that not only are they giving a fair chance to disadvantaged producers and farmers but they are receiving a hand grown quality product.

For more information about the Faitrade logo and the FLO please visit their web site 


Return to Wilkinsons Fair Trade Coffee section Back to Fair trade section