FLO is the organization that coordinates Fair Trade labeling at an international level from their offices in Germany.
They serve four main functions:
- Set international Fair Trade standards
- Organize support for producers around the world
- Develop global Fair Trade strategy
- Promote trade justice internationally
At FIX! we have chosen to not participate in the Fair Trade eco-system, for the simple reason that, in our opinion, it has become nothing more than a marketing and money-making scheme. This isn't an uninformed opinion. Having personally been a part of a "Fair Trade Audit", the only thing the "Auditors" were concerned with, was making sure they were getting paid their $0.10 per label that included their logo. Needless to say this left us disillusioned with the process and the validity of items labeled as "Fairly Traded". Additionally, there are no requirements for a company labelling their products as Fair Trade, to live up to those same standards in how they deal with and treat their own staff.
For a full overview of Fair Trade, both good and bad as it relates to coffee, see FAQ: What is Fair Trade?