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What is FLO-CERT ?

FLO-CERT is an international certification organisation which is responsible for Fairtrade Certification in more than 70 countries. The certification is awarded based on Fairtrade Standards set up Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO). For more information on FLO and Fairtrade Standards, please visit the fairtrade website [1]. These are general and product standards that are separate for producers and traders.

What are FLO-CERT Certified Products ?

Currently, the producers and traders that have been certified cover products that include fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, honey, wine, juice, tea, coffee and cocoa, sugar, cotton, flowers and plants, rice, dried fruit, nuts and sports equipment. For a complete list of FLO-CERT certified products, producers and traders, please visit [2]

What are FLO-CERT Goals?

FLO-CERT has identified three main goals as an organisation. They are:

  1. To run a professional and credible certification system to provide sustainable access to the benefits certified trade to the producers and workers in the global south
  2. To provide a high quality and reliable service to customer, producers and traders with which they are satisfied
  3. To provide consumers with a guarantee that Fairtrade standards are being rigorously controlled, thereby giving credibility and sustainability to the fair-trade market

What are FLO-CERT Quality Policies?

In order to achieve its goals, FLO-CERT has developed four quality policies.

  1. Capability and consistency: FLO-CERT ensures that all its colleagues are suitable trained and qualified on all relevant procedures. It assesses needs for additional training through internal reviews. It hires qualified employees and inspectors according to the best practice criteria wherein inspectors must have completed both theoretical and practical training programmes.
  2. Efficiency: FLO-CERT has a Certification Committee representing all stakeholders that monitors its performance to ensure that FLO-CERT decisions are free of influence and are transparent and consistent. FLO-CERT also continuously evaluates its systems and fees periodically.
  3. Transparency: FLO-CERT places emphasis on communication and encourages ongoing dialogue with its clients. FLO-CERT also actively engages with the Fairtrade labelling community to assist in the growth of markets for Certified Fairtrade products.

What is the FLO-CERT Certification Process ?

  1. The initial application form is submitted and the applicant is evaluated to ensure that they fall within the scope of the certification. There is also clear communication between the applicant and FLO-CERT so that the applicant is clear on the standards applicable to them as well as on the complete certification process.
  2. The next step is an initial inspection to evaluate the compliance of the producer/ trader to the relevant standards.
  3. At the end of the evaluation, the applicant is informed of any non-conformity to the standards.
  4. The applicant has time to rectify these non-conformities and then these corrections are evaluated once more.
  5. Once the non-conformities have been fixed, the case is then handed over the Certifier, who was not involved in the inspection or evaluation process. The certificate is only issued in the event that all the compliance criteria have been met.
  6. After the producer/trader has been certified, he enters a certification cycle which is one year long.
  7. Before the end of one year, the organisation is subject to a renewal inspection to ensure continued compliance.

FLO- CERT and ISO 65 Certification

The ISO 65 (EN 45011) is an internationally recognised norm for certification bodies that operate product certification. It is accepted as a strong indicator of the competency of the certifying body. FLO-CERT follows the ISO 65 norms in all certifications. In brief, this means that FLO-CERT has in place a quality management system which helps them improve their service. It indicates that the FLO-CERT system is transparent and clients and consumers are well informed. It shows consumers that the certificates issued by FLO-CERT can be trusted as they are monitored by a third party to ensure that they continually follow the ISO 65 regulations.

See Also

Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International
Fairtrade Foundation UK