Max Havelaar Is Launching a French Fair-Trade Label

Max Havelaar Is Launching a French Fair-Trade Label

Max Havelaar, which has been labeling fair-trade products from developing nations for 30 years now, has decided to extend its label to French farmers

The Fairtrade/ Max Havelaar label, which was founded 30 years ago to support vulnerable farmers in South America, Africa and Asia, is going to branch into France.

Until now, the label only certified products from the global south, like bananas, coffee, cocoa and tea. In France, in the beginning, it will be applied to milk and cereal-grain farmers.

“As the government (…) is looking into the mechanism of centralizing the price paid to farmers – the key tool in fair trade, Max Havelaar presents an innovative new certification program to support French dairy and wheat farmers,” the non-profit announced in a press release.

For milk, for example, they will be working with farmers in Poitou-Charentes and Alsace.

– Guaranteeing Better Compensation

Thanks to a price-setting method that varies depending on the region and a numerical revenue goal, the Max Havelaar France NGO will enable, “better financial compensation for farmers,” while also promoting good agricultural practices.

“Having learned the lessons from the work we’ve been doing for the past 30 years, we worked with French farmers to establish the new labelling requirements, which are adapted to the French context,” Blaise Desbordes, General Manager of Max Havelaar France, explains.

“While everyone else is still talking about guaranteeing farmers a fair, transparent price that is higher than their production costs, we have made it a concrete reality by offering it in specific regions.”

Since 2014, the fair-trade concept has no longer been reserved to developing nations but has branched out into developed ones. The concept’s market share is booming in France. In 2020, despite the health crisis, fair-trade products’ attractiveness continued to grow: a 12% increase in sales, to a total of €1.8 billion (including products from both developed and developing nations).

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