In New Zealand, there is no government regulation around the use of the term Fairtrade. As such the responsibility is on you to check the validity of claims, particularly if a product does not carry an independent certification mark. In some cases, products can claim themselves as Fairtrade, fair trade or fairly traded, but can, in fact, be far from it. Greenwashing is often used, by promoting a product as more 'green' and environmentally friendly than what is true.
The Fairtrade Mark is an independent label that indicates that a product has met internationally-agreed Fairtrade social, economic and environmental standards set by Fairtrade International. It shows that the product has been certified, and the Fairtrade ingredients in the product have been independently audited throughout the supply chain from the farmers, traders to end manufacturer.
What makes the Fairtrade Mark so special?
- Fairtrade works to empower smallholder farmers and workers in democratically run organisations enabling them to have a say in their futures.
- Fairtrade is a not-for-profit organisation working to support farmers. The Fairtrade Mark is for the farmers and part owned by the farmers. Fairtrade farmers sit on the international board and help shape the mission and purpose of Fairtrade.
- Fairtrade sets and periodically reviews its standards and prices with a range of stakeholders including farmers to ensure they remain relevant and are meeting their needs.