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Fair Trade Certification Handbook: Small Producers’ Organizations of Fresh Fruit
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

fair trade is a business model approach that pretends to enhance the access to progress opportunities for rural populations through an empowering framework that supports small producers’ organizations and encourages investment decisions that improve welfare and sustainable development in their own communities.

The values and practices underlying fair-trading emphasize a greater sensitivity on the conditions of small growers. The model integrates good agricultural practices, environmental stewardship, organizational transparency, empowerment, participative democracy, economic incentives and technology transfer in an alternative trade framework with the specific purpose of improving the income of rural producers of agricultural goods in developing countries.

The most distinctive mechanism fair trade models use to improve the income of these producers is the direct payment of a minimum sales price to the farmer, which is at least equal to the market price. In exchange for this price security, the farmer commits to environmentally sound and socially responsible production practices.

The main objective of this document is to provide a model for a handbook for small producers and organizations in Colombia interested in fair trade certification schemes. The paper collects relevant information for producers and organizations starting from an introduction of the fair trade system and the different labeling alternatives available in the market. It also provides general information about the background of the rural population in Colombia, useful for other audiences like researchers, and project leaders.

In addition to explaining how the world’s leading fair trade labeling organization works and the procedure to obtain a certificate from them, the paper suggests screening and organizational-fitness tests intended to help interested producers and organizations to identify the suitability of the system to their own needs and detect internal strengths and weaknesses in relation to the specific certification requirements.

The core of the document is a detailed analysis and compilation of the relevant compliance criteria producers and organizations must meet in order to become certificate holders and retain the certificate successfully. The standards set by the labeling body chosen for this work are paired to the compliance requirements of the respective auditing organization, local legal demands and practical guidance for compliance. The analysis is based on fair trade certification case studies, literature review and interviews with fair trade certified producers and experienced certification consultants in Colombia. Relevant local legislation and further informative documents for applicants are included in the Annexes.

Its productive and demographic structure makes of fair trade schemes a relevant model for Colombia, a net producer and exporter of agricultural products. Production and trade patterns in Colombia, in combination with relentless land ownership concentration and inequality call for the implementation of alternative strategies with the potential of improving income in the short term; and strengthening capacity building, enhancing negotiation power of small farmers’ organizations and developing their skills for agro-business management in the long term.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 105 p.
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, ISSN 1650-6553 ; 77
Keyword [en]
Sustainable Development, fair trade certification, Colombia, small producers’ organization, agricultural management
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-180094OAI: diva2:548523
Subject / course
Sustainable development
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
2012-05-29, Norrland II, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 13:30 (English)
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2012-09-03 Created: 2012-08-29 Last updated: 2012-09-03Bibliographically approved

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Ruiz Diaz, Clara Elisa Juanita Camila
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