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These 7 labels that guarantee fair trade and “made in France” products

Fair trade is firmly established in France. Based on fairer remuneration for producers in exchange for compliance with very strict social and environmental specifications, this sector is showing strong growth in France. Sales jumped 11% last year and exceeded the 2 billion euro mark for the first time.

Notable fact: fair trade, which initially only concerned import channels for products from emerging countries, now applies to many products “made in France”. They too are concerned by issues related to the remuneration of producers and respect for the environment. These products are identifiable on the shelves thanks to labels which, under the Climate and Resilience Law of 2021, will become mandatory next year for all companies claiming to manufacture fair trade and local products. To date, 7 labels structure this sector. Review.

Agri-Ethics France

Agri-Ethique was created in 2013 by an agricultural cooperative during a period of high grain price volatility. “At that time, society became aware that the farms in our regions were threatened. Producers are struggling to get paid and cover their production costs,” explain the creators of the label on their site. The latter imagine a new economic model that is “fairer, more coherent, capable of creating a link between all the stakeholders”. Agri-Ethique will be the fruit of this reflection.

But it is only in 2018 that it will strictly speaking become a fair trade label, “structured and organized to guarantee farmers’ income, preserve jobs in our regions and support eco-responsible societal and environmental practices. “. This label, managed by the CAVAC agricultural cooperative, now concerns 39 sectors in various sectors, ranging from cereals to milk, including pulses, eggs, meat, honey and fresh fruit.

Organic Fair Trade in France

This label was born in May 2020 from the meeting between farmer groups, companies in the organic sector and specialized distributors. “These different actors wanted to implement an independent system for labeling fair trade organic sectors by giving a preponderant place to the collective organization of producers”, explains the Fair Trade France collective.

To date, nearly 5,000 farms, federated in 30 agricultural groups, have this label. They are associated with 40 companies in the organic sector. They offer milk, meat, fruit and vegetables, cereals and legumes, aromatic and medicinal plants, eggs. “Only food products are certified at this stage, the label has recently been opened to cosmetic products,” says Fair Trade France.

Organic French fair trade

A green flower on a white background. This is what the label launched by the National Federation of Organic Agriculture (FNAB) in February 2020 looks like. Its objective: to make commitments that go beyond the European organic label. “This label guarantees the consumer of French organic products and farmers a remunerative price and fair contracts,” explains the FNAB.

The first products bearing this label were marketed by the frozen food chain Picard. “This collaboration was initially made around a range of four organic and local vegetables in the South-West region, then extended to the South-East around a range of three new references”, specifies the federation.

Biopartner

Biopartenaire was originally an association created in 2002 by pioneer entrepreneurs in the organic sector. In 2018, they developed a label adapted to French sectors, based on a reference system called FiABLE: Filières Attestées Biologiques, Loyales et Equitables. When affixed to an organic product, this label signifies that the product contains at least 50% of ingredients from partnerships between farmers, processing companies, distributors, who all adhere to the values ​​of the association. The remaining 50% of ingredients must be ingredients labeled by other organizations.

The Biopartenaire association now has more than sixty members. As for the label, it concerns at this stage more than 850 references in specialized stores (cereals, aromatic plants, dairy products, vegetables).

fair for life

Fair for Life is a certification program for fair trade created in 2006. This label applies to agricultural raw materials but also to cosmetic products, textiles or craft products. With regard to food, the Fair for Life logo can only be affixed to products when 80% of the raw materials that compose them come from fair trade.

To date, more than 1,500 French producers, united in seven groups, benefit from the Fair For Life label in various food sectors (milk, aromatic plants, fruit and vegetables, wine).

Max Havelaar France

It is probably the best-known label in France. Fairtrade/Max Havelaar certification has been deployed since the 1990s in international sectors. In stores, the label is visible in the coffee, tea or chocolate departments. But in 2021, Max Havelaar France has decided to look into the fate of the most fragile French wheat and milk producers.

For its first “made in France” product certifications, the group joined forces with the Cotentin dairy masters cooperative. Two references – a vanilla fromage blanc and a sweet fromage blanc – will thus be marketed at the beginning of June in supermarkets (Super U, Carrefour) and distributed in collective restaurants (hospitals, retirement homes, schools, etc.). “All producers in the world deserve a fair price! Whether they are from France or elsewhere, we must secure those who feed us and tell consumers that,” stresses Blaise Desbordes, general manager of Max Havelaar France.

Fair tourism

The origin of this label is the Association for Fair and Solidarity Tourism (ATES), founded in 2006 by travel professionals. Their objective: “to make travel a lever for development and solidarity with local populations and actors”. In 2014, Ates therefore created the Fair Tourism label which aims to offer “information and guarantees in order to travel more responsibly” all over the world.

This label was extended in 2019 to tourism structures in France (accommodation, restaurants, cultural sites, etc.), with specific specifications for trips in France. Labeled operators must, for example, go “beyond French labor law, both socially and economically”. They must also commit to reducing their water and energy consumption, recycling waste and reducing their carbon emissions. They must also offer their customers ecological and/or fair trade products.

To date, 26 tour operators, one accommodation structure and one activity provider in France have been awarded the Fair Trade Tourism label.

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