Fairtrade International (FLO) was established in 1997, and is an association of 3 producer networks, 19 national labelling initiatives and 3 marketing organizations that promote and market the Fairtrade Certification Mark in their countries Fairtrade labelling organizations exist in 18 European countries as well as in Canada, the United States, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
To ensure the transparency and the independence of the Fairtrade certification and labelling system, Fairtrade International was divided in January 2004 into two independent organizations:
- FLO International develops and reviews Fairtrade Standards and assists producers in gaining and maintaining certification and in capitalizing on market opportunities on the Fairtrade market. To ensure the transparency of the system, the standards are developed and reviewed by the FLO Standards and Policy Committee, in which FLO members, producer organizations, traders and external experts participate.
- FLO-CERT ensures that producers and traders comply with the FLO Fairtrade Standards and that producers invest the benefits received through Fairtrade in their development. Operating independently from any other interests, it follows the international ISO standards for certification bodies (ISO 65).
In 2009, Fair trade certified sales amounted to approximately €3.4 billion (US $4.9 billion) worldwide, a 15% increase from 2008. As of 2011, 827 producer organizations in 58 developing countries were FLO-CERT Fairtrade certified.
FLO also oversees national organizations in South Africa, the Czech Republic and Korea.