Initiatives for the fair trading of honey in Europe have been developed and agreed by two Fair Trading Organisations: The Max Havelaar Foundation and TransFair International.
Ten Latin American beekeeping organisations have been approved as suppliers for these Trade Initiatives.
The first \"Fair Trade\" marked honey was launched in Switzerland in November 1993 under the Max Havelaar label. Three licence holders expect to sell 400 tonnes of honey in their first year of trading. Starting in 1995 honey will be sold in Germany under the TransFair label.
The criteria require that the trade must benefit small-scale producer members of democratic and politically independent organisations, which are also open to new members. Production should be sustainable and all efforts toward diversification and reduction of dependence on a single crop is encouraged: the maximum honey crop that can be taken from any one organisation is four tonnes.
Quality is most important and all honey must meet the EC quality standards. For the season ending December 1993 the price was set at US$1450 per tonne. This price will be reviewed annually. It was determined following an investigation into the costs of production by Latin American beekeepers. No Asian or African organisations are currently registered with the scheme.
Source: The Network April-June 1994.
This Fairtrade Mark is independent verification. The Fairtrade Foundation, an organisation set up by Oxfam and other agencies. Any manufacturers marketing a product in the UK that originates in a developing country can apply for the right to use the Mark. It is a guarantee to the consumer that the producers have been paid a fairer price, and work in safe and decent conditions, with respect for the local environment.
[Bees for Development Journal #32]