Fairtrade MSSThe FAIRTRADE Mark is granted by Fairtrade International to small producer organisations that comply with the Fairtrade Standards. The FAIRTRADE Mark currently extends to some 3,000 different products worldwide covering items such as coffee, tea, sugar, spices, rice, vanilla, honey, bananas, flowers and cotton among others, as well as processed foods such as chocolate.

Fairtrade comprises two organisations, Fairtrade International, a non-profit organisation which develops the Fairtrade standards in collaboration with producers, and FLOCERT, the independent certification organisation that audits applicants to Fairtrade certification or holders of the Fairtrade and grant or extend to them the required certification.

The aim of Fairtrade is to encourage consumers worldwide to pay a fairer price for products originating in producer countries and produced by groups of small farmers or workers (allowed for banana and flowers, for example). Buyers of Fairtrade products are thus required to pay a Minimum Price for such products and additionally pay a Fairtrade Premium over and above the market price. As regards sugar, there is no Minimum Price but buyers are made to pay a minimum Fairtrade Premium of USD 60 per metric ton of conventional sugar and USD 80 per metric ton if the sugar is also certified Organic.

On their side,  farmers are required to comply with a set of stringent Fairtrade standards pertaining to the good governance of their respective organisations, protection of the environment and the respect of social standards. In the process leading to Fairtrade certification, the farmers are also required to submit a Fairtrade Premium Plan, democratically approved by the members of their respective organisations, defining clearly the projects for which the Fairtrade Premium will be used. Such projects, which are meant to improve the quality of life of the farmers and their community, may extend to areas as diverse as production facilities, transport, education, training, and health care to name but a few. Projects within the Mauritius sugar industry having been financed by the Fairtrade Premium comprise acquisition of land, agricultural machinery & equipment, construction of offices & nurseries, subsidies on fertilizer purchases, funding of micro community projects, financial support to schools for disabled children.

As a certified Fairtrade sugar exporter, the Mauritius Sugar Syndicate presently has the possibility of exporting annually some 32,000 metric tons of Fairtrade sugar, both as white refined and special sugars  thanks to the 33 certified and certifiable cooperative societies regrouping no less than 4,500 of the 13,000 small planters cultivating sugarcane in Mauritius. These Fairtrade cooperative societies now operate under the single umbrella of the Mauritius Fairtrade Cooperative Federation whose main objective is to give further impetus to the Fairtrade movement in Mauritius.

Click here to view the list of Cooperative Societies.