Max Havelaar (Netherlands)
The Max Havelaar label, the world's first Fairtrade Certification Mark, was officially launched in November 1988, through the efforts of Nico Roozen, Frans van der Hoff and Dutch ecumenical development agency Solidaridad.
The label is used to distinguish Fairtrade products from conventional ones, and aims to improve "the living and working conditions of small farmers and agricultural workers in disadvantaged regions". The first fairly traded coffee originated from a cooperative in Mexico and was imported by Dutch company Van Weely, roasted by Neuteboom, before being sold directly to shops worldwide and, for the first time, to mainstream retailers across the Netherlands.
The name Max Havelaar is both the title and the main character of a Dutch 19th-century novel (written by Multatuli) critical of Dutch colonialism in the Dutch East Indies.Today, Fairtrade products are available in several Dutch supermarket chains such as Jumbo, which sells an average of 18 Fairtrade products per store and Super de Boer, which sells an average of 17 products per store. Fairtrade products are also available at Albert Heijn supermarkets across the Netherlands. In 2006, Fairtrade labelled sales in the Netherlands amounted to € 41 million, a 12 % year-to-year increase.
Max Havelaar is a member of Faitrade Labelling Organizations International, which unites 23 Fairtrade producer and labelling initiatives across Europe, Asia, Latin America, North America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, which sets standards to tackle poverty and empower producers in the poorest countries in the world.
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