Stichting Max Havelaar

Last updated
Stichting Max Havelaar
Non-profit organization
Founded 1988
Headquarters Utrecht, Netherlands
Key people
Peter d'Angremond, Director since july 2009

Stichting Max Havelaar (or the Max Havelaar Foundation in English) is the Dutch member of FLO International, which unites 23 Fairtrade certification producer and labelling initiatives across Europe, Asia, Latin America, North America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Several of these corresponding organizations in other European countries also use the Max Havelaar name. The name comes from Max Havelaar, which 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.

Netherlands Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Europe

The Netherlands is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Including three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.

Fairtrade certification certification of fair trade compliance

The Fairtrade certification initiative was created to form a new method for economic trade. This method takes an ethical standpoint, and considers the producers first.

Europe Continent in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere

Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.


The Max Havelaar label, the world's first Fairtrade Certification Mark, was officially launched by Stichting Max Havelaar on 15 November 1988, under the efforts of Nico Roozen, Frans van der Hoff and Dutch ecumenical development agency Solidaridad. The label, used to distinguish Fairtrade products from conventional ones, aims to improve "the living and working conditions of small farmers and agricultural workers in disadvantaged regions". [1] The first fairly traded coffee originated from the UCIRI cooperative in Mexico and was imported by Dutch company Van Weely, roasted by Neuteboom, before being sold directly to worldshops and, for the first time, to mainstream retailers across the Netherlands.

International Fairtrade Certification Mark

The International FAIRTRADE Certification Mark is an independent certification mark used in over 50 countries. It appears on products as an independent guarantee that a product has been produced according to Fairtrade political standards.

Nicolaas Josephus Maria "Nico" Roozen is a Dutch economist who, in collaboration with Frans van der Hoff and ecumenical development agency Solidaridad, launched Max Havelaar, the first Fairtrade certification initiative in 1988. Roozen played a key role in convincing several major Dutch retailers to offer Fairtrade goods, which later led to the commercial success of Fairtrade certification. On October 25, 2007, Nico Roozen was invested as a Officer of the Order of Orange Nassau for his years of dedication to Fairtrade.

Frans van der Hoff, or Francisco VanderHoff Boersma as he is called in Latin America, is a Dutch missionary who, in collaboration with Nico Roozen and ecumenical development agency Solidaridad, launched Max Havelaar, the first Fairtrade label in 1988. Frans van der Hoff's contacts with disadvantaged Mexican coffee producers were key in securing the supply and ensuring the success of the very first Fairtrade certification initiative.

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 and online at MUD Jeans, the Dutch fair trade certified denim brand. [2]

Supermarket large form of the traditional grocery store

A supermarket is a self-service shop offering a wide variety of food, beverages and household products, organized into sections and shelves. It is larger and has a wider selection than earlier grocery stores, but is smaller and more limited in the range of merchandise than a hypermarket or big-box market.

Jumbo (supermarket) Dutch supermarket chain

Jumbo is a supermarket chain in the Netherlands. It is part of the privately owned Van Eerd Group. Van Eerd was originally a grocery wholesale company, established in 1921.

Super de Boer former supermarket chain in the Netherlands

Super de Boer was a Dutch supermarket chain which operated in the country. The holding company which owned Super de Boer, Super de Boer N.V. was formerly named Laurus N.V., but changed its name to that of its only remaining retail brand in January 2008.

In 2006, Fairtrade labelled sales in the Netherlands amounted to €41 million, a 12% year-to-year increase. [3]

Court case against the province of Groningen

The Dutch province of Groningen was sued in 2007 by Dutch coffee supplier Douwe Egberts for explicitly requiring its coffee suppliers to meet fair trade criteria set by Stichting Max Havelaar, most notably the payment of a minimum price and a development premium to producer cooperatives. Douwe Egberts, which sells a number of coffee brands under self-developed ethical criteria, believed the requirements were discriminatory. After several months of discussions and legal challenges, the province of Groningen prevailed in a well-publicized judgement in favor of the province. Coen de Ruiter, director of Stichting Max Havelaar, called the victory a landmark event: "it provides governmental institutions the freedom in their purchasing policy to require suppliers to provide coffee that bears the fair trade criteria, so that a substantial and meaningful contribution is made in the fight against poverty through the daily cup of coffee". [4]

Groningen (province) The northeasternmost province of the Netherlands

Groningen is the northeasternmost province of the Netherlands. It borders on Friesland to the west, Drenthe to the south, the German state of Lower Saxony to the east, and the Wadden Sea to the north. In 2014, it had a population of 582,640 and a total area of 2,960 km2 (1,140 sq mi).

Douwe Egberts company

Douwe Egberts is a brand of coffee and a company which is majority-owned by Jacobs Douwe Egberts. It was founded in Joure, Netherlands, by Egbert Douwes in 1753 as The White Ox, a general grocery shop which later developed into a company dealing specifically in coffee, tea and tobacco.

Related Research Articles

Fair trade form of trade

Fair trade is an institutional arrangement designed to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions. Members of the fair trade movement advocate the payment of higher prices to exporters, as well as improved social and environmental standards. The movement focuses in particular on commodities, or products which are typically exported from developing countries to developed countries, but also consumed in domestic markets most notably handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, wine, sugar, fresh fruit, chocolate, flowers and gold. The movement seeks to promote greater equity in international trading partnerships through dialogue, transparency, and respect. It promotes sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers in developing countries. Fair trade is grounded in three core beliefs; first, producers have the power to express unity with consumers. Secondly, the world trade practices that currently exist promote the unequal distribution of wealth between nations. Lastly, buying products from producers in developing countries at a fair price is a more efficient way of promoting sustainable development than traditional charity and aid.

Fairtrade International voluntary association

Fairtrade International otherwise known as in many countries Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International e.V. (FLO) was established in 1997, and is an association of 3 Producer Networks, 19 National Fairtrade Organizations and 8 Fairtrade Marketing Organizations that promote and market the Fairtrade Certification Mark in their countries

<i>Max Havelaar</i> book of 1860

Max Havelaar: Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company is an 1860 novel by Multatuli, which played a key role in shaping and modifying Dutch colonial policy in the Dutch East Indies in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. In the novel, the protagonist, Max Havelaar, tries to battle against a corrupt government system in Java, which was then a Dutch colony.

The Fairtrade Foundation

The Fairtrade Foundation is a charity based in the United Kingdom that works to empower disadvantaged producers in developing countries by tackling injustice in conventional trade, in particular by promoting and licensing the Fairtrade Mark, a guarantee that products retailed in the UK have been produced in accordance with internationally agreed Fairtrade standards. The Foundation is the British member of FLO International, which unites FLO-CERT, 25 National Fairtrade Organisations and 3 Producer Networks across Europe, Asia, Latin America, North America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Rainforest Alliance nonprofit organization in New York, United States

The Rainforest Alliance is a non-governmental organization (NGO) working to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. Based in New York City with offices throughout North and South America, Asia, Africa and Europe, it operates in more than 70 countries. It was founded in 1987 by Daniel Katz, who serves on its board of directors, and is led by CEO Han de Groot.

Fair Trade USA

Fair Trade USA, formerly "TransFair USA", is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, that sets standards, certifies, and labels products that promote sustainable livelihoods for farmers and workers and protect the environment.

Fairtrade Canada, formerly TransFair Canada, is a national non-profit certification and public education organization promoting Fairtrade certified products in Canada to improve the livelihood of developing world farmers and workers. It is the Canadian member of FLO International, which unites 24 fair trade producer and certification initiatives across Europe, Asia, Latin America, North America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Association Max Havelaar France

Association Max Havelaar France is the French member of FLO International, which unites 23 Fairtrade producer and labelling initiatives across Europe, Asia, Latin America, North America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Fairtrade Mark Ireland

Fairtrade Ireland is the Irish member of FLO International, which unites 23 Fairtrade producer and labelling initiatives across Europe, Asia, Latin America, North America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

The fair trade movement has undergone several important changes since its early days following World War II. Fair trade, first seen as a form of charity advocated by religious organizations, has radically changed in structure, philosophy and approach. The past fifty years have witnessed massive changes in the diversity of fair trade proponents, the products traded and their distribution networks.

The Fair trade debate is a debate around alleged issues with the Fairtrade brand. The debate surrounds the ethics and alleged economic implications of fair trade. Some criticisms have been raised about fair trade systems. One 2015 study in a journal published by the MIT Press concluded that producer benefits were close to zero because there was an oversupply of certification, and only a fraction of produce classified as Fair Trade was actually sold on Fair Trade markets, just enough to recoup the costs of certification. Some research indicates that the implementation of certain fair trade standards can cause greater inequalities in some markets where these rigid rules are inappropriate for the specific market. In the fair trade debate, there are complaints of failure to enforce the fair trade standards, with producers, cooperatives, importers and packers profiting by evading them.

Max Havelaar-Stiftung (Schweiz)

The Max Havelaar Foundation is a non-profit certification and public education organization promoting Fairtrade products in Switzerland to improve the livelihood of developing world farmers and workers. The Max Havelaar Foundation is the Swiss member of FLO International, which unites 23 Fairtrade producer and labelling initiatives across Europe, Asia, Latin America, North America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Several of these corresponding organizations in other European countries also use the Max Havelaar name. The Swiss Max Havelaar organization was founded in 1992 by the Third World aid organisations Brot für alle, Caritas, Fastenopfer, HEKS, Helvetas and Swissaid.

Fair trade coffee

Fair Trade coffee is coffee that is certified as having been produced to fair trade standards.

Fair trade certification

A fair trade certification is a product certification within the market-based movement fair trade. The most widely used fair trade certification is FLO International's, the International Fairtrade Certification Mark, used in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Fair Trade Certified Mark is the North American equivalent of the International Fairtrade Certification Mark. As of January 2011, there were over 1000 companies certified to the FLO International's certification and a further 1000 or so certified to other ethical and fairtrade certification schemes around the world.

Union of Indigenous Communities of the Isthmus Region

The Union of Indigenous Communities of the Isthmus Region, is a farmer's cooperative in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. It was established in 1982 to assist in production, marketing and distribution of locally produced coffee and other products. UCIRI was a pioneer of organic coffee production and one of the first fair trade suppliers.

Max Havelaar is an 1860 Dutch novel written by Multatuli.

Jacobs Douwe Egberts

Jacobs Douwe Egberts is a Dutch privately owned company that owns numerous beverage brands. It was formed in 2012 following the merger of the coffee division of Khabdi International with Douwe Egberts.


  1. Max Havelaar | Max Havelaar
  2. (2006). Plus verslaat AH met bio-assortiment URL accessed on November 8, 2006.
  3. Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (2007). Figures. URL accessed on October 9, 2007.
  4. Max Havelaar Foundation (2007). [ Dutch Province of Groningen wins summary brought by Doug Egberts and can continue specifying fair trade coffee]