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FLOCERT: Bonn roots – global impact

How FLOCERT promotes fairness in global trade

Katharina Wagner, CEO of FLOCERT GmbH

Bonn, home to many international non-profits, is a natural home for FLOCERT, the certification body of the Fairtrade system. Headquartered in the heart of the city, this social business celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. We talked to the CEO, Katharina Wagner, about FLOCERT’s mission and what makes it a typical Bonn employer.

Q1: Katharina, FLOCERT’s mission is to bring more fairness to global trade. How do you do this?

FLOCERT is the global certifier for the Fairtrade system. We ensure that all companies participating in Fairtrade fulfil the requirements of the Fairtrade Standards which incorporate a blend of social, economic and environmental criteria. These companies range from Latin American coffee cooperatives, for example, to the roasters and large brands selling packaged coffee to consumers here in Bonn. We carry out audits to check if the companies are compliant and issue Fairtrade certificates if they are. This way, we have helped shape the success of the Fairtrade system, which today represents over 1.9 million farmers and workers and in 2022 generated 190 mio Euro of Fairtrade Premium for them, an additional sum of money that farmers and workers invest in projects they choose. As a leading global assurance provider, we also offer additional services to support companies in sourcing on fair principles. 

Q2: What makes FLOCERT a typical example of a successful Bonn company?

FLOCERT and Fairtrade International staff and their families are getting ready for the carnival parade

We are indeed a typical representative insofar as we are a successful, medium-sized company which is highly international: Together with colleagues from our five other offices in Costa Rica, India, South Africa, the UK and the United States, we are servicing customers from over 120 countries, and our staff members come from all corners of the world. If you come into our building, you will hear a mix of languages and feel immersed in a multicultural environment immediately. At the same time, with our headquarters in Kessenich since 2005, we are deeply rooted in the Bonn community, as a company and as an employer. Many FLOCERT colleagues have settled here with their families and have come to call the city their home. This also means that we uphold Bonn traditions, of course. We have, for example, taken part in the carnival parade in Kessenich for many years now and have been known to parade around in banana costumes. Keep an eye out for the Fairtrade banana group next month! 

We also take our social responsibility very seriously. On the local level, this means that we are a family-friendly employer, regularly training new apprentices and supporting local charities. And we are an accredited “Social Enterprise” committed to using our income and profit to make a positive impact on our society and the environment.

Q3: FLOCERT is always on the lookout for new talent. Whom are you looking for, and what can new joiners find at FLOCERT that they would not get anywhere else?

FLOCERT is all about the people! The company culture, and the self-motivation and dedication of our staff for the Fairtrade mission clearly distinguishes us from many other companies. FLOCERT colleagues come from various cultural backgrounds, and you can feel the international vibes in our office right away. How much people enjoy working at FLOCERT becomes clear when we celebrate jubilees: many of our colleagues have been with us for ten, fifteen or almost twenty years! 
Our ideal candidate is open to diversity and other points of view, likes to communicate and is motivated to contribute to a better society. We’re happy to receive applications via our  careers page on our website (opens in a new tab).