What Does "Fair Trade Certified" Mean?
What exactly does it mean when you see one of these labels on a product?
For a product to display the FAIRTRADE Certification Mark it must meet international Fairtrade Standards. These standards are established by Fairtrade International and are set in accordance to the requirements of the ISEAL Code of Good Practice in standards setting. The standards are the result of broad consultations of different stakeholders and external experts.
Producer organizations supplying Fairtrade Products are then certified against these standards by FLO-CERT, a separate certification body, owned by Fairtrade International, which carries out regular audits and inspections.
Their certification process tracks products from farm to market, verifying industry and farmer compliance with Fair Trade criteria. (See “Fair Trade Defined” to view these criteria.)
An agricultural product that displays the Fair Trade Certified label must conform to the following criteria, as verified by FairTrade USA:
- A minimum of 25% Fair Trade Certified content for a product to use the “Fair Trade Certified” label on the front of the package
- Between 10% and 24% Fair Trade Certified content for a product to use the “Fair Trade Certified Ingredients” label on the front of the package
- For products with less than 10 percent certified content, for use of a back-panel ingredients note—such as “Fair Trade Certified Sugar.”
Sources: Fairtrade International and Fair Trade USA
NOTE: Fair Trade USA is in the process of converting to the following new logo that will eventually replace the current logo:
*Beans, grains, cocoa, coffee, packaged foods, flowers and plants, fruits and vegetables, honey, herbs and spices, nuts and oilseeds, spirits, sugar, tea, wine