Fair Trade standards

Rigorous standards are the way we fulfill our mission and deliver full benefits to producers and businesses we work with. They are tailor-made for each industry to ensure that we’re all working together toward the same goal. Earning Fair Trade certification is an ongoing process, and we’re here to help you succeed.

Agricultural Production Standard (APS)

APS Overview

Provides a high-level overview of the structure and requirements of the Agricultural Production Standard (APS).


Requirements and compliance criteria for all agricultural producers or groups of producers to support healthy farms and healthy communities.


Completing this application is the first step in receiving an audit for your products.



Provides definitions for the terminology used in the Fair Trade Certified standards, compliance criteria, and associated documents.

Price and Premium Information

A complete list of Fair Trade Premium amounts and Fair Trade Minimum Prices for all products we currently certify. Products with special price terms are further explained in Special Price and Premium Terms.

Special Price and Premium Terms

Contains special price terms as well as information on relevant market prices for certain agricultural products certified under Fair Trade Certified standards. Product with special terms are identified by an asterisk (*) in the “Special Price Terms” column of the Price and Premium database.

Transition Policy

Outlines the policy for existing Certificate Holders to transition from our prior standards (including the FWS, ISS, and SPO) to the APS by March 1, 2018. For a complete background on the APS revision and transition, visit our APS Transition page.

Requirements for Certificate Scope

Policy which defines the entities and activities which must be included in the scope of the Certificate, and thus the audit, under the APS.

Prohibited and Restricted Pesticides List

Outlines the Red List of prohibited pesticides that may not be used on Fair Trade product, and the Yellow List of restricted pesticides and risk mitigation requirements.

Multiple Ingredient Product Policy

We certify multi-ingredient products that include Fair Trade Certified ingredients along with non-certified ingredients, from body care to packaged goods and beyond.

See options

Agriculture Program Assurance Manual

Outlines the manner in which the agriculture program meets the requirements for assurance listed in the Quality Manual.

Interpretations for the Agricultural Production Standard

Describes all Interpretations for the APS version 1.0.0, which provide additional explanation of the intent of specific criterion and further clarification and guidance on implementation of the criterion.

Supporting guidance

Living Wage Benchmarks for Employers in Agricultural Production

A list of approved living wage benchmarks which employers in agricultural production may use to fulfill living wage requirements in the APS.

Guidance for Determining Scope

Provides clarification and examples on the requirements of the Requirements for Certificate Scope, defining what sites and activities must be included under an APS certificate.

Guide to Identifying the Premium Participants

Provides clarification and examples on the requirements for who must and who may be included as part of the Fair Trade Premium Participants.

Score System Guide

Explains the difference between the types of criteria in the APS and how the Progress Score System works.

Guidance on Premium Spending Rules

Provides an overview of the process required to spend Fair Trade Premium and summarizes requirements for the Fair Trade Premium Plan and project spending.

Our global model

Standards are the framework of our global model. By adhering to them, you enable income sustainability, community and individual well-being, empowerment, and environmental stewardship. Learn more about our global model to get the big picture, see the quality standards we set for our own organization, or report an issue.

How we set and revise our standards

Standards development and revision

In accordance with ISEAL, the APS will be reviewed at least every five years. The next revision is planned for 2022-2023.

Handling complaints

To submit a formal complaint against the Fair Trade USA standard-setting process, or to see how we handle complaints, download our Procedural Complaints Policy (in English, en español).

Legacy standards

Any time we update our standards, we will give our partners a transition period to comply with any new changes. During that time, both old and new versions of the standard will be available online.