Fair Trade Certified Dairy

Fair Trade USA® is piloting the application of the Agricultural Production Standard (APS) in the dairy sector in the United States. This page houses updates on the expansion of scope of the APS to apply to dairies.


In early 2019, Fair Trade USA began an exploration of the US dairy sector with the goal of determining how a fair trade certification program could be most relevant, impactful, and valuable to dairy supply chains and the individuals that work in the sector across the US. Coming out of that exploration, Fair Trade USA sees clear opportunity to complement existing initiatives within and surrounding the dairy industry and bring positive impact to the sector by applying our unique standards combined with Community Development Funds and producer services.

Fair Trade USA is moving forward to create the first-ever fair trade certification in the US dairy sector. We will deliver this by expanding the scope of the Agricultural Production Standard (APS) to apply in a dairy context. Our APS, which we apply today in a wide range of commodities, countries, and production systems, serves as a strong foundation to drive positive impact for dairy workers and farmers, and reward best practices in the dairy sector.

The APS Draft Dairy Amendment is now open for public comment.

Fair Trade USA invites you to provide feedback on our APS Draft Dairy Amendment during the public comment period, July 17–September 18, 2020. In particular, we encourage you to focus your review and feedback on the dairy-specific modifications to the APS, which are noted in red font and within the “Dairy Amendment & Guidance” columns of the APS Draft Dairy Amendment tables. You may use the Public Comment Form (below) to submit your comments and respond to the consultation questions.

We also welcome you to inform your friends and colleagues with dairy-sector expertise about this public comment period and help us ensure that the APS Draft Dairy Amendment drives positive impact and meets the needs of producers, workers, consumers, and businesses. Your input and subject matter expertise are incredibly valuable to us as we look to drive lasting and meaningful change in this sector.

We look forward to receiving your feedback and thank you for your interest and support of Fair Trade USA.

How to contribute

Step 1: Get an overview

  • Understand the basic principles of the fair trade model. Our Why Fair Trade page is a great place to start.

  • Review the Dairy Project Plan (below) to learn more about our process, timeline, and objectives.

  • Review the APS Overview on our APS page.

  • Read the APS Draft Dairy Amendment (below) to familiarize yourself with the content of this standard revision. The introduction provides guidance on how to read the APS and information on the Dairy Pilot Program.

  • Read the Frequently Asked Questions document (below).

  • Learn more about our Theory of Change.


Step 2: Share your feedback with us through our Public Comment Form

Please use the form at the link below to submit your feedback on the APS Draft Dairy Amendment, now through September 18, 2020.

Complete the form online (in English or Spanish).

Or, if you prefer, you may download, complete, and email a PDF version of the Public Comment Form to us. Download in the Resources section below.

What to expect

Feedback received during the public comment period will be reviewed and used to refine the Draft Dairy Amendment. It will be processed and analyzed in combination with learnings and data collected during field trials and audits with pilot participants. We anticipate that the revised version of Fair Trade USA’s APS will be published in Q1 of 2021.

At that time, we will update this page with a summary of the comments received, along with our responses. Until that time, we will continue to update this page with relevant supporting materials.

For any questions or comments, please email us at standards@fairtradeusa.org.



Dairy Project Plan

APS Draft Dairy Amendment

Expansion of APS Scope into Dairy FAQ

APS Draft Dairy Amendment Public Comment Form (PDF)