Revised Trade Standard

Fair Trade USA® is pleased to announce the launch of the revised Trade Standard 2.0.0 that applies to all trading partners globally. The Trade Standard 2.0.0 will go into effect January 2020, and existing traders will have a one-year transition period (until May 2020) to begin complying with most new requirements. Please refer to the Transition Policy (below) for details on compliance timelines.

Approval of the Trade Standard 2.0.0

For two years the Fair Trade USA team worked closely with a diverse range of stakeholders to develop the Trade Standard 2.0.0. The revised standard is clear, impact-oriented, and meets the ever-evolving needs and expectations of the producers, companies, NGOs and consumers we serve.

Fair Trade USA would like to thank all of the thought partners who provided feedback and guidance throughout the review and revision process, including more than 75 companies and organizations with a diverse range of backgrounds and expertise. The final Trade Standard reflects the voices of traders, brand partners, producers, and NGOs from a broad range of product categories and geographies.

To download the Trade Standard and associated policies and guidance documents, please visit Fair Trade USA’s standards page. Background documents, including the Transition Policy, FAQ, and summaries of feedback received with Fair Trade USA's responses, are available below.


The Trade Standard defines the requirements for supply chain partners that engage in trading Fair Trade Certified products. The Standard focuses on the role of traders in supporting the economic development of Fair Trade producers and their workers, and via traceability requirements assures buyers and consumers that the Fair Trade Certified products they buy were grown, harvested, manufactured, and traded in ways that improve lives and protect the environment. Requirements around Fair Trade pricing, Fair Trade Premium, reliable contracting, and pre-finance enable producers to harvest and make Fair Trade Certified products in a sustainable way.

This revision was carried out in order to ensure that the Trade Standard continues to be relevant and impactful in all Fair Trade supply chains and to improve upon the clarity of existing requirements. The updated Trade Standard 2.0.0 will apply to all trading partners globally, and all Fair Trade Certified products, including agricultural products, seafood, and apparel and home goods.

Fair Trade USA began the comprehensive review and revision of our Trade Standard in late 2017. This multi-phased process included extensive consultation, with feedback received from more than 75 companies and organizations, including brands, trading partners, processors, producers, and experts from civil society and academia. Direct input was collected through written comments, an online survey, in-person workshops with producers and brand partners, webinars, and one-on-one consultation. During the public comment period alone, which ran from September through December 2018, we received over 800 individual comments from external partners which were considered during the finalization of the Trade Standard. The consultation was part of Fair Trade USA's commitment to integrate stakeholder input and to follow the consultation processes laid out in the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Environmental and Social Standards. Summaries of feedback received on the draft, as well as Fair Trade USA's responses, are available below.

This extensive participatory process has been key to building a strong final Trade Standard that improves and builds upon Fair Trade USA’s previous standard, that is not only clearer for traders, but will drive greater impact for everyone along the supply chain. The revised Trade Standard incorporates and replaces Fair Trade USA's former Trade Standard for Agriculture & Seafood version 1.0.0 and Compliance Criteria version 1.1.0, as well as the Trade Standard for Apparel and Home Goods version 1.1.0.

The Trade Standard 2.0.0 improves upon the previous requirements to bring more benefit to producers and traders in the Fair Trade system and increase value and efficiency for all supply chain partners. As part of this revision, we have harmonized core trade requirements across Fair Trade USA’s three main product groups (agricultural products, seafood, and apparel and home goods) and customized guidance and special requirements by category to respond to specified needs. We have also added intent and clarification to each compliance criteria to improve clarity of requirements, and to be consistent with our other Standards.

The Trade Standard was finalized and published on May 22, 2019, with the approval of Fair Trade USA's Board of Directors. The final version takes into account the learnings and diverse feedback received throughout the consultation and review process. The Trade Standard will go into effect on January 1, 2020. Beginning January 1, all audits will be conducted against the updated requirements. All traders certified under Fair Trade USA's current standards have one year from publication to comply with any new requirements (excluding any requirements listed as ‘Core’ in the Trade Standard). Please refer to the Transition Policy below for details on the transition to the new standard for various types of trading partners.  The next major revision is planned for 2024.


Transition resources

Transition Policy

Background resources

Requirements for Certificate Scope under the Trade Standard

Draft Trade Standard Frequently Asked Questions

Summary and Response to Feedback of Draft Trade Standard 2.0.0

Draft Trade Standard Overview Presentation

Trade Project Plan

Draft Trade Standard 2.0.0

Summary of Changes to the Trade Standard 2.0.0