Trade Standard

The way you do business has a huge impact on the world. As a buyer and seller of Fair Trade Certified goods, you will be held to the Fair Trade USA® Trade Standard, which is one of the ways we fulfill our mission and deliver benefits to your business and producers. Earning fair trade certification is an ongoing process, and we’re here to help you succeed.

Trade Standard

The Trade Standard recently underwent a major revision. For more information and resources related to the revision process, and changes to the standard, visit our Trade Standard revision page.




Price and Premium Information

Special Price and Premium Terms

Multiple Ingredient Product Policy

Aged Product Policy

Transition Policy

Requirements for Certificate Scope under the Trade Standard

Mass Balance Policy

Prohibited and Restricted Pesticides List

Exceptions Policy

Exception Request Form

Supporting guidance

Trade Standard Summary for Certificate Holders

Trade Standard Summary for Traders

Trade Standard FAQ

Cocoa Fair Trade Minimum Price in Price-Regulated Markets

Guidance on Consignment Sales Under the Trade Standard

Guidance for Determining Scope Under the Trade Standard

Guidance for Traders Implementing Retro-Certification

Requirements of the Trade Standard for Multi-Scope Entities Also Certified Under the APS

Guidance on the Requirements of the Trade Standard for Multi-Scope Entities also Certified to the Capture Fisheries Standard

How the Trade Standard works

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.


As the leading third-party certifier of fair trade products in the US, we’ve worked hard to earn the trust that’s vital to our movement. It’s crucial that everything sold as Fair Trade Certified™ was purchased according to our standards, and to verify that, we expect transparency from brands and traders we work with. By verifying your supply chains, and by requiring that you report your fair trade transactions, we’re able to measure and support our impact.

Fair Trade Premium

The Fair Trade Premium allows you to directly invest in your supply chain. The extra amount you pay on Fair Trade Certified products goes toward helping your producers build strong, thriving, sustainable businesses and communities, which ultimately leads to higher quality products and goods. You can read stories in our news section about these funds in action.

Minimum Price Requirements

Some Fair Trade Certified ingredients have a set Minimum Price, which serves as a safety net for producers when market prices dip too low. Minimum Prices are set through a rigorous process that includes extensive review of the market and stakeholder consultations. For information about Fair Trade Premium and Minimum Prices for your ingredients or products, view the Price and Premium Database on our standards page or contact us for further questions.

How we set and revise our standards

Standards development and revision

In accordance with ISEAL, the Trade Standard will be reviewed at least every five years. The next revision is planned for 2017-2018.

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.

Need to report an issue?

If something isn't right, we want to address it. Anyone can report an issue or access our Complaints Procedure at the link below.