The Impact of Fair Trade Certification

Today, Fair Trade Certified™ products originating in 45 countries are being sold in the United States. Those purchases add up to significant impact for producers in countries that need it the most.

We have been working to update our Impact Management System (IMS), which outlines our approach to defining, measuring, and communicating the impact of our model. We welcome your feedback on this work.


Farmers and workers

Last year, Fair Trade USA® empowered more than 975,000 farmers and workers in 45 countries across Africa, Asia, Oceania, Latin America, and the Caribbean to reach better terms with their trading partners. Fair trade empowers people to make choices for the good of themselves and their community, regardless of gender, status, position in society, or position on the globe. Rigorous standards give farmers and workers a voice in the workplace and the community.

$740 million

Financial benefit to producers

Since 1998, farmers, workers, and fishermen (collectively referred to as producers) have earned a total financial benefit of $740 million through sales of Fair Trade Certified products, including over $465 million in Community Development Funds and $260 million as a result of the Fair Trade Minimum Price. Learn more about how we contribute to the global effort to eliminate poverty on our Sustainable Development Goal page.


Social, economic, and environmental protections

Fair Trade Certified products are produced according to rigorous standards that protect the well-being farmers, workers, fishermen, and the environment. Our Theory of Change explains how.


Responsible businesses

The fair trade market is growing because of businesses' dedication to Fair Trade USA standards. As a result, consumer awareness of the Fair Trade Certified seal is at 63%—nearly double what it was in 2008. Discover new fair trade products that improve lives with every purchase.

How does Fair Trade USA create change?

Our impact results from two primary mechanisms:

Implementing Fair Trade Standards

Fair Trade USA implements fair trade standards that drive Certificate Holders to operate ethically and fairly. These standards are designed to protect the livelihoods of those who produce goods by requiring decent and safe working conditions, supporting economic well-being, advocating for gender equity, and protecting human rights.

Investing Community Development Funds

For every Fair Trade Certified™ product sold, the business or importer pays an additional sum of money above the purchase price that's then returned to the producer community in the form of Community Development Funds. Each producer community organizes into a committee that democratically votes on the administration of these funds, supporting empowerment and agency over the impact on their communities and livelihoods.

Impact Management System

Looking for more?

For more information about our impact, learn about our Theory of Change or reach out to our Impact team.

Research & impact reports

Take a closer look at how Fair Trade USA is improving livelihoods and the environment in key product categories and regions.