Frequently Asked Questions
If you don’t see your question answered here, contact us so someone from our team can help.
What are the standards I will be expected to meet?
We have specific standards for farms, fisheries, and apparel and home goods factories. Please see our list of producer standards for more information.
Who can earn fair trade certification?
Fair Trade USA certifies producers and groups of producers of all sizes, including farms, fisheries, and factories.
What Fair Trade Certified goods are traders looking to source from producers like me?
Apparel, body care, grains, herbs and spices, home goods, honey, cocoa, coconut, coffee, flowers, fresh produce, seafood, spirits, sugar, tea, wine, and more can be Fair Trade Certified.
What if my product does not fall into one of those categories?
Please contact us so we can explore if certification makes sense for your product.
What is minimum price setting? Does it apply to me?
Fluctuations in world market prices hit workers and farmers the hardest, so some Fair Trade Certified products have a set Fair Trade Minimum Price (see Prices and Premiums Information on our standards page). This serves as a safety net for producers in particularly volatile markets when prices dip too low and creates real opportunity for improved livelihoods.
What is the Fair Trade Premium? Does it apply to me?
For every Fair Trade Certified product sold, the producer earns a premium on top of the fair trade price. This additional money goes into a Community Development Fund managed by a Fair Trade Committee, which consists farmers, workers, and/or fishermen responsible for the product. The committee decides how to spend the funds to improve their lives and meet their unique individual and collective needs, as well as the needs of their communities and environments. To look up the premium amount for a particular product, see Prices and Premiums Information on our standards page. Learn more about the Premium Setting Process here.
What is a Fair Trade Committee?
A Fair Trade Committee consists of a group of producers, workers, farmers, and fishermen that foster communication and collaboration on important issues such as health and safety and community investments. Their main responsibility is to manage the use of the Fair Trade Community Development Fund.
Do you accept FLO-CERT certification?
Yes. Fair Trade USA understands that producers have worked hard to achieve these certificates, so we honor most FLO-CERT certifications. Fair Trade USA’s Procedure on Recognition of Equivalency (in English) further describes our approach to working with other standards and certification programs.
Do I have to meet all the requirements at once?
No. The process of getting certified is a journey of continuous improvement, but there are minimum requirements that must be met prior to certification.
How do I maintain certification?
Maintaining certification means complying with the standard minimum requirements and increasing compliance each year to ultimately meet full requirements. This will be verified by passing an audit each year. Audits are performed by one of these auditing firms: SCS Global Services, Peterson Control Union, Oregon Tilth, ARCHE Advisors, TAOS Network, or ELEVATE Limited
Where can I get more information?
For a more in-depth picture of how fair trade works, refer to our global model or contact us.