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Fair Trade Certification for Farms, Fisheries, and Factories

Unlock the Power of Fair Trade

Welcome to a more responsible, sustainable way of doing business. Here’s how becoming a Fair Trade Certified™ partner can help you and your community:

Access new markets for your products
Sell at the best possible price
Improve your community your way
Motivate your workforce

Fair Trade Certification Overview

Here is a simplified overview of the steps needed to become a fair trade Certificate Holder.

1. Get in touch with our team

Fill out this quick form for a no-obligation conversation about what it takes to get certified.

2. Create your Certification Plan

We’ll work closely with your team to assess your business needs and identify a plan to achieve certification.

3. Begin the audit process

We’ll work with your team to formally begin the audit process. Once you meet requirements, certification is awarded.

The focal areas that guide our standards

The fair trade standards cover four focal areas to support producers, farmers, workers, and fishers:

Worker Voice

Tools, training, and processes are put in place for farmers, workers, and fishers to work and partner with management to improve working conditions, and supply chain partners to improve terms of trade. Systems are put in place to create and/or enhance communication mechanism.

Economic Development

Farmers, workers, and fishers earn Community Development Funds, paid by buyers and managed by a democratically-elected Fair Trade Committee, and decide collectively how to invest these funds to address needs identified in their community.

Social Responsibility

Farms, factories, or fisheries commit to protect fundamental human rights and follow internationally-recognized labor standards and employment conditions. Health and safety practices are implemented to avoid work-related injuries.

Environmental Responsibility & Management

Good production practices must be implemented to promote responsible environmental management. Production resources are protected, and impacts from waste, water use, and chemicals minimized.

How We Work

From certification to consumer purchase and reinvestment, our model is a virtuous cycle that ultimately improves the lives of workers, farmers, fishers, and their communities.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 and trade 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 of farmers, workers, and/or fishers 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.

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.

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.


Overview of our Standards

Here’s what our certification scope and compliance criteria look like.

Reporting a complaint or issue

Do you want to report an issue or understand how we handle complaints? Learn more here.

Ready to learn more about fair trade certification?

Fill out this simple form and we will respond to you.