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 our agricultural, factory, and seafood programs. Please see our 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 type of products and goods can be Fair Trade Certified?
What if my product does not fall into one of those categories?
Please contact us by filling out a form on our Get Started page 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 our Prices and Premiums Search page for more details). This serves as a safety net for producers in particularly volatile markets when prices dip too low and creates real opportunities for improved livelihoods.
What is the Fair Trade Premium? Does it apply to me?
For every Fair Trade Certified product sold, a business or importer pays a Fair Trade Premium that goes into a worker-controlled Community Development Fund at origin. From there, a Fair Trade Committee, which consists of workers, farmers, and/or fishers responsible for the product, decides together 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 our Prices and Premiums Search page.
What is a Fair Trade Committee?
A Fair Trade Committee consists of a group of producers, workers, farmers, and fishers 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. These projects are determined through a Needs Assessment (a framework that helps Fair Trade Committees determine how to scope and establish projects). You can learn more about the Needs Assessment process here.
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. Visit our Standards page to learn more.
How do I maintain certification?
Maintaining certification means complying with the Fair Trade Standard minimum requirements and increasing compliance each year to ultimately meet full requirements. This will be verified by passing an audit each year.
Where can I get more information on the fair trade model?
I'm interested in partnering with Fair Trade USA. Where do I start?
Please visit our Get Started page and fill out the form that applies to you (Business, Producer, Philanthropic Supporter, or Consumer).