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Fair Trade Certified™ Coffee

What is Fair Trade Certified Coffee?

Fair Trade Certified coffee is coffee that was made according to rigorous fair trade standards that promote sustainable livelihoods, safe working conditions, protection of the environment, and strong, transparent supply chains.

Coffee is a highly variable commodity and marketplace that impacts millions of producers across the globe. These producers face challenges like harsh working conditions, pricing volatility, and climate-driven extreme weather events which affect their production capabilities and capacity. Coffee producers also face huge barriers to accessing the capital investment necessary to improve the overall quality and productivity of their crops and compete in the global market. This threatens their livelihoods and ability to generate wealth that will support their families or future generations.

We’re on a mission to make global coffee supply chains more equitable with Fair Trade Certified, our sustainable sourcing certification program.

Why Source Fair Trade Certified Coffee?

Elevate your sourcing strategy while honoring the dignity of the people who cultivate the coffee we love! The Fair Trade Certified coffee program supports more resilient, transparent supply chains for busineses and improves the lives of coffee farmers. When coffee exporters, importers, roasters, and brands, alike choose to source fair trade coffee, they’re transforming their business and showing customers that they support positive change.

Read on to learn about the benefits of sourcing Fair Trade Certified coffee and join us on this journey to create a future that is abundant and fair for future generations.

Solidify your supply chain resiliency.

  • Fair Trade Certified coffee establishes systems that limit risk and create more resilient and production. These standards support safe working environments and improved conditions, wages, working hours, benefits, and the elimination of forced labor. ​
  • Improve operational efficiency and performance.
    • More sustainable incomes and better working conditions foster increased productivity and promote long-term resilience in agricultural practices.
    • Get support and training in field to help ensure compliance with our Fair Trade Certified Standards.
  • Improves workers’ lives and communities with Community Development Funds that help coffee farmers address real challenges in their lives.
    • Fair Trade Community Development Funds go directly to initiatives determined by workers for their benefit that support communities.
    • The Fair Trade Committee process engages worker voice and participation.
Maria Cera, a coffee-grower affiliated with Fair Trade Certified Coffee Cooperative

Advance your Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals

  • Accelerate your ESG/Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) goals.
    • With over 120 KPIs tracking to the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), your partnership with Fair Trade USA unlocks metrics that help deliver on environmental, social, and economic sustainability commitments.
    • Get visible, real outcomes.
  • Help accelerate B-Corp Certification.

Strengthen your brand

  • Mitigate potential reputational risk such as undetected labor violations in your supply chain.
  • Have confidence in the credibility of your commitments and demonstrate authenticity to consumers. Fair Trade USA is ISEAL Code Compliant. Our system has been independently evaluated against ISEAL’s Codes of Good Practice.
  • Ensure traceability and transparency with data.
Four female coffee pickers holding a handful of freshly picked coffee cherries at a Fair Trade Certified farm in Indonesia

Build loyalty and meet your consumer demand

  • 65% of consumers recognize the Fair Trade Certified label.
  • 78% of consumers trust the Fair Trade Certified label.
  • 1 in 3 consumers are more likely to purchase with the Fair Trade Certified label.
  • 75% of consumers indicate a third-party certification provides trust that a product/company is taking sustainable action.
  • Find more U.S. consumer insights here.

Why is Fair Trade Important? – Helen Russell, CEO of Equator Coffees & Teas

Helen Russell, CEO of Equator Coffees & Teas, talks about being one of the first coffee companies to sell Fair Trade Certified coffee and what that means for the entire supply chain.

Fair Trade Coffee Innovation

Jose Santos, a coffee farmer associated with Fair Trade Certified cooperative CEPICAFE

Fair Trade USA is committed to exploring ways to innovate the Fair Trade Certified model to deliver greater value to all participating stakeholders – including producers and industry.

In 2023, we launched an Innovation for Impact Initiative — a multi-stakeholder engagement and design lab aimed at developing a more scalable, higher-impact Fair Trade Certified coffee program. We also created a Coffee Impact Advisory Board to guide new program solutions. Read more about our Coffee Program Innovations here.

Fair Trade Coffee & The Environment

A core element of our promise, Improving Lives, Protecting the Planet is a focus on positively impacting the world. Fair trade has a strong focus on social and economic impacts, and there are elements in our standards and implementation guidelines for producers that ensure a healthy environment and reinforce that people and planet are deeply connected.

Our Agricultural Production Standard (APS) emphasizes sustainable practices to minimize environmental impact while ensuring economic viability for farmers. It prohibits deforestation and degradation of natural forests on certified farms and mandates training for farmers in protected areas. Additionally, farmers are required to assess and implement biodiversity-enhancing practices like agroforestry and intercropping, while limiting pesticide use and applying fertilizers based on soil analysis to reduce synthetic nitrogen use.


Coffee Farmer in Kenya

Fair Trade Coffee Makes a Difference


Certified Organizations

Accelerate sourcing on Fair Trade Certified terms – Tap into almost 400 Fair Trade Certified coffee producer Organizations, and growing


Development Funds

In 2021, fair trade coffee partners generated $31M in Community Development Funds used to foster prosperous communities and resilient supply chains.


Average Increase

Dollar sales at a national retailer increased 3.3% on average in the 6 months after adding the Fair Trade Certified seal to their products

Ready to learn how Fair Trade Certified can work for you?

Fill out this form to take the next step!


Our Standards

Review our Agricultural Production Standards (APS) & Trade Standards


The cover photo of Fair Trade USA's 2022 Consumer Insights Report showing a female shopper looking at a shelf of products and comparing prices.
U.S. Consumer Insights Report

See why more than 1,500 companies have chosen fair trade certification to meet sustainability goals, increase brand trust, and reach more shoppers.

View Report