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Fair Trade Certified™ Dairy

Why Fair Trade Dairy

Dairy farming in the U.S. has never been easy. Issues such as overproduction, volatile markets, and a rise in dairy alternatives have contributed to a sharp decline in the number of dairy farms across the country. Meanwhile, worker wellbeing and farm stewardship have declined as low prices place greater financial strain on dairy farms. Remaining competitive in the dairy sector today requires a new way of thinking and connecting with consumers. 

Embracing Fair Trade Certified™ is a catalyst for change and can offer your business a path forward. Our unique model of standards, premium, and supply chain services enable you to support struggling dairy farmers and ensure safe and respectful working conditions for workers. Fair Trade certification is also a way to reenergize the dairy category and resonate with the buying public.

Ready to begin your better business journey? Learn more about how becoming a certified dairy supplier can help your business.

Solidify your dairy supply chain resiliency.

  • Actively manage potential risk with rigorous Fair Trade standards ensuring safer working environments and improved conditions, wages, working hours, and benefits.
    • Many dairy farmworkers are immigrants who lack legal protections. Fair Trade ensures workers are recruited ethically, protects them from discrimination and ensures they are not subject to harassment or forced labor.
    • Accidents on dairies can be severe. Fair Trade requirements help to minimize risks.
  • Improve operational efficiency and performance.
    • Get support and training in-field to help ensure compliance to Fair Trade Certified Standards.
    • More sustainable income, better working conditions, and enhanced dialogue increases worker retention (less turnover and absenteeism) and engagement.
  • Improves workers’ lives and communities with Fair Trade Certified processes and Community Development Funds that contribute to long-term improvements while focusing on ethically sourced dairy products.
Group of workers at Fair Trade Certified Dairy Farm
landscape photo of dairy farm

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

Strengthen your brand

  • Mitigate potential reputational risks 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.
Woman reaching out to a cow in a barn
Shopper looking at milk and dairy products in store

Build loyalty and meet consumer demand

  • More than 60% 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.

Fair Trade Certified Dairy Makes a Difference

Farmworker input and feedback were a critical part of the development of our Agricultural Production Standard (APS), and we continue to ensure farmworker voices are heard as we continue to evolve, adapt, and scale the Fair Trade Certified Dairy program.

As part of our monitoring system, our team designed and implemented surveys of Fair Trade dairy suppliers, workers, and farmers at several dairy farms from 2020-2022. A total of 320 surveys were collected. Here are some of our findings.


Of workers have perceived an increase in leadership trust since fair trade certification


Of workers consider the Premium Fund the leading benefit of the fair trade program

$3,207 USD

The average monthly income of workers


Of workers are able to cover their basic needs (up 16% from 2020)


Of workers either strongly or somewhat agree with the statement ‘I feel valued by my employeras a worker on this farm’


Of workers are either very or somewhat satisfied working at their farm

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

Fill out this form to take the next step toward producing ethically sourced dairy products!


Our Standards

Learn about our Agricultural Production Standard (APS) & Dairy Amendment

APS Dairy Amendment

Fair Trade USA's 2022 Consumer Insights Report Cover
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