Our Global Model

We believe economic empowerment and sustainable livelihoods are the basis for a market that works for everyone. Learn what fair trade certification means and see how it works.

Transformation through trade

From poverty to climate change to struggles with health and safety, people all over the world face incredible challenges simply trying to earn a living. To compete in today’s market, businesses drive down prices at the expense of those most vulnerable: farmers, workers, and fishermen. This simply can’t go on. Shopping fair trade means taking a stand for a system that treats everyone with respect.

What fair trade certification means

When you see a product with the Fair Trade Certified™ seal, you can be sure it was made according to rigorous social, environmental, and economic standards. We work closely on the ground with producers and certify transactions between companies and their suppliers to ensure that the people making Fair Trade Certified goods work in safe conditions, protect the environment, build sustainable livelihoods, and earn additional money to empower and uplift their communities.

How fair trade works

Fair trade provides a way for producers, businesses, and consumers to help make a positive change, for themselves and for others, every day. Learn more about the movement.

Rigorous standards

All businesses that work with us are held to rigorous fair trade standards, which drive income sustainability, community and individual well-being, empowerment, and environmental stewardship. See our standards and how we update and enforce them.

Community Development Funds

For every Fair Trade Certified product sold, the producer earns an additional amount of money that goes into a Community Development Fund at origin. From there, a committee of farmers or workers decides together how to spend their funds to improve their lives and meet their unique social, economic, and environmental needs. To see how this works, read stories of Community Development Funds in action.

Transparent supply chains

By helping manufacturers and brands source Fair Trade Certified products and materials, we’re helping improve traceability and credibility for businesses, and helping create shared value for everyone who cares about shopping ethically.

Conscious consumers

By putting our seal on goods made responsibly, fairly, and sustainably, we make it easier for people to choose products that align with their values.


Quality Manual

Data Governance Policy

Report an issue

We’re committed to transparency and corporate responsibility, especially when it comes to our own policies. If you have concerns regarding a Fair Trade USA® position, policy, decision, or the behavior of any partner in the Fair Trade USA system, we want to address it.