Selling Fairtrade Certified Products in the USA
At the end of 2011, Fair Trade USA (FTUSA) withdrew its membership from Fairtrade International (FLO), so is no longer representing the international Fairtrade system in the United States. Companies in the USA are encouraged to stay within the FLO Fairtrade system to benefit from being part of a strong international system of standards and certification, governed by ISEAL’s standard setting code, and from the power of a globally recognized FAIRTRADE Certification Mark.
The global Fairtrade system reached 1.15 million producers in 2010; members have access to a database of supply chain and current certification statuses, and global product managers for the top selling Fairtrade categories to ensure expertise and coordination around the world. It also offers transparency and accountability, and strong partnerships with civil society, development organizations, funders and leaders in the ethical business sector.
FOR CANADIAN COMPANIES SELLING INTO THE USA
This change has no impact for Canadian companies registered with Fairtrade Canada. You can continue to sell products bearing the international FAIRTRADE Mark (but not the old black & white mark) into the USA. Please continue to pay license fees and send quarterly sales reports to Fairtrade Canada.
FOR US-BASED COMPANIES SELLING IN THE USA AND OTHER COUNTRIES
Fairtrade International is in the process of creating a legal presence in the USA, as well as establishing a stakeholder panel to move forward with a new representative organization in the USA. Read more about these Important Steps for Fairtrade in the USA.
Fairtrade Canada has a simple transition procedure in place for US companies who want to stay within the international Fairtrade system. Please email licensefairtrade [dot] ca for an application form and to discuss next steps, which will include planning a transition to the international FAIRTRADE Mark.
Important Notes About the Transition Procedure
- We are waiving our application fee (normally $600) up until May 31, 2012 for all clients who were registered with FTUSA as of December 31, 2011.
- Importers purchasing directly from producers and manufacturers will not be charged 2012 certification fees if they register with Fairtrade Canada by May 31, 2012
- All operators must register by May 31, 2012 to ensure that you do not lose your certified status in the global Fairtrade system.
- All brand-holders who sell outside of the USA are required to report their Q1 sales directly to Fairtrade Canada.
- Auditing and Reporting
- We plan to audit everyone within the first twelve months of registration or of launching products with the International FAIRTRADE Mark. We will be working with US based auditors.
- You may submit your sales and volume reports using an excel format. You may also use any other format as long as we receive pertinent information, which is detailed in our Reporting Policy (PDF document).
- Standards and Policies
- Fairtrade Canada is expanding out its Take a Step campaign for the USA. Please contact us to be involved.
We recognize that this is a very sensitive time for Fair Trade in the USA. By providing a simple way for companies to stay in the International Fairtrade system, Fairtrade Canada is filling a demand and creating space for stakeholders to simultaneously build a representative Fairtrade body in the USA. Above all, we want to strengthen producers’ position in international trade and improve livelihoods.
For more information, please read the Q&A on Fairtrade International and FTUSA
Operators who have become registered with Fairtrade Canada are listed here.
If you would like to check the status of any clients, please contact us at licensefairtrade [dot] ca.