Standards & Policies
Fairtrade certification standards are set by Fairtrade International (FLO), in consultation with stakeholders, such as producer organizations and licensees, and organizations such as Fairtrade Canada. FLO publishes a standards workplan each year.
Trade Policies are set by the certifiers, FLO-CERT internationally and Fairtrade Canada in Canada.
Producer standards cover organisational transparency, as well as environmental and social norms. There are generic standards for small farmers and for hired labour situations. There may also be small farmer product specific standards and hired labour product specific standards.
The Generic Trade Standards govern the terms of trade for all Fairtrade certified products. Product specific requirements are found in small farmer product specific standards and hired labour product specific standards.
FLO has produced "explanatory documents" to help understand and apply the standards
Trade Standards have special requirements for companies that buy from the producing country.
- Pay a price to producers that aims to cover the costs of sustainable production: the Fairtrade Minimum Price;
- Pay an additional sum that producers can invest in development: the Fairtrade Premium;
- Partially pay in advance, when producers ask for it;
- Sign contracts that allow for long-term planning and sustainable production practices.
Obligations of Canadian Licensees
To become and remain licensed, companies selling products bearing the Fairtrade certification mark must fulfill these requirements:
- If they sell non-Fairtrade products in addition to Fairtrade certified products, maintain business systems that distinguish between the two
- Have records that trace finished Fairtrade certified products back to raw materials
- Report transactions with traders/producer organizations on a quarterly basis including payment of a set license fee per product in relation to sales for that quarter
- Submit to an audit of records
- Use the Fairtrade certification mark according to norms designed to protect consumers
In addition all companies must also follow the policies that apply to their Fairtrade certified products.