How to become a Fairtrader

More and more, consumers are making the switch to ethically sourced and labeled products. They want to be sure of the legitimacy behind claims, and have transparency into where products are sourced. An easy way to provide this is through trusted, independent, third party certification — Fairtrade.

Through our rigorous Standards and increased supply chain sustainability, Fairtrade provides your business with an ethical, trusted and consumer-friendly way to improve the lives of the farmers and workers you source from. That's the power of you and your company to make a difference.

With retailers increasingly stocking their shelves with certified products, can your business afford to not be Fairtrade?

How to become a Fairtrader

Before you read any further, we suggest you review our What We Offer to Business page to see all the benefits you will receive by becoming a Fairtrade Canada licensee.

Consult our easy guide to getting your products Fairtrade certified, and see below for more details on the process. 

Because every business is unique the best way to start is to contact HELEN REIMER, our Director of Business Development to learn what your company needs to do to carry a FAIRTRADE Mark on your products. or 613-563-3351 ext 220.

Who needs to be certified?

All Fairtrade companies in Canada are certified by FLOCERT.

You will need to get certified by FLOCERT if:

  • You will buy Fairtrade products from the origin producing country; or
  • You will buy or sell an unfinished Fairtrade product; or
  • You will manufacture or repackage a Fairtrade product, other than as a subcontractor.

Subcontractors are companies that provide a service on a product but do not buy or sell the product.


Who needs to be licensed?

In Canada, Licensees receive permission from Fairtrade Canada to use the FAIRTRADE Mark on packaging.

Where the brand holder is the manufacturer (or packager), the brand holder / manufacturer will be the licensee.

If the brand holder does not manufacture or package, that is they are a private label, then the manufacturer (packager) will generally be the licensee.


How to Apply

If you need certification but you don’t need licensing

If you need to be certified but you will not be the licensee (a Pure Trader) then you can apply straight to FLOCERT.

Go to FLOCERT’s website and fill in their Get Started form. They will get in contact with you and provide an application form.

Once you send in your application package, FLOCERT will review it. If it is complete, FLOCERT will send you a permission to trade.

All other cases -  i.e. you need to be a licensee

Step 1: Confirm that your products meet the Fairtrade Standards

Depending on your role in the supply chain, you will want to familiarize yourself with the standards and policies that will apply to your company. All standards and policies can be found here.

Fairtrade Canada’s business development team is dedicated to providing end-to-end support through the process of Fairtrade licensing and certification. We can answer any questions you may have and we can work with you to source Fairtrade certified commodities and ingredients using an existing certified supplier. Alternatively, our team can assist with the process of getting your present supply chain certified.

Step 2: Ask for an application package

The Fairtrade Canada application package includes:

Information and Application Form

  • Information on the Licensing and Certification application process
  • Joint FLOCERT - Fairtrade Canada Application Form

Fairtrade Canada Licensing document

  • Fairtrade License Fees for use of the Mark

FLOCERT certification documents

  • FLOCERT Certification Contract
  • FLOCERT Application ID
  • FLOCERT Certification Fees to cover the cost of on site audits
  • A link to certification requirements

Step 3: Apply to become Licensed and Certified

Pay the FLOCERT application fee directly to FLOCERT, referencing the Application ID. 

Please send the following to Fairtrade Canada:

  • The completed Application Form, referencing the FLOCERT Application ID
  • Signed FLOCERT Certification Contract
  • Company legal registration document
  • Proof of payment of FLOCERT application fee          

Fairtrade Canada will screen and forward these documents to FLOCERT once complete.

Step 4: Processing by FLOCERT

FLOCERT will review your application package. If all is in order, then FLOCERT will inform Fairtrade Canada that you have been accepted by them and FLOCERT will issue a Permission to Trade letter and provide you a login to the FLOCERT Certification information system ECERT.

Step 5: Licensing by Fairtrade Canada

Once FLOCERT has sent you the Permission to Trade letter, Fairtrade Canada will send you a Fairtrade Canada License Contract. Once signed and sent back to us, you will become a Fairtrade Canada licensee. We will also send you a welcome email with the Fairtrade Mark use Guidelines, high resolution versions of the Fairtrade Mark and a login to the Fairtrade Product Registration system CONNECT.

Fairtrade Canada licensee fees for use of the Fairtrade Mark on products apply from the date you sell your first product.

Fairtrade Canada Licensees will not start paying FLOCERT certification fees until January 1, 2022.

You will also be contacted by one of our Account Managers who will be your main commercial contact going forward.

Step 6: Submit your Fairtrade Products for approval

Once you have been registered as a licensee you will log into the online Fairtrade Product Registration system “CONNECT” to complete the details of your Fairtrade products and upload artwork prior to product launch. Our goal is to respond to packaging approval requests within 2 business days. Any consumer-ready product bearing the FAIRTRADE Mark must be individually licensed to ensure the integrity of the Mark.   

Once you have at least one approved Fairtrade Product your company will be added to our list of registered operators which appears publicly on our website, and your company will be able to order Fairtrade Canada promotional materials and begin promoting your Fairtrade certified products to the market.

Once you have had your initial audit by FLOCERT and corrective actions, if any, have been completed you will receive a Certificate of Compliance.

Reports are submitted within 20 days after the end of each calendar quarter.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our Business Development Director, Helen Reimer, 613-563-3351 ext 220.