This seal can be found on

Chocolate, coffee, fruits, vegetables, juice, honey, spices, herbs, rice, sugar, tea, processed foods, wine

ORGANIZATION: Fairtrade International

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What this seal means 

Percentage of the product’s contents that need to be certified

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Is the seal verified?

Yes. Fairtrade International owns the certifying agency FLO-CERT, which verifies compliance with the standards and is ISO 65 accredited.

Third-party on-site inspection

Yes. The verification process for producers and traders includes an on-site audit prior to initial certification, followed by a surveillance audit (desk audit) between the first and second years of certification. An on-site audit is performed every three years.

Possibility of third-party unannounced on-site inspections

Yes. Unannounced audits can be conducted at any time. 

Farmworker interviews during inspections

Yes. Auditors conduct interviews with members of small producer organizations and farmworkers (hired labor) on plantations.

Grievance process for farmworkers

Yes. The standards for plantations with hired workers include a requirement to have a grievance procedure in place that allows workers to file complaints directly and anonymously.

Is the meaning of the seal consistent?

Overall, the meaning of the seal is consistent, but there are some inconsistencies because Fairtrade International has different standards for smallholder farms and plantations with hired workers. There are additional standards for specific commodities. Each set, however, establishes high standards for promoting sustainable development and reducing poverty through fairer trade.

Some of the requirements do not have to be met for initial certification (“development requirements” have to be met after a certain number of years). Also, some development requirements may not apply to every farm, as some are required only of companies with more than 25 workers.

Are the standards publicly available?

Yes. All Fairtrade International standards are available on the website.

Is information about the organization publicly available?

Board of Directors: Yes. The members of the board of directors and their affiliations are listed on the website.

Financial information: Yes. Fairtrade International has a webpage available to the public with its financial information, including funding partners.

Is the organization free from conflict of interest?

Standards development: Yes. Standards are approved by the Fairtrade Standards Committee, which is a stakeholder committee of producers, traders, and external experts. Fairtrade International has a conflict of interest policy, which requires excluding from voting any Standards Committee members with a conflict of interest.

Verification: Yes. FLO-CERT, the certifying agency, adheres to conflict of interest policies designed to avoid conflicts in the verification process.

Were the standards developed with broad public and industry input?

Yes. Fairtrade standards are set and updated in accordance with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice on Standard Setting. This process involves wide consultation with stakeholders. When standards are updated, the draft is sent for feedback to stakeholders, including producers, producer networks, retailers, and other units within Fairtrade International. The draft standard is posted on the website for public comment.