Updated 21 May2013
Fairtrade International’s utmost concern is providing farmers and workers with increasing opportunities to improve their own livelihoods through better trade terms. We are working to make sure that everyone committed to working with the international Fairtrade system will be able to do so in the US and around the world.
The international Fairtrade system stands with producers
The international Fairtrade system continues working to secure a better trade deal for producers. Over 40 percent of Fairtrade International’s budget goes to producer support to help producers join and stay in the system, and access technical support. We also work with more than 20 partners to bring even more services to Fairtrade producers.
Our Producer Certification Fund provides grants of up to 75 percent of FLO-CERT certification fees to small producer organizations who lack financial resources to pay the full amount. This fund is only possible through our national Fairtrade organizations, who contribute a percentage of their membership fees to the fund.
We also recently announced the Fairtrade Access Fund to provide long-term loans to small producers. The fund, established by Fairtrade International, Incofin Investment Management and the Grameen Foundation, will be open this fall to all Fairtrade certified small producers beginning with those in Latin America and the Caribbean. Read more about the fund here (link).
You can find all of the other services the international Fairtrade system provides to producers on our Producer Services and Relations page (link).
If you are a producer and have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with your local producer network (link), your Producers Services and Relations (PSR) contact or send an email to questions@ fairtrade.net.
Guidelines for Fairtrade Producers selling into the USA
For producers of Fairtrade products, FLO-CERT certification continues to be your most valuable asset for accessing Fairtrade markets around the world.
While Fair Trade continues to indicate it will accept international FLO-CERT certification for sales into the USA, please note that Fair Trade USA (FTUSA) is no longer a member of Fairtrade International (FLO). The FLO Fairtrade system can only ensure compliance with the Fairtrade Standards, Minimum Prices or Premium for transactions conducted with clients registered with the international system.
FLO-CERT, the independent certifying body of Fairtrade, has provided guidelines on how to navigate this situation.
There are two simple points to keep in mind:
- If you sell to businesses that are registered in the FLO system, there are no changes for products sold as FLO Fairtrade. If you and your business partners are part of the FLO Fairtrade system please indicate FLO IDs and FLO/Fairtrade on your contracts and other sales documents.
- If you sell to businesses not registered in the FLO system (including companies that are only registered with FTUSA) no FLO IDs or references to FLO should be made on contracts or the physical products. Fairtrade International (FLO) and FLO-CERT cannot monitor these transactions or any Fair Trade claims associated with sales outside the FLO system.
HOW TO CHECK IF YOUR BUYER IS REGISTERED FLO FAIRTRADE:
The search tool on FLO-CERT internal pages is the best way to check if your buyer is FLO Fairtrade registered. Please log-in at https://internal.flo-cert.net/. You can conduct normal FLO Fairtrade sales with any trader or company with a status of:
- LI Registered
- Certified – Permission to Trade
If you have questions for how to access or check information on the internal pages, please contact email@example.com
Other important information
- We know many of producers are concerned about potential negative consequences that could affect your organization as a result of FTUSA’s decision. If you have information related to loss of markets, changes in price or premium policies, please contact your producer network or your local PSR Liaison Officer or Regional Coordinator.
- Your business partners are welcome to register with the international Fairtrade system, which will ensure that business transactions are conducted according to the international Fairtrade Standards. If interested, they can contact Fairtrade America, our new member organization, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You may be asked by other ethical certifiers to sign-up through additional contracts or agreement(s). You are free to do this, but please note that no reference to FLO, Fairtrade, FLO IDs, Fairtrade International or the International Fairtrade Mark should be made in information you provide to FTUSA or other ethical certifiers. (Always pay careful attention to details in any contract to make sure that it does not limit future options.)
- One of the consequences of FTUSA leaving the FLO system is that FLO-CERT cannot provide services to FTUSA. As a result FLO-CERT is not informing FTUSA registered traders/licensees about suspensions and de-certifications and cannot assure due diligence in FTUSA chain of custody.
How did producer groups react to FTUSA's departure?
Producer Networks, which represent the interests of Fairtrade certified small-scale producers, workers and other stakeholders, are concerned about the changes in the global Fairtrade system and the departure of FTUSA.
CAN, the organization representing the interests of the three Fairtrade Producer Networks, have issued this public statement on the issue.
You can also read statements from individual Producer Networks and the regional body representing small scale coffee producers in Latin America below:
Fairtrade Africa (PDF),
La Red Café (PDF).
Read more about the Fairtrade Producer Networks here.
Sign up for further information on Fairtrade in the USA
Find Fairtrade Minimum Prices and Premiums