Setting the standards
Fairtrade standards are set in accordance with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice on Standard Setting. This process involves wide consultation with stakeholders.
Decisions about Fairtrade standards are made by the Fairtrade International Standards Committee.
Below you can find out about:
Standards Unit work plan
The standard setting process is managed by Fairtrade International’s Standards unit, which publishes its annual workplan as part of good practices in standards setting.
Procedures for setting Fairtrade standards
The procedures below describe the process followed by Fairtrade International’s Standards Unit when creating new standards and revising existing standards:
- Development of Fairtrade Standards (full version)
- Development of Fairtrade Prices (full version)
- Complaints against Fairtrade Standards (full version)
Forms to participate in the standards setting process
The documents below have been developed to help you contribute to the standard setting process, in accordance to the ISEAL requirements.
- Standards project request
- Pricing project request
- Quick Entrance request form
- Secondary products request
- Guidelines and proposal for the development of a Category Extension Paper
- Herbs and Spices request
- Project assignment feedback form
- COSP sheet
- Standard suspension request form
- Standard suspension feedback form
- Price suspension request form
- Price suspension feedback form
- Complaint form against Fairtrade standard setting procedure
Code of good practice for setting Standards
Fairtrade Standards are set in accordance with the requirements of the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards.
This means that the Standards are set on the basis of consultations with the major stakeholders in the Fairtrade system. While Fairtrade International sets the Standards and supports producers to meet them, a separate certification company, FLO-CERT, regularly inspects and certifies producers and traders against the Standards.
ISEAL Code of Good Practice
These procedures are compliant with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice on Standard Setting.
The ISEAL code brings a high degree of credibility to the standard setting of organizations such as Fairtrade International. The areas and levels of responsibility are further explained on the ISEAL website.
Fairtrade International has produced an explanatory note about the ISEAL Code. This note also explains the work undertaken by Fairtrade International to be compliant with the ISEAL code.
When new Fairtrade standards are proposed or existing Fairtrade standards are reviewed, the procedures require that relevant stakeholders are consulted. Stakeholders can comment at each stage of the process:
1. Project description: sometimes a project description is included to provide background that mainly relates to the scope and objectives of the new or revised standard.
2. Standard drafts: comments mainly relate to specific questions and proposed content.
3. Comment period: after publication of a standard, stakeholders may formally comment within a given time frame. Comments are considered for scheduling the review of the applicable standard. At the end of the timeframe for formal feedback, stakeholders may still submit their comments at any time to the Standards Unit.
Fairtrade International Standards Committee
The Standards Committee ensures that decisions taken on standards take into account the views of all the relevant stakeholders and are in line with Fairtrade International's mission and policy statements.
The Standards Committee meetings in 2014 will be on
- March 19 - 20
- June 17 - 18
- September 16 -17
- November 25 - 26
Minutes of the Standards Committee
In its meetings, the Standards Committee not only decides on the revision of the standards, but also on the planning of other works and policies related to standards.
For the Minutes of the latest Standards Committee meetings, please see below:
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