For Business - Frequently Asked Questions

What is Fairtrade International?

Fairtrade International is a multi-stakeholder, non-profit organization focusing on the empowerment of producers and workers in developing countries through trade. Fairtrade International provides leadership, tools and services needed to connect producers and consumers, promote fairer trading conditions and work towards sustainable livelihoods.

What is a Fairtrade licensee?

A licensee is a company licensed by a National Fairtrade Organization or Fairtrade International to use the FAIRTRADE Certification Mark.

Can I become a Fairtrade licensee?

Businesses are eligible to become Fairtrade licensees and sell finished products with the Fairtrade Mark, when the following requisites are met:

  • The products are included in the Fairtrade Standards
  • The products are sourced from a Fairtrade supply chain, where all actors – from the Producers up to the last Trader – are Fairtrade certified

What is the FAIRTRADE Certification Mark?

The FAIRTRADE Certification Mark (‘FAIRTRADE Mark’ or ‘Mark’) is a registered trademark owned by Fairtrade International and sub-licensed to National Fairtrade Organizations (NFOs). The FAIRTRADE Mark is only for use on consumer retail products that have met the Fairtrade Standards, and for the promotion of such products by licensees, certified operators and third parties.

What is certification?

Formal procedure of confirmation, by which an authorized person or agency assesses and verifies the attributes, quality, qualification, status of individuals or organizations, goods or services, procedures or processes, events or situations, in accordance with established requirements or standards. This confirmation is often, but not always, provided by some form of external review, education, assessment, or audit. Fairtrade certification is carried out by FLOCERT to ensure that both producers and traders meet the Fairtrade Standards.

What is Flocert?

FLOCERT GmbH is the independent Fairtrade certification body offering Fairtrade certification services to clients in more than 120 countries. FLOCERT GmbH, a private limited company, evaluates Fairtrade certification applications, verifies compliance with the Fairtrade Standards during audits, and decides whether Fairtrade certification can be granted or not. Certificates are issued as proof of successful Fairtrade certification, and as authorization to trade Fairtrade products. FLOCERT GmbH holds an ISO17065 accreditation and follows best practice in all of its certification operations.

What is the difference between certification and licensing?

Certification and licensing are two distinct processes:

• Certification: right to trade Fairtrade products bulk; it is granted by FLOCERT (certification body)

• Licensing: right to use the Fairtrade Mark on finished product; it is granted by Fairtrade International (or its local representative, a National Fairtrade Organisation).

What does my license fee pay for?

Licence fee contribute to financing the Fairtrade system, allowing us to: promote Fairtrade to consumers and private sector, create and update standards, investigate about Fairtrade impact, advocate governments and institutions and provide support to Fairtrade certified organizations through the Producer Networks.

When do I put the FAIRTRADE Mark on my packaging design?

If you are eligible to become a licensee and initiate the process, you will download and study the FAIRTRADE Mark guidelines; then you can incorporate the FAIRTRADE Mark and the Fairtrade Claim into your packaging design and submit it as part of the process on a dedicated system. You will receive feedback within that system if any changes are required, and/or receive the approval when the artwork complies with the Mark guidelines. Once you have completed the whole Licensing process, which includes the approval of artwork the first time and following that, each time you have new or updated products and artworks, you can go to print.