Consumers have high confidence in Fairtrade and the integrity of our system. In addition to maintaining the Fairtrade Standards for producers and traders, we have a rigorous system for checking that our certifiers and licensing bodies meet certain criteria.
If the Fairtrade Standards are what organizations and companies are checked for, the Fairtrade assurance system defines how these entities are checked. You can read more about our certification processes here.
Maintaining the independence, consistency and impartiality of the certification and licensing processes on a global scale is part of our commitment to transparency and the integrity of Fairtrade.
Our assurance system includes a set of rules for how certification and licensing must be done, a way to check compliance with the rules, and a committee with representation of all our stakeholders that decides if the certifiers and licensing bodies continue to meet Fairtrade’s expectations.
Our assurance system was designed following the requirements of ISEAL’s Assurance Code and builds on the requirements of ISO17065. Additionally FLOCERT, the main independent certifier for Fairtrade, is accredited against ISO17065 by the German national Accreditation Body DAkkS.
If you have a complaint or comment to submit to our assurance system please contact us by sending an email to assurance(at)fairtrade.net
The following documents outline the process and protocol of our assurance system.
Public System Report: This is a summarized overview of our assurance system, developed as part of our compliance with ISEAL's Assurance Code, that will help readers have a quick understanding of the programme as well as compare it to other schemes
Fairtrade Pilots SOP: This document defines Fairtrade International’s approach to testing and innovating within the scope of the Fairtrade Scheme.
The Oversight Committee is a multi-stakeholder group that meets regularly to define the assurance system and oversee the performance of certifiers and licensing bodies. Members of the Oversight Committee are appointed by the Standards Committee at Fairtrade International.
In the interest of transparency about how the Fairtrade Standards are implemented, and in accordance with the Fairtrade International Exceptions Policy as part of our compliance with the ISEAL Assurance Code, Fairtrade International provides an annual summary of the exceptions to the Fairtrade Standards granted by our certifiers (also known as assurance providers) and licensing bodies.
The exceptions are listed according to the requirement in the Fairtrade Standards for which an exception was granted. These requirements cover practices from agricultural production by smallholder farmers and workers, up until Fairtrade product compositions or how commodities are packaged as finished products carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark.
Please note: This aggregated summary of Fairtrade standards exceptions granted is compiled from multiple internal data sources. Due to the challenges of compiling data from different sources and in different formats, it may contain a limited number of duplications, omissions and minor errors. The summary does not include exception requests which were denied.
If you have queries about this database please contact us at assurance(at)fairtrade.net.