Trader Standard

Fairtrade Standard

Companies and producers trading Fairtrade products must meet the standard described below.

10988 Guatemala Coffee Sacks Woman 870
Elma stands in front of stacks of coffee sacks ready for export at the warehouse of Federación Comercializadora de Café Especial de Guatemala (FECCEG) warehouse in Xela.
Image © Sean Hawkey

This standard applies to traders who buy and sell Fairtrade products, and/or handle the Fairtrade price and premium.

It defines rules around the product composition, traceability, use of the Mark, to ensure that the Fairtrade Marks are credible.

It also includes requirements and voluntary best practices to ensure that Fairtrade products are traded in fair and sustainable ways that contribute to producer empowerment.

Principles underlying this Standard

  • Transparency: All terms and conditions of Fairtrade transactions are detailed in contracts signed by the producers and buyers.

  • Fair price: Producers receive at least a Fairtrade Minimum Price, which aims at covering average costs of sustainable production, or the market price, whichever is higher.

  • Fairtrade Premium: On top of the price, producers receive a Fairtrade Premium, which they can invest in their own development, according to their needs.

  • Market information for planning: Producers receive sourcing plans and information about market prospects, to enable them to better plan their activities.

  • Pre-finance: Producers have access to pre-finance, to help them fund their operations.

  • Trading with integrity: Operators along the Fairtrade supply chains do not engage in unfair trading practices.

  • Labour and environment: Traders in Fairtrade supply chains comply with labour and environmental law.

  • Standards related to use of materials from the Hazardous Materials List (HML)

Download the Trader Standard

Current version

This standard applies to all Fairtrade traders trading in Fairtrade products and is valid from 3 April 2019.

EN | Fairtrade Trader Standard

ES | Criterio de Comercio Justo Fairtrade para Comerciantes

FR | Standard Fairtrade pour les Acteurs Commerciaux

PT | Criterio do Comercio Justo Fairtrade para Comerciante

Interpretation note

Main changes

For information on the main themes and changes from the previous version of the standard, see:

EN | Fact sheet | Main changes

ES | Fact sheet | Principales cambios

FR | Fact sheet | Changements principaux

PT | Fact sheet | Mudanças principais

Previous version of the standard

The previous version of the standard below was applicable until 31 August 2015.

EN | Fairtrade Trade Standard

ES | Criterio Comercial

FR | Standards Commerciaux

PT | Critérios Comerciais

Explanatory documents about this standard

To accompany this Standard, Fairtrade has produced an explanatory document to help producers and traders understand and apply the Standard.

EN | Explanatory Document for the Trader Standard

ES | Documento explicativo sobre el criterio de comercio justo Fairtrade parra comerciantes

FR | Document explicatif pour le Standard pour les Acteurs Commerciaux Fairtrade

Product-specific standards

In addition to the Trader Standard above, companies which trade in particular products (e.g. bananas) must also comply with the trader-specific criteria in the Fairtrade Standards for the relevant products.

Food composite products

Unavailable Fairtrade ingredients list

To accompany section 2.2 of the Trader Standard (product composition), Fairtrade has introduced an "Unavailable Fairtrade Ingredients List" to help producers of food composite products and food composite ingredients identify which ingredients are currently unavailable as Fairtrade.

EN | Unavailable Ingredient list (XLS, last updated Q2 2019)

Food Composite Product Exception Committee

The Food Composite Product (FCP) Exceptions Committee provides guidelines for the granting of exceptions to the FCP Policy. Members are appointed and its Terms of References are approved by the Fairtrade International Board. Please see a list of members here.

Call for trader representative for the Exception Committee is now open until the 12th of November. For more information, please see tenders for fairtrade international.