Trader Standard

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

Principles underlying this standard

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.

The main components of fair and sustainable trading relations in the standard include:

  • 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 (applicable as of 2017).
  • Standards related to use of materials from the Hazardous Materials List (HML) (applicable as of 2018)

Download the Trader Standard

Current version

This standard applies to all Fairtrade certified traders trading in Fairtrade products and is valid from 1 May 2017. 

This version supersedes all previous versions.

Fairtrade Trader Standard

Criterio de Comercio Justo Fairtrade para Comerciantes

Standard Fairtrade pour les Acteurs Commerciaux

Criterio do Comercio Justo Fairtrade para Comerciante

Interpretation note

Interpretation note

Notes d'interpretation

Notas de Interpretación

For information on the main themes and changes, see:

Fact sheet , Main changes (English)

Fact sheet , Principales cambios (Español)

Fact sheet , Changements principaux (Français)

Fact sheet , Mudanças principais (Português)

Previous version

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

Fairtrade Trade Standard

Criterio Comercial

Standards Commerciaux

 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.

  Explanatory Document for the Trader Standard

  Documento explicativo sobre el criterio de comercio justo Fairtrade parra comerciantes

  Document explicatif pour le Standard pour les Acteurs Commerciaux Fairtrade

Product 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. If you're sourcing from a small producer organization, view the product standards here ; If you're sourcing from a hired labour organization, view the product standards here ; If you're sourcing from a contract production organization, view the product standards here.

Minimum Prices and Premiums for all Fairtrade certified products are published separately to the product Standards in the Minimum Prices and Premiums Online Database.

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.

  Unavailable Fairtrade ingredients list

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.

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