Standards in Action

Consumers have high confidence in Fairtrade and the integrity of our system. To be able to assure consumers and clients that everything carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark has met Fairtrade Standards we implement the Fairtrade Assurance Programme. 

Any decision on certification or licensing of the Fairtrade Marks must be made in an independent and consistent way and evaluated effectively at regular intervals by competent personnel.  Maintaining the integrity of this system and the independence of the certification and licensing processes on a global scale is key to putting the Fairtrade Standards in action.

To ensure that the work of certification and licensing bodies is rigorous, valuable and aligned with Fairtrade’s mission, we have created a set of rules, a way to check them, and a committee with representation of all our stakeholders that decides if the certifiers and licensing bodies continue meeting Fairtrade’s expectations.

This programme was designed following the requirements of ISEAL’s Assurance Code and includes the requirements of ISO17065. Additionally FLOCERT, the independent certifying body 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 Programme please contact us by sending an email to assurance@fairtrade.net.

Key Documents

The following documents outline the process and protocol of our Assurance Programme.

Public System Report (PDF)

This is a summarized overview of our Assurance Programme, developed as part of our compliance with ISEAL Assurance Code, that will help readers have a quick understanding of the programme as well as compare it with other schemes

The Fairtrade International Oversight Procedure (PDF)

This document explains how Fairtrade International verifies and ensures that all assurance providers and licensing bodies comply with the Assurance Programme.

The Fairtrade International Exceptions Policy (PDF)

This document defines Fairtrade International's policy regarding exceptions against the Fairtrade Standards and standards-related policies and guidelines.

Fairtrade International Requirements for Assurance Providers (PDF)

This document defines the rules that all Fairtrade certifiers must follow when auditing for compliance with the Fairtrade Standards.

Fairtrade International Requirements for Licensing Bodies (PDF)

This document defines the rules that all Fairtrade licensing bodies must follow to ensure that the Fairtrade Marks and claims are adequately and appropriately used.

Oversight Committee

The Oversight Committee is a multi-stakeholder group that meets regularly to define the Assurance Programme and oversee the performance of assurance providers and licensing bodies. Members of the Oversight Committee are appointed by the Standards Committee at Fairtrade International.

Terms of Reference for Fairtrade International Oversight Committee (PDF)

This document defines the responsibilities and regulates the composition and the work of the multi-stakeholder body.


The Oversight Committee meetings in 2017 will take place on

  • 20 March
  • 13 - 14 June
  • 26 - 27 September
  • 27 - 28 November
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