Revised Ingredients Policy Brings Transparency and Clarity to Fair Trade Certification

01/18/2012 - 6:57 AM

Since 2009, sales of products containing Fair Trade Certified ingredients have resulted in more than $3.4 million in premiums to support the development of farming communities around the globe.  These products, like ice cream, bottled beverages, snack bars and baked goods, contain a combination of Fair Trade Certified ingredients and ingredients for which Fair Trade standards do not exist (like milk, eggs and flour).

Under the revised Ingredients Policy, which applies to all food and personal care products, only products that contain 100% Fair Trade Certified ingredients may bear the full Fair Trade Certified label. Products containing at least 20% Fair Trade Certified ingredients will now bear a new Fair Trade Certified Ingredients label.

New Fair Trade Certified Ingredients LabelTo use the ingredients label:

a) 100% of the ingredient commonly associated with a product must be Fair Trade Certified.  For example, a chocolate bar must contain 100% Fair Trade Certified cocoa.

b) For any individual Fair Trade Certified ingredient used in the product, 100% of that ingredient must be certified.  For example, if a product contains Fair Trade Certified vanilla extract, all of the vanilla extract in the product must be Fair Trade Certified.

c) The product must contain at least 20% Fair Trade Certified content in total, and all ingredients that can be Fair Trade Certified must be Fair Trade Certified, if the ingredient is commercially available.

In the case of single-ingredient products, like tea and coffee, Fair Trade USA will continue to require that 100% of the product be Fair Trade Certified.

“The revised Ingredients Policy reflects our organization’s commitment to include more farmers and workers in the Fair Trade model, and our desire to raise the bar for certification transparency. It’s designed to offer more Fair Trade farmers the opportunity to sell their products into the global market, enable more companies to make a meaningful impact through responsible sourcing, and accurately communicate to shoppers the social and environmental benefits of purchasing Fair Trade Certified products.” – Paul Rice, President & CEO of Fair Trade USA

The draft of the policy is open for public comment for the next 60 days. To view the complete outline of the policy, visit To comment on the new Ingredients Policy, please send an email to

01/18/2012 - 6:57 AM
01/18/2012 - 6:57 AM