Product Certification

Multiple Ingredients Product Policy

Fair Trade USA is proud to release its revised Ingredients Policy, designed to provide more impact to more farmers and workers, while being clearer to consumers.

Fair Trade USA’s ingredients policy, which applies to products containing more than one ingredient, like chocolate bars, ice cream, and cakes, has enabled farmers to earn millions of dollars in additional income and community development premiums. These funds have been invested in projects such as organic conversion, quality improvement, access to healthcare, and even high school and college scholarships for farmers and their children.

We are proud of what we have accomplished – farmers, NGOs, brands and consumers, all working together – but we know we can do more. Fair Trade accounts for just a tiny portion of global trade, and there are still more than 2 billion people living in extreme poverty, 65% of whom work in agriculture. Our work with ingredients marks a tremendous opportunity to empower more farmers and workers to fight poverty through better trade. For example, the revisions to our ingredients policy should enable tens of thousands more cocoa farmers, workers, and their families to lift themselves out of poverty in the years and generations to come.

Beginning in December 2012, Fair Trade USA conducted a six month review designed to strengthen and clarify our Ingredients Policy. The review process included a consumer survey; a consultation with over thirty stakeholders, including farmer groups, Fair Trade advocate groups, long-term dedicated Fair Trade brands, and new-to-Fair Trade brands; and an opportunity for input from the general public.

Many stakeholders voiced strong support for the small but meaningful revisions to the policy:

“I really respect the stakeholder co-creation process Fair Trade USA went through, and I truly expect that these revisions will help Fair Trade reach more farmers than ever.”

- Kirsten Moller, Global Exchange lead Fair Trade campaigner

“Most of the cocoa farmers in our cooperative live on about $2 a day; we’re excited about the increased income the revisions to Fair Trade USA’s Ingredients Policy will bring to our communities.”

- Sapim Kouablan Nzian, Cooperative leader and Fair Trade Project Manager of COOPAYAF

“This policy moves the Fair Trade movement a meaningful step forward toward greater consumer transparency and empowerment.”

- Michael Besancon, Former Senior Global Vice President of Purchasing, Communications and Distribution, Whole Foods Market and Fair Trade USA board member

Requirements

Explanation

100% Fair Trade Certified Ingredients Fair Trade Certified label

Fair Trade Certified™ Label

The product is 100% Fair Trade Certified

Most frequently, this label will appear on single ingredient products (coffee, tea, bananas) and a few 100% Fair Trade Certified multi-ingredient products like an herbal tea blend

The product may contain up to 5% non-Fair Trade Certified ingredients, for example for flavorings or additives, as approved by Fair Trade USA

More than 20% Fair Trade Certified Ingredients measured by weight (without water or salt)* Fair Trade Certified Ingredient Label

Fair Trade Certified™ Ingredient(s) Label

OR

Fair Trade Certified Tea Ingredient-Specific Label

Fair Trade Certified™ ‘Ingredient-Specific’ Label

For any individual Fair Trade Certified ingredient used in the product, 100% of that particular ingredient is Fair Trade Certified

For example, if a product contains cocoa powder and chocolate icing, the cocoa in the powder and the icing must both be Fair Trade Certified

Commercially available ingredients that are sourced predominately from the Global South must be Fair Trade Certified: cocoa, coffee, tea (Camellia Sinensis), and quinoa

For example, the coffee in a mocha mix must be Fair Trade Certified (in addition to the cocoa)

An ingredient-specific label may be used if the ingredient specified is either the highest percentage Fair Trade Certified ingredient or the ingredient consumers commonly associate with the product

For example, if a brownie contains 11% Fair Trade Certified cocoa powder and 20% Fair Trade Certified sugar, the “Fair Trade Certified™ Ingredients” label, the “Fair Trade Certified™ Sugar” label (highest % Fair Trade Certified ingredient), or the “Fair Trade Certified Cocoa” label (commonly associated with product) could be used

All Fair Trade Certified ingredients are identified in the ingredients panel

 

The percentage of Fair Trade Certified content (by dry-weight) is indicated on the packaging*

Indicate the specific percentage (e.g., 37% Fair Trade Certified™ Ingredients) or the minimum percentage (e.g., Over 35% Fair Trade Certified™ Ingredients)

Less than 20% Fair Trade Certified Ingredients

No Label

For any individual Fair Trade Certified ingredient used in the product, 100% of that particular ingredient is Fair Trade Certified

For example, if a product contains cocoa powder and chocolate icing, the cocoa in the powder and the icing must both be Fair Trade Certified

The Fair Trade Certified ingredient(s) may be specified on the front of the packaging

For example, a Protein mix could state “Fair Trade Certified™ cocoa” on the front of the packaging

All Fair Trade Certified ingredients are identified in the ingredients panel, including an indication of Fair Trade USA as the certifier

 

As of August 20, 2013, all new products submitted to Fair Trade USA will be reviewed and approved against this policy. Products that were approved under previous versions of this policy have 18 months to comply with this policy.

* For extract or concentrate based products (e.g., bottled coffee), the percentage can be based on the ingredients used in the production of the product.