Fair Trade USA , the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States, is offering Fair Trade certification services for products sold in Canada under a globally-registered label. This cross-border expansion is designed to deliver more impact to more farmers and workers by offering a simple labeling solution to companies working with Fair Trade USA in multiple countries.
Canadian consumers may have already begun to see the wide range of Fair Trade Certified products appear at their favorite cafes and grocery stores. The newly-redesigned Fair Trade Certified label , now found on more than 11,000 products throughout the United States, ensures shoppers that the farmers and workers producing the labeled goods are paid fair prices and wages, work in safe conditions, protect the environment, and earn community development funds to empower and improve their communities.
In addition to providing brands with credible certification for responsible procurement practices, Fair Trade USA offers comprehensive support ranging from supply chain development and producer relations to impact monitoring and reporting. The organization also collaborates with retailers, brands, NGOs and grassroots organizations to increase consumer awareness and market demand for Fair Trade Certified products.
Extending certification services to Canada is part of Fair Trade USA’s new strategy aimed at doubling the reach and impact of Fair Trade. This new strategy, called Fair Trade for All , includes plans to:
· Strengthen the farming communities already working with Fair Trade
· Extend the benefits of Fair Trade to include far more farmers and farm workers
· Engage consumers to increase market demand and grow sales and impact
“Fair Trade USA and our partners have delivered over $225 million in additional income to farming families around the globe since 1998. While we’re proud of this accomplishment and our track record in the Fair Trade movement, we realize that Fair Trade reaches less than one percent of the over two billion people who live extreme poverty,” said Mary Jo Cook, Chief Impact Officer at Fair Trade USA. “We’re committed to delivering more impact to more people, and we invite Canadian businesses to join us in this effort.”
Initial supporters include Reunion Island Coffee , Birds & Beans Coffee , Joffee’s Coffees  and Eco-Cafe , which were among the first Canadian coffee roasters to use the newly-redesigned Fair Trade Certified label. Nature’s Path , RGC Coffee  and Whole Foods Market  are also working with Fair Trade USA in Canada. These companies join the list of Fair Trade USA's more than 750 industry partners in the United States, with a combined total of 11,000 Fair Trade Certified products sold in over 100,000 retail locations.
“We feel that Fair Trade is a crucial component of the overall sustainability mission that the coffee industry has undertaken,” said Adam Pesce, Director of Coffee Development at Reunion Island Coffee. “Fair Trade USA works so closely with its partners, and for us it is one more way that we can actively participate with farmers and ensure that they are receiving the support they need to succeed in a difficult global coffee landscape.”
The updated Fair Trade Certified label, a significant deviation from the original black-and-white Fair Trade Certified label, is designed to visually highlight the important benefits of Fair Trade.
“The clearer, more modern design helps the label ‘pop’ better on the shelf, enabling consumers to quickly find Fair Trade Certified products where they shop, while better communicating the importance of Fair Trade certification,” said Ivan Blackshear, Graphic Design Manager at Fair Trade USA. “The use of green expresses the environmental benefits inherent in Fair Trade, and the simpler, ‘farmer with an open basket design’ communicates the reciprocal relationship we have with the farmers that produce our food.”
In addition to the main Fair Trade Certified label, Fair Trade USA also certifies against a differentiated Fair Trade Certified Ingredients label to help consumers identify food and personal care products that contain 100 percent Fair Trade Certified ingredients and those that contain between 20 and 95 percent Fair Trade Certified ingredients. In the case of single-ingredient products, like tea and coffee, Fair Trade USA will continue to require that 100 percent of the product be Fair Trade Certified.
Fair Trade USA will be sharing information about its certification services at the Canadian Coffee & Tea Show (booth #248) in Toronto on September 9-10.