Fairtrade for businesses

Sustainable consumption and business has become the expectation rather than the exception. Fairtrade offers ready solutions for companies of all sizes to source and sell ethically and responsibly.

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Workers packing Fairtrade rice for export.
Image © Santiago Engelhardt

Over 1.6 million farmers and workers are active in Fairtrade, creating a wide range of goods that meet the growing demand for sustainably sourced products. Fairtrade global sales surpassed €8 billion in 2017, and the shift toward ethical consumption shows no signs of abating.

Here’s a brief overview of how your company can join in Fairtrade.

Advantages of Fairtrade

  • Recognition: Consumers know and trust Fairtrade – the most widely recognized ethical label in the world, with eight in ten consumers saying the mark has a positive impact on their perception of brands, according to 2015 GlobeScan research.

  • Sourcing models that meet your needs: Fairtrade offers different approaches that enable companies to make their supply chains sustainable and transparent.

  • Stable business relationships with suppliers: Fairtrade fosters long-term trading partnerships, and empowers producers through training and support to increase quality and responsiveness to market trends.

  • A smart choice, an ethical choice: Fairtrade provides tools for companies to tackle exploitative labour and the unsustainable exploitation of natural resources. Exploiting farmers and workers in the pursuit of ever cheaper food and ever greater profit is ultimately unsustainable – consumers know this and are voting with their wallets.

  • A certification and assurance system you can trust: Fairtrade’s certification system is rigorous, independent and aligned with best-in-class practice, involving regular on-site visits by trained auditors. Our assurance scheme is compliant with ISEAL’s Assurance Code, an international code for sustainability standards.

Looking to certify your supply chains?

FLOCERT – a Germany-based, ISO 17065 accredited social enterprise – is the independent certifier for Fairtrade. FLOCERT offers resources and support to help your company become a Fairtrader.

>>> Get started at FLOCERT's site or get in touch with the Fairtrade organization near you (see map below)

Fairtrade and your business

Companies can work with Fairtrade in different ways, from being traders and processors of Fairtrade goods, to licensees and retailers of finished Fairtrade labelled products.

Click the option that best describes your interest in Fairtrade.

You want to buy or sell products directly from Fairtrade producers?

If your company is interested in buying, selling or processing Fairtrade certified products, your company will need to be certified as a ‘trader’. Certifying traders helps ensure that the Fairtrade Standards are upheld, bringing transparency to the supply chains and increasing trust among consumers.

The Fairtrade Trader Standard sets out the main criteria for companies that want to certify their supply chains. Product-specific Standards also apply.

Certified traders can then purchase Fairtrade certified products from any of the nearly 1600 Fairtrade producer organizations worldwide.

You want to sell your product with the FAIRTRADE Marks?

To use one of the international FAIRTRADE certification marks on your product, you need to obtain a license.

If your company is based in a country or region with a national Fairtrade organization or Fairtrade marketing organization, please contact that national organization (see the map above for contact details). They will be able to provide you with a license to sell in other countries as well.

If there is no national Fairtrade organization in your country, please contact license@fairtrade.net.

You want to retail consumer-ready packaged Fairtrade products?

If you wish to distribute and/or sell consumer-ready packaged Fairtrade products (as a retailer, distributor, online shop), then you do not need a license yourself.

To source Fairtrade goods for your customers, begin by having a look at the website of the national Fairtrade organization in your country (see the map above for contact details). It will provide localized guidance and contacts.

If there is no national Fairtrade organization in your country, please contact license@fairtrade.net.

You want to include Fairtrade products in your workplace's catering?

A huge variety of office-essential Fairtrade products are available in stores and retailers, from coffee and tea, to juices and snacks. Sourcing these for your company's catering can contribute to your workplace's sustainability scheme.

Look for our familiar FAIRTRADE Marks on packaging, or ask your suppliers about Fairtrade offerings in their catalogues.

You can also contact the Fairtrade organization in your country/territory to learn more about the array of products available where you are. Many of these organizations include product finders on their websites and offer advice about bringing Fairtrade into your workplace. Check out the Fairtrade organizations map above!

Further information