Farmers of crops like sugar and cocoa now have a better chance of benefiting from Fair Trade Certification under a new ingredients policy.
Fair Trade USA now differentiates between items made entirely of Fair Trade ingredients, and those made with only some Fair Trade ingredients, the organization says.
Specifically, food and personal care products containing 100% Fair Trade Certified ingredients may bear the full Fair Trade Certified label, while products containing at least 20% Fair Trade Certified ingredients may now bear a new Fair Trade Certified Ingredients label if they meet additional requirements.
To meet the requirements for the new ingredients label:
- 100% of the ingredient commonly associated with a product must be Fair Trade Certified. For any individual Fair Trade Certified ingredient used in the product, 100% of that particular ingredient must be Fair Trade Certified.
- The product must contain as many Fair Trade Certified ingredients as are commercially available
- All Fair Trade Certified ingredients must be listed in the ingredients panel, on the back of the pack.
“Farmers selling crops that could be certified – like vanilla, cocoa, sugar and spices – want to be part of Fair Trade, but these ingredients are typically used in multiple ingredient products at lower percentages,” reads the Multiple Ingredients Product Policy draft. “Our policy will allow farmers to sell as much of their crops as possible as Fair Trade while balancing a consumer’s right to know what is in a Fair Trade certified product.”
Also, in an attempt to make labeling both more transparent and more attractive for consumers, Fair Trade has unveiled a newly designed certification label.
This is the first time Fair Trade has changed its logo since its founding in 1998.
While Fair Trade is encouraging brands to convert to the updated logo by October 2012, it will continue to support both the old and new labels. The new logo features a green and black design with a farmer and an open basket design, meant to communicate the reciprocal relationship Fair Trade has with farmers, as well as highlighting the “green” nature of Fair Trade products.
Fair Trade is a nonprofit organization that audits and certifies transactions between U.S. companies and their international suppliers to guarantee that the farmers and workers producing Fair Trade Certified goods were paid fair prices and wages, work in safe conditions, protect the environment, and receive community development funds to empower and improve their communities.
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.
A draft of the multiple ingredients policy can be viewed at http://www.fairtradeusa.org/certification/producers/ingredients.