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Fair Trade USA Changes Label Policy

OAKLAND, Calif. — Fair Trade USA has revised its multiple ingredients policy after considering feedback from stakeholders.

The third-party certifier of fair trade products will collect public comments on the draft policy for 60 days.
It reserves use of the full Fair Trade Certified label for items with 100% fair trade certified contents, and outlines requirements for a new Fair Trade Certified Ingredients label.

To bear the ingredient seal, products must meet these requirements:

•  100% of the ingredient commonly associated with a product must be fair trade certified. So in the case of a chocolate bar, 100% fair trade certified cocoa must be used.

•  For any individual fair trade certified ingredient used in the product, 100% of that ingredient must be certified. If a product contains fair trade certified vanilla extract, for example, all of the vanilla extract must be fair trade certified.

•  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.

The new draft policy replaces an earlier one that would have, in some cases, certified as fair trade products with at least 25% fair trade ingredients, even if they also contained conventional components for which fair trade alternatives were commercially available.

A review of the initial policy was prompted by Fair World Project, a campaign of the Organic Consumers Association. The group expressed that unless FTUSA reversed its proposed labeling standards, it would no longer recognize the non-profit as a reputable fair trade certifier.

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