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Fair Trade Certification

Recognizing Sustainability and Equitable Trade
Jennifer Watters, Client Services Manager, Sustainability phone icon510.452.8054 Email

Fair Trade Certified™ products provide the rigorous social and environmental guarantees that many retailers and buyers are now demanding. Fair Trade empowers consumers to support farmers, farm workers, and fishers and to have a positive impact on farm and fishing communities through their everyday purchases.

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Service Offerings

SCS offers Fair Trade USA certification services worldwide for agricultural and seafood producers and products covered by Fair Trade USA standards, including: seafood, coffee, tea, herbs, cocoa, fresh fruit and vegetables, sugar, beans and grains, flowers, nuts, oils and butters, honey and spices, and certified ingredients used in ready-to-drink beverages. This list of products continues to expand.

Agricultural Production Standard (APS)

Producers certified under the Fair Trade USA Agricultural Production Standard demonstrate compliance with requirements in the following areas:

  • Empowerment
  • Fundamental Rights at Work
  • Wages, Working Conditions, and Access to Services
  • Biodiversity, Ecosystem Function, and Sustainable Production
  • Traceability and Transparency
  • Internal Management System

Capture Fisheries Standard (CFS)

Fisheries certified under the Fair Trade USA Capture Fisheries Standard demonstrate compliance with requirements in the following areas:

  • Structural Requirements
  • Empowerment & Community Development
  • Fundamental Human Rights
  • Wages, Working Conditions, and Access to Services
  • Resource Management
  • Trade Requirements

Capture Fisheries Program Infographic

Certification Process
  1. Apply for Certification
  2. Authorize a Proposal
    • SCS will review your application and prepare a proposal for your approval with scope of work, timeline and quote. To initiate the certification process, sign and return the Work Order.
  3. Schedule and Prepare for Audit
    • Upon receipt of the signed Work Order, SCS will work with you to schedule the audit. SCS will provide an audit plan and request documents in advance of the onsite audit.
  4. Undergo Audit
    • The on-site audit includes document review, worker interviews, and field observations. Draft findings are communicated in the closing meeting. Audit report is sent to client within 20 business days.
  5. Corrective Actions
    • Any issues cited in the Non-Conformity Report (NCR) are addressed by Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) within 30 days. CAPs provide clear evidence that implementation occurred.
  6. Decision
    • SCS issues a certification decision based on the CAPs prepared by the client.
  7. Certification
    • SCS provides a Fair Trade certification registration number, certificate, and applicable on-product label. Certificates are valid for 3 years and surveillance audits are conducted annually.

Benefits of Certification

  • Demonstrate your organization’s commitment to safeguard the environment, and the health and well-being of workers and communities
  •  Brand your products as ethical alternatives for values-based shoppers
  • Establish best practices within your organization for environmental and worker protections
  • Provide funds for community enrichment projects



Complementary Services

In addition to auditing farms, estates, smallholders, fisheries and traders for conformance to Fair Trade USA standards, SCS Global Services offers a wide range of complementary certification services. Let us know if you are interested in having us expand the scope of your audit to include a GFSI, GAP or GMP food safety audit, certify conformance with the National Organic Program requirements, evaluate your flavor management system, confirm antioxidant levels in your products, or certify that your harvested crops are pesticide residue free.

For immediate service:

Jennifer Watters, Client Services Manager, Sustainability phone icon 510.452.8054 Email Jennifer