The Fairtrade International Standards provide a comprehensive framework for fairer trade terms between producers and buyers. Relevant across various sectors, including agriculture and textiles, the certification ensures workers' rights and promotes environmentally responsible practices. The certification also extends to the entire supply chain, allowing products to carry the Fairtrade Mark once all elements have been certified.
Companies must undergo regular inspections by FLOCERT, a separate certification entity, to ensure compliance with Fairtrade Standards. The process is thorough and compliant with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice. However, the high level of difficulty in meeting economic and social criteria may be a barrier for some organizations.
Upon successful certification, a three-year cycle begins, during which up to two confirmation audits may take place, depending on the organization's individual situation. This ensures ongoing compliance and encourages continuous improvement.
Achieving Fairtrade certification offers companies a competitive advantage by validating their commitment to social and environmental responsibility. It also provides a framework for ongoing improvement, as companies are required to measure energy consumption and develop plans for reduction. However, the stringent requirements, especially in economic terms, may make the certification less accessible for some companies.