How to join Fairtrade

The Fairtrade Certification process is thorough, and we’re right here to guide and support our customers along the way.

The process consists of three main steps: application, audit and evaluation/certification.

And one major goal: to become a Fairtrader.


Fairtrade Certification
A product certification system where social, economic and environmental aspects of production are certified against Fairtrade Standards for producers …
Formal procedure of confirmation, by which an authorised person or agency assesses and verifies the attributes, quality, qualification, status of …
An evidence-gathering process that aims to assess the compliance of an organisation and/or a product with certain standards. There are three types of …

Your Fairtrade journey: from Application to Certification

Fairtrade Certification is for all supply chain actors, from the producer organisation growing the product, to the companies processing it, up to the point when it’s in its final packaging.

Take a look at our 3 steps below to find out exactly what it’ll take to become a Fairtrade-certified organisation.

Supply chain
Business entities involved in the supply and purchase of materials, goods or services from raw materials to the final product. In contrast to a chain …
Fairtrade refers to all or any part of the activities of Fairtrade International eV, FLOCERT, Fairtrade Producer Networks, National Fairtrade …
The term Producer refers to any type of producer set-up as found in the Fairtrade Standards: Hired Labour, Small-Scale Producer Organisations, …

Step 1: You apply …

  • Click here to check if your organisational set-up and product are within Fairtrade Certification scope, and send in your application request.
  • If in scope, FLOCERT's Applications team will assign you a unique Application ID and send out an application package for you to fill in, sign and return.
  • If you are an exporter, importer or manufacturer, you'll receive a temporary Permission to Trade following your successful application.


Step 2: We audit …

  •  A FLOCERT auditor visits your organisation to gather information and verify compliance, going through a checklist of the relevant Compliance Criteria required by the Fairtrade Standards. This onsite inspection includes checking facilities, reviewing paperwork, and talking with your employees/members.
    • For producers: the main criteria focus on transparency and democratic decision-making within the organisation, as well as working conditions, environmental conditions and traceability.
    • For traders: the main criteria concern contracts, payment terms, sourcing plans, prefinance, and the Fairtrade Minimum Price and Premium.
Fairtrade Minimum Price
The Fairtrade Minimum Price (where it exists) is the minimum price that must be paid by buyers to producers for a product to become certified against …
Fairtrade Standards
Fairtrade Standards, comprising Fairtrade Generic Standards and Fairtrade Product Standards, are requirements that producers and traders must meet in …
Permission to Trade
Intermediate and temporary allowance to start trading under Fairtrade conditions. By no means does it represent a valid Fairtrade Certificate and it …
Sourcing Plan
An outline of what is likely to be purchased during the year or season, and in what quantities.
The ability to identify and trace the history, location, use and processing of products and materials.
An Exporter is a company (other than the producer organisation) taking care of exporting a Fairtrade product from the country of origin (the country …
An Importer is a company taking care of the import of a Fairtrade product from the country of origin (the country the producer organisation is …
A person qualified to carry out audits on behalf of a certification body. Learn more about the audits carried out by FLOCERT auditors.
The independent Fairtrade Certification body, offering Fairtrade Certification services to customers in more than 120 countries. FLOCERT GmbH, a …
An organisation with Trader Certification. It may have either a seller or buyer role in transactions depending on its business relationship with the …

  • The audit begins with an opening meeting, where the auditor explains the audit plan and objective, and agrees on a schedule.
  • After the opening meeting, working from a customised checklist, the auditor may:
Opening Meeting
Meeting held at the beginning of an audit.

For producers:

  • cross-check documents (contracts, invoices, minutes, membership lists),
  • inspect the premises (production sites, processing installations, storage areas, farms and fields),
  • observe working conditions, health & safety and production practices,
  • hold meetings and confidential interviews with workers and members,
  • check the traceability of the Fairtrade product,
  • check the Premium money has been used as previously agreed.
Field Workers, artisans or other Workers, including migrant, temporary, seasonal, sub-contracted and permanent Workers, and all other Hired Labour …

For traders:

  • check all the company's Fairtrade transactions (cross-checking documents, contracts, invoices),
  • check the premises (processing installations, storage and production sites),
  • check the correct Fairtrade Price and Premium is paid on time to the producers,
  • check the Fairtrade product retains its traceability.
  • The auditor will explain the audit outcome at the closing meeting. If there are any Non-Conformities, you can suggest how to resolve them. The auditor's report is then handed over to the analyst to review the audit results and follow up on any Non-Conformities.
Closing Meeting
Meeting held at the end of the audit, during which the Auditor explains all Non-Conformities to the customer as well as the score achieved on …
An official request by the customer to review an Evaluation Decision. Reviews of Evaluation Decisions are decided by the Review Committee. If a …

Step 3: We analyse and certify …

  • Your FLOCERT analyst reviews the audit results and evaluates whether you fulfil the Fairtrade Standards.
  • If any Non-Conformities are found, the analyst will guide you through the process of correcting them.
  • Producers without Major Non-Conformities will receive a temporary Permission to Trade.
  • Once all Non-Conformities are resolved, you will receive your official Fairtrade certification.


Welcome to Fairtrade!

Your initial certification begins a three-year certification cycle for producers and a five-year cycle for traders. During this time, we'll audit your company periodically to ensure things are still going well, and may also carry out Unannounced Audits.

At the end of the cycle, you’ll receive a renewed certificate once you have successfully completed the Renewal Audit process.


Certification Cycle
The period from the point of initial certification to re-certification, or from re-certification to the following re-certification.
Unannounced Audit
FLOCERT Audit that takes place without prior announcement in order to assess what is happening at the customer’s site during a …
Renewal Audit
FLOCERT Audit conducted at the end of a Certification Cycle before the linked certificate expires. The aim is to verify compliance with the …

Check out our Fairtrade Assurance manual!

Learn in more depth how the Fairtrade Certification process works

Fairtrade Assurance manual