Coronavirus-related changes in operations

Dear Fairtrade certified customers,

COVID-19 continues to affect communities in 213 countries and territories around the world. Meanwhile, the pandemic plays out differently from country to country.

Update as of 1 July 

As the situation slowly clears in some countries, we will start resuming onsite audits where possible. Guaranteeing the health, safety and smooth operations of the millions of farmers, producers and traders who continue to work through the pandemic remains FLOCERT’s top priority. We will therefore consider carefully where we can again conduct onsite audits without posing any health risk to our customers and their communities, or to our auditors and staff. The decision will be based on the local situation and regulations as well as auditors' required travel routes. The main requirement will be that there are no travel restrictions within the region where our auditees and auditors are located. In order to assess restrictions, we will listen to the customer's feedback. If there are no valid reasons not to conduct the audit, the usual auditing approach will apply.

FLOCERT’s remote audit approach continues

Where we cannot yet conduct onsite audits, we will continue with the remote audit methodology until further notice. We will continue to keep you up to date on any overall developments and our analysts will be in touch on an individual basis for any upcoming audits.

  • For traders this means: Any audit may be converted into a remote audit. Our certification analysts will inform traders with upcoming audits whether they will be conducted remotely or onsite. For more information, find below our Tutorial for remote audits for Fairtrade traders.
  • For producers this means: Wherever possible, FLOCERT will offer remote audits with a limited scope as approved by Fairtrade International. We will defer audits where remote auditing is not an option. Our certification analysts will inform producer organisations with upcoming audits whether their audit will be postponed or carried out remotely. Following instructions from Fairtrade International, we will continue to not offer any renewal audits or initial audits for producer organisations.

As always, we will answer any further questions you may have.

Best regards,

Sugumar Raman

FLOCERT Director of Operations

 

Tutorial for remote audits for Fairtrade traders 

 

Original post from 22.04.2020

From 23 March 2020 onwards, all physical audits were amended as for the following customer groups:

  • Certified Traders: All physical audits scheduled until 30 June 2020 were converted into remote audits.
  • Certified Producers: All physical audits were postponed initially. Starting 22 April, for audits scheduled until 30 June, 2020, FLOCERT will offer remote audits with a limited scope as approved by Fairtrade International wherever possible. We will defer audits where remote auditing is not an option. Our certification analysts will inform producer organisations with upcoming audits whether their audit will be postponed or will be carried out remotely.
  • Applicant Traders: Current methodology to provide the "Permission to Trade (PTT)"  continues.
  • Applicant Producers: Since physical audits are postponed and these are a prerequisite for any Initial Producer Certification, all Initial Producer Certification is consequently postponed.

This crisis is unprecedented and has, as you know, an important impact on all our activities.

The current solution offered by FLOCERT is meant to provide an immediate relief to Fairtrade organisations. Our remote audit methodology hence is currently applicable only until 30 June and directed towards a small group of customers that have audits scheduled. FLOCERT currently does not offer any renewal audits or initial audits.

FLOCERT is also working on a longer term plan on how to best manage credibility concerns during the ongoing Corona pandemic.

We thank you for your understanding. We remain at your disposal for any clarifications.