Coronavirus-related changes in operations

Dear Fairtrade certified customers,

COVID-19 continues to affect communities in many countries and territories around the world.  Like the many global businesses adjusting their operations to accommodate health and safety protocols, we’ve had to shift the way we work.

For the health and safety of our auditors, customers and their communities, FLOCERT introduced the remote audit methodology in lieu of onsite audits in March 2020. These changes were introduced in consultation with our Scheme Owner – Fairtrade International, while keeping our Accreditation body DAkkS, informed. Both customers and auditors have welcomed this approach and have experienced remote audits to be assuring smooth Fairtrade trading operations.

In 2021, we will continue with this alternative in regions where our careful assessment has proven onsite audits to pose a health risks to either the communities or our auditors.

  • If you are a Fairtrade trader:  Any upcoming audit may be converted into a remote audit if an onsite audit is not possible. If you have an upcoming audit, our certification analysts will inform you whether this will be conducted remotely or onsite. For more information, find below our Tutorial for Remote Audits for Fairtrade traders.
  • If you fall under the category of Fairtrade producer:   FLOCERT will offer remote audits with a limited scope as approved by Fairtrade International if an onsite audit is not possible. This in general also applies to initial, re-entry and renewal audits where certain prerequisites need to be fulfilled in order to qualify for the remote initial or remote re-entry audit. We will defer audits where remote auditing is also not an option. If you have an upcoming audit, our certification analysts will inform you whether this will be conducted remotely or if it is deferred.

For customer groups like Artisanal, Small-scale Mining Organisations (ASMO), organisations certified against the Fairtrade Climate Standard and companies certified against the Fairtrade Textile Standard, remote auditing is not approved as an option by Fairtrade International. We will continue to defer audits for those customers, if we are unable to conduct onsite audit, until we receive an approval

We will continue to keep you up-to-date with any developments and/or changes.

As always, we are at your disposal for any further questions you may have.

 

Best regards,

Sugumar Raman

FLOCERT Director of Operations