Make a difference

Producers and manufacturers of Fair for Life Social and Fair Trade certified products choose to make their production fair and safe for all workers and farmers. And consumers make a difference by buying the certified products.

Key Aspects

Products - The same standard is applicable to most kinds of products, food and non-food deriving from agricultural raw materials—lending its applicability to a wide range of products on the market. Specific standards are applicable for artisans, wild collection, mining and tourism. Fair for Life allows for a combination of different initiatives and certification schemes in the overall ethical and fair trade sourcing programme of a company.
Chain of custody requirements - Fair for Life goes beyond traditional fair trade by applying fair trade principles also to relevant domestic or regional trade and by requiring ethical working conditions along the entire trade chain.
Transparency of performance - Performance rating of certified operations is published on the Fair for Life website for maximum transparency. Standards and compliance criteria are transparent for companies seeking certification. The certification system requires good overall performance for the first inspection and sets incentives for continuous improvements.
Type of smallholders groups - Smallholders are certified not only if organised in formal co-operatives, but also when organised more informally, and also those contracted by a commercial buyer or NGO (contract production). Specific rules for contract production ensure that contract growers are treated fairly. Because contract production is a common business relationship in developing countries, fair trade rules must ensure fair treatment of smallholder contract farmers. Numerous smallholder projects in Asia and Africa that have a strong beneficial social impact for thousands of smallholder farmers are contract production projects because no traditional well-working cooperative structures exist.
Quality control in smallholder groups - Farmer groups must have an Internal Control System (ICS), modelled after that for organic certification to ensure that the individual farmers actually comply with social as well as applicable environmental standards.

Pricing system - The fair price and fair trade premium is agreed between supplier and buyer based on transparent and open negotiations. It applies to all purchases by a buyer, not only certain fair trade consignments. Farmers are always guaranteed a minimum farm gate price. Typically, Fair for Life fair trade premiums are app. 10% of farm gate prices. Fair trade premiums are to reach the targeted social groups, normally farmers and workers. In some settings the main target group can also be e.g. migrating labour on small/medium size farms or in small processing workshops. It is recommended to focus premium use on the most marginalized target groups in a specific production situation. Decision on use of overall fair trade premium can be made by a committee (not only farmers assembly/workers assembly) which may also include the fair trade buyer and external development experts. The pricing system ensures that farmers get a fair price and that workers as well as farmers can contribute to the social development of their respective communities.
Environmental criteria - All certified companies must comply with a comprehensive set of environmental criteria including important aspects of water conservation, energy management and climate change, ecosystem management and waste management. Certified companies must not be engaged in habitat destruction and should work on continuous improvement of their energy use. All operations have to be certified according to an acknowledged organic or ecological minimum standard, e.g. Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS), FSC, GlobalGAP, UTZ Certified. Operations that are not certified according to such a standard must fulfil the additional Integrated Production Criteria.

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Insight into impacts

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