CVS, private brands lead Q2 Fair Trade Certified launches

Fair Trade USA noted 229 new products hit shelves in the second quarter with a Fair Trade Certified seal; 46 were private label.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Fair Trade USA, a leading certifier of fair trade products in North America, highlighted new private brand partnership in coffee, apparel and home goods that launched during the second quarter of 2021. In total, the organization saw 229 new Fair Trade Certified products hit the market in Q2 — 46 were in private brands.

Abby Ayers, head of retail and factory partnerships, at Fair Trade USA spoke recently at the Store Brands Industry Forums event on sustainability, discussing how brands and retailers are working to bring ethical sourcing of products to consumers and gain their trust. A webcast of the event is available here.

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The company said one in three consumers feel fair trade is essential to their purchase and retailers that use the Fair Trade Certified seal on products see a sales lift by 3.3% on average. When deeper storytelling is added to a package around how products were sourced, sales can increase by 134%, they said.

New partnerships in private brands working with Fair Trade include CVS Pharmacy, who in May launched more than 150 new products within its store brands assortment, including Gold Emblem Fair Trade Certified coffees. CVS became the first drugstore to carry 100% Fair Trade Certified products within its private label, according to Fair Trade. The assortment features nine sustainably sourced coffees in various blends and flavors such as Donuts Shop, French Vanilla, French Roast, Colombian, and in differing pack sizes. 

The Oakland, Calif.-based organization said each sale of the coffee products directly benefit coffee producers through Community Development Funds managed by Fair Trade, helping workers invest in initiatives that address their communities. Past funds have been used toward building schools, health clinics, providing transportation and more.


Apparel, Home Goods
Looking to spread the word of ethical sourcing within branded and store brand apparel, Fair Trade USA introduced a spring campaign called We Wear Fair Trade, including its #GetTheSeal social challenge, empowering consumers to ask their favorite brands to source ethically.

Some brands joined the challenge including Mightly, an organic childrenswear brand, Our Tiny Roots, a children’s clothing and bedding brand, and Pact Organic Apparel, a producer of organic bedding and apparel. 

The companies amplified the Fair Trade message through its social channels and on QR codes on product packaging. Pact Organic Apparel produces 90% of its products in Fair Trade Certified factories.