Fair Trade USA Enhances Its Factory Production Standards

The upgraded certification is designed to help companies expand into new categories and do so with ease and limited cost.
Greg Sleter
Associate Publisher/Executive Editor
Greg Sleter profile picture
Fair Trade USA

Fair Trade USA has enhanced its certification process with the addition of new Factory Production Standards that support accelerated factory onboarding, expansion into new product categories and countries, affordability and accessibility, the organization said.

"This new program aims to broaden and scale impact to factory workers around the world," said Larry Ruff, president of Fair Trade USA. "These innovations create a more seamless operation as we move to scale and are a vital part of the program's transformation. We envision a time when sourcing from Fair Trade Certified factories is the norm, and all consumers have access to Fair Trade Certified products."

The enhancements include: 

  • Easier Entry – An approach that promotes accessibility and ease of entry for businesses wanting to source via Fair Trade Certified factories, incentivizing progress over time.
  • Faster Onboarding – Third Party program recognition enables cost and time efficiencies by reducing excess auditing.
  • Expansion of Product Categories & Countries – Clarifies scope to allow for more diverse facilities and expansion beyond apparel to include cosmetics, footwear and other industries.
  • Simplified Pricing Model – Release of a new and simplified pricing model is available to better meet partners' budgets.
  • Additional Supporting Activity – Enhanced compatibility with industry initiatives – align requirements and language with Fair Labor Association (FLA) and various companies' Codes of Conduct.

Launched in 2010, more than 100 factories in 13 countries have been certified to date, representing 65 brands. Fair Trade USA said it plans to scale the program and increase its impact between now and 2030.