Fair Trade Organizations and Principles

October is Fair Trade month. Last week I shared about what Fair Trade is and some of the myths and organizations that look into the practices of Fair Trade suppliers or producers.

There are many organizations that certify or verify a business or organizations Fair Trade Practices. First lets start with the difference between verification and certification.


Certification - Fair trade certification is offered by organizations such as Fair Trade USA or Fair Trade International. Certifiers perform in-person audits of a producer organization or site of an ingredient, product, or product line according to the fair trade standards set by each organization

Verification - Fair trade verification is an evaluation of a wholesale or retail organization. To become verified and a member of the Fair Trade Federation (FTF), the organization must make a full commitment to our nine fair trade principles for all products and practices. 

The Fair Trade Federation has more detailed information here

There are numerous Fair Trade organizations that certify, verify and promote Fair Trade. Here are a few examples.


Fair Trade USA is one of the certifying organizations that certifies producer products and ensures that all farmers earn a living income, and agricultural workers earn a living wage.

Here are some examples of Fair Trade Certified products:



Fair Trade Federation:


Fair Trade Federation members undergo a rigorous screening process  to ensure adherence to the organization's principles. The Federation does not certify individual products, but instead evaluates an entire business for its commitment to Fair Trade

Here are a few members of the FTF both stores and individual businesses.


Fair Trade Campaigns



Fair Trade Campaigns is a powerful grassroots movement mobilizing thousands of conscious consumers and Fair Trade advocates on campuses and communities across the USA including schools, towns, congregations and universities. Here is an example of a Fair Trade Town:




Fair Trade Los Angeles is officially designated as the largest Fair Trade City in North America, and the fourth largest in the world, behind Seoul, Rio, and London. Baskets and Beads is a member of Fair Trade Los Angeles. Check out Fair Trade LA here.

This is just a simple overview of some of the organizations that promote and support Fair Trade.  Think about who makes your products and support fair trade where you can.  Do some research into the products you buy.  While you can't buy everything Fair Trade yet, you can be a supporting factor in helping small businesses locally and artisans around the world. 

Most of the Fair Trade businesses that sell Fair Trade products are small businesses and a large majority are women owned small businesses. Consider shopping Small and shopping Fair Trade this Holiday season. Small business needs your support. Amazon does not. Consider shopping small and shopping Fair Trade for all your gift giving needs. You will be supporting small businesses and other artisans around the world.

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