How will Fair Trade certification benefit our company in the global marketplace?
Fair Trade USA certification is recognized in the North American market by a large number of retailers including Walmart, Costco, Whole Foods, Kroger.
How long does a Fair Trade audit take to complete?
The audit duration depends on the number and sizes of sites (farms and facilities) to be included in the audit scope, the different types of produce to include, the worker housing, the subcontractors, etc.
How long does it take to be certified?
Once SCS receives the client’s application from FTUSA, SCS responds with a quote within 1 week. Audit dates need to be scheduled during peak harvest activities and when 50% of the workforce is present. An audit usually takes 2-3 months to plan. After the audit occurs and the audit report is sent out, it may take the applicant 2-6 months to implement and finalize the Corrective Action Plan process. Certification can therefore take 4-9 months to be granted.
How long does Fair Trade certification last?
A FTUSA certificate is valid for 3 years, but the program requires annual audits. The first audit is an evaluation audit (Year 0), followed by 2 years of surveillance audits (Year 1 and 2), and Year 3 is a re-evaluation audit. By Year 6, the certificate holder is expected to comply with all requirements of the FTUSA standards, and in order to maintain the certification, annual audits will continue to be scheduled.
Is Fair Trade certification only for specific products, or can an entire company or produce become Fair Trade certified?
Fair Trade certification can be applied to any product. Please consult Fair Trade’s list of certified products here. The client may choose what sites, farms, facilities, and produce to include in the Fair Trade certified scope.
Are Fair Trade audits on site or virtual audits?
Since 2020, we have adopted a hybrid audit methodology that comprises a remote portion focused on document review and management staff interviews, followed by an onsite portion focused on field visits and worker interviews. This is subject to change.
Does Fair Trade certification have any impacts on climate change?
Fair Trade USA’s APS and CFS standards do not have direct requirements dealing with carbon emissions, sequestration, GHG emissions and monitoring. (Refer to Module 4 in the Fair Trade Agricultural Production Standard 1.2.0.)
Does Fair Trade certification have any impacts on environmental protection?
Fair Trade USA’s APS and CFS standards (specifically Module 4) require certificate holders to sustainably manage their pesticide use, water consumption, waste management and have a strong awareness of protected lands, endangered species and enhancing biodiversity.
Does SCS only audit U.S. companies to the Fair Trade Standard?
SCS works with professional, highly trained and experienced auditors. We have local onsite auditors in the US, Canada, South and Latin America including the countries of Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru, as well as professionals in the Philippines who serve our Southeast Asia and Indian clients and auditors in Africa, specifically in Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Mozambique.
Visit the Fair Trade USA’s website for questions related to the standard requirements.