Oakland, CA — Fair Trade USA is introducing a new “Fair Trade Certified Ingredients” label for products containing ingredients at least 20 percent certified.
The new policy is a revision from the organization’s initial proposal that such products can carry the original Fair Trade Certified logo, which generated criticism among fair trade activist groups who said it was unfair to companies with 100 percent fair trade certified products. The ingredients label was introduced because most products that can achieve 100 percent fair trade certification are single-ingredient products, such as coffee, tea and bananas.
The initial ingredient-label proposal required all ingredients for which there are fair trade varieties available to come from a certified source; however, the new rule allows only “commercially available ingredients sourced predominately in the Global South” to come from fair trade sources. Ingredient-specific labels can also be used if the ingredient mentioned is either the highest percentage fair trade certified ingredient in the product or the ingredient consumers commonly associate with a product. For example, if a brownie contains 30 percent fair trade certified flour and 10 percent fair trade certified cocoa, it could be labeled “Fair Trade Certified Cocoa,” because it is the ingredient commonly associated with the product or “Fair Trade Certified Flour,” because flour has the highest level of certification of all the ingredients in the product.