Fair-trade certification begins with producers - usually democratic links of small-scale farmers who grow the raw ingredient in Fair-trade certified products. Producers have to meet a range of criteria that focus on a range of areas include labour standards, sustainable farming, ascendancy, and democratic involvement.Producers are commonly checked by FLO-Cert, a free certification body owned by Fair-trade International, which conduct on-site audits to ensure producers go on to meet Fair-trade standards.
Companies that buy products from Fair-trade certified producer organization must also stick on to strict standards, daily report, and submit to on-site audits. These standard focuses on the terms of trade - specifically they spell out the minimum prices that can be paid to producers, the prospect for longer-term contracts, and the condition to provide up to 60% of the value of a agreement in advance should the producer’s request.
These companies are also audit to ensure the Fair-trade certified products they sell to their customers match the Fair-trade certified products they buy from producers, as are companies more along the supply chain who don't deal straight with producers. If those companies are placed outside of Canada, they report to and are audited by FLO-Cert or to one of Fair-trade Canada's sister organization.
In Canada, companies register with Fair-trade Canada to transaction in Fair-trade certified products. They must sign an agreement with us obliging them to report their purchases, processing and sale of everything that has been certified as Fair Trade. In adding up, the agreement spells out how they can and cannot use the Fair-trade certification mark on parcels and promotional material.
As with other actor in the supply chains of Fair-trade certified products, they are also requisite to open their books to us when we conduct on-site audits.