Thursday, 5 July 2012

THE FAIR TRADE CERTIFICATION PROCESS

(1) Application

The certification process starts with the completion of an application questionnaire followed by a scope-check to assess the verifiability of the applicant. The reason of this process is to establish whether the applicant falls within the scope of and to provide all the essential information as regards the certification process.

(2) Audit

once the application is approved, FLO-Cert will verify the compliance with Fairtrade Standards through a physical audit. Audit varies in length and complexity depending on the size of the organization, the difficulty of its structures and the number of products they want to certify. A full Fairtrade audit can last from a couple of days up to 6 or 7 days for large co-operatives. The cost of certification is dependent on the number of working days requisite to inspect the producer group or trader.

(3) Evaluation

following the inspection, the auditor sends a report to FLO-Cert for evaluation. The decision to confirm is taken by a specialized certifier, who is supervised by an independent certification committee. If non-conformities are found, FLO-Cert will revert to the candidate and decide on a timeframe within which the candidate must solve them.

(4) Certification

If the audit is successful, the company will receive its Fairtrade certificate. This allows the company to produce/trade products on Fairtrade terms. FLO-Cert will re-audit the certified company every year to ensure that Fairtrade Standards are always met.