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FTUSA Opens Certification to Coffee Workers While FLO Will Not

Fair Trade USA (FTUSA) recently announced that it will permit certification of coffee & other products produced by unorganized farmers and farm workers, and not just reserve certification for organized cooperatives. Similar changes were made in recent years for producers of tea, bananas and flowers, allowing large plantations with hired labor to participate in Fair Trade. Once changes are made to coffee certification, other product certifications like cocoa and sugar should have similar changes. Interestingly, the global certifier Fairtrade International (FLO), within which FTUSA is the exclusive US labeling initiative, announced it is not changing its coffee certification as FTUSA is. FLO prefers to continue its focus to benefit small-scale coffee farmers.

The changes for FTUSA are part of its newly launched strategy, Fair Trade for All, which aims to double U.S. sales of Fair Trade Certified goods by 2015. More on FTUSA’s Fair Trade for All strategy.

More on FLO’s announcement that the major changes to coffee certification undertaken by FTUSA are not being made by FLO, in FLO’s response.


  1. mc

    Hmmmm…. The webpage for Fair Trade for All used to say FTUSA plans to open coffee, cocoa, and sugar up to plantations.

    Wonder if they had a change of heart or just a change in message when they saw FLO’s response….

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