Frequently Asked Questions
Producer Recognition Agreement
Why do I have to sign an agreement if I’m already certified with FLOCERT?
- You must sign a Producer Recognition Agreement with Fair Trade USA® if you sell products on fair trade terms to Fair Trade USA Registered Buyers.
- Given that the final product bears the Fair Trade Certified™ seal, it is our responsibility to ensure that the producer organization has received the benefits of the fair trade price and premiums for products sold to Fair Trade USA Registered Buyers.
- The Producer Recognition Program is necessary to create greater transparency and visibility along the supply chain.
I am already registered. Do I still need to sign the agreement?
- Yes. Thank you for registering in the past. Signing a new agreement is now part of the Producer Recognition Program for producers certified with FLOCERT.
Why do I need to sign an agreement now when I didn’t have to in the past?
- Our 1,400 Registered Buyers, along with the North American market in general, are requiring increasing levels of transparency and traceability in their supply chains. Buyers want to know more about where their product comes from, who produced it, and how Fair Trade Premiums were invested and the impact they are having. Through the Producer Recognition Program, we aim to meet this demand for information to continue growing the fair trade market to ultimately benefit small producers.
Is the agreement mandatory?
- Yes, it is mandatory for all FLOCERT certified producer organizations that sell products to Fair Trade USA Registered Buyers. If you have received an invitation to participate in this program, it is because your products are currently being sold to one of our Registered Buyers in the US.
What does it cost to join the Producer Recognition Program?
- If you register by July 31 and report your data each quarter (a quick online process) this program will never cost you anything.
- We did not create this program to charge producers money. In fact, we created it to help you make more money.
- We do, however, need all producers to participate so that our buyers get the increased transparency that they are asking for.
- As an incentive for everyone to register early, we will charge a $1,000 fee to all producres who have not done so by July 31. Registering will also be required after July 31 to retain your Authorization to Trade with our Fair Trade Certified seal.
Will signing this agreement require me to pay a fee?
- In the future, discounts will be based on compliance with the terms and deadlines established in the agreement.
Do you accept FLOCERT certification?
- Yes. Fair Trade USA appreciates that producers have worked hard to achieve FLOCERT certification, so we recognize and accept FLOCERT certificates. It is not necessary to undergo a second fair trade audit to sell to Fair Trade USA Registered Buyers based in the US.
What are the requirements of the Producer Recognition Program?
The requirements are:
- Sign the online Producer Recognition Agreement (with DocuSign) and share your FLOCERT certificate.
- Every quarter, you must report your sales on fair trade terms, and every year send information on the use of the premium, as requested.
- Additionally, you must notify Fair Trade USA of any changes about the status of your certification.
What will happen if I do not sign an agreement with Fair Trade USA?
- If a group does not participate in the Producer Recognition Program, Fair Trade USA cannot grant you an Authorization to Trade. As of December 31, 2020, Fair Trade USA Registered Buyers will no longer be able to purchase products under fair trade terms from a producer organization that does not have their Authorization to Trade.
How do I report my fair trade transactions?
- Go to partner.fairtradecertified.org and log into the Partner Portal with your username and password. If you do not know your username, please reach out to Fair Trade USA at email@example.com.
- We have dedicated personnel to assist producer organizations to upload transaction reports quickly and easily.
- Additionally, you can also access training resources for reporting on our website: https://get.fairtrade.help/hc/en-us.
Most of my sales are to FLOCERT operators. Do I still need to report these sales to Fair Trade USA?
- Yes. Fair Trade USA needs this information to facilitate product transparency and traceability from the producer organization all the way to our Registered Buyers. A lot of fair trade products are sold through intermediaries from other countries before arriving at our market. Therefore, we need purchases and sales information from all actors in the supply chain in order to guarantee the credibility of the fair trade value chain and to ensure that producers are receiving all the benefits they deserve.
Will the reports that I send to Fair Trade USA violate my contract with FLOCERT?
- No. Your information and transactions are yours and not the property of any certifier or third party.
Is there any other audit if I am certified with FLOCERT?
- Fair Trade USA does not require a second fair trade audit if a producer organization already has a valid FLOCERT certificate. However, there are cases where, due to discrepancies in the information presented, Fair Trade USA may conduct a verification visit to clarify those discrepancies and train the organization on data management.
Will I get a certificate when I participate in the Producer Recognition Program?
- Yes, you will receive a certificate as a Recognized Producer with Authorization to Trade, as well as a Fair Trade USA ID number. Your certificate will be renewed and issued each calendar year and will be active for one year or until the expiration of your FLOCERT certificate, whichever comes first.
Why have I received letters urging me not to join?
- When we launched this program, you might have heard that Fair Trade USA was breaking away from the fair trade movement.
- We are not leaving the fair trade movement. We are growing it.
- We created the program to give our U.S. buyers what they want: a closer relationship with the people who make their coffee.
- All you need to get started is a copy of your FLOCERT. In the future we will ask you to upload your transaction data once per quarter. No new audits are necessary.
- Do not worry: registering will not change your relationship with Fairtrade International. It will simply help you grow your sales in the U.S.
- We are excited to open up the world of fair trade to you like never before!
Data Use and Disclosure
What will Fair Trade USA do with my impact information?
- Fair Trade USA shares impact information with buyers and consumers to expand the fair trade market and to share your positive results.
What will Fair Trade USA do with my transaction information?
- Transaction information is only shared with your specific buyers, not publicly.
What will Fair Trade USA do with my FLOCERT audit report, if I decide to share it?
- Audit reports are strictly confidential. Fair Trade USA only collects audit reports to analyze the most common non-conformities across hundreds of producer organizations to improve the focus of its producer support programs.