Fair Trade USA accepted as Associate Member of ISEAL

Fair Trade USA has met the entry-level criteria for ISEAL membership. ISEAL Associate Membership reflects a commitment to credibility and the steps to achieve full ISEAL membership, where compliance is demonstrated by meeting ISEAL’s internationally recognised Codes of Good Practice in standard-setting, assurance and impacts.

Fair Trade USA sets standards, certifies, and labels products that promote sustainable livelihoods for farmers and workers and protect the environment. Through this approach, it enables sustainable development and community empowerment by cultivating a more equitable global trade model.

As an Associate Member of ISEAL, Fair Trade USA adheres to the ISEAL Credibility Principles and meets the baseline criteria of each of the three ISEAL Codes of Good Practice, as assessed by the Secretariat. Fair Trade USA was recommended by the Membership Committee to the Board of Directors, and was approved on 19 March 2018. 

"Fair Trade USA is proud to announce our Associate ISEAL membership to the international community," said Paul Rice, President & CEO of Fair Trade USA. "As we prepare to celebrate our twentieth anniversary this October, this achievement reinforces our long-time commitment to quality, transparency and accountability."

Fair Trade USA joins a community of established and well respected international sustainability standards. It will be working alongside these mission-driven standards organisations to continuously improve the effectiveness of its systems and demonstrate impact.

Karin Kreider, Executive Director at ISEAL Alliance, said: “ISEAL applauds Fair Trade USA on the tremendous progress it has made in the development of its programme over the years. Having achieved Associate Membership is recognition of the hard work Fair Trade USA has put into building a credible, transparent and effective standards programme.”

As standards and certification rapidly expand into new sectors, products and markets, ISEAL membership is a strong indicator of credibility and builds confidence in stakeholders that a standard or label is making a difference.

Organisations must achieve associate membership first - to transition to full membership, organisations must undergo an independent evaluation to demonstrate they meet overall compliance with improvement criteria of the Standard-Setting Code and, within three years of full membership, undergo an independent evaluation against the Impacts and Assurance Codes.  

Following this announcement, ISEAL’s membership grows to 23 standards organisations operating in diverse sectors that address critical sustainability issues such as biodiversity conservation, resource use, working conditions and producer livelihoods. As the global association of sustainability standards, ISEAL brings the standards movement together to scale up its collective impact and engage in discussions on credibility and effectiveness.

ISEAL strongly encourages any organisation developing or operating a sustainability standards system with a multi-stakeholder approach and a commitment to credible practices to consider joining the ISEAL Alliance. You can find out more information on our membership page.


About Fair Trade USA

Fair Trade USA seeks to empower family farmers and workers around the world, while enriching the lives of those struggling in poverty. Rather than creating dependency on aid, they use a market-based approach that empowers farmers to get a fair price for their harvest, helps create safe working conditions, guarantees fundamental rights at work, and provides community development premiums to improve their lives.

The Fair Trade USA Agricultural Production Standard (APS) applies globally to all agricultural production systems.  Fair Trade USA works with many different types and structures of farms and facilities, each of which is audited against a set of criteria according to the size of the operation – small, mid-sized, or large. The implementation of the APS supports sustainable livelihoods for farmers and workers by reinforcing lasting, positive change related to the four impact goals: Empowerment, Community and Individual Well-Being, Income Sustainability, and Environmental Stewardship.