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Fair Trade USA reveals new certification and labeling policy to better distinguish products

By Andrew McDougall , 23-Jan-2012
Last updated on 23-Jan-2012 at 17:09 GMT2012-01-23T17:09:55Z

New logos for products that are 100% certified (left) and that contain 20% certified ingredients (right)

New logos for products that are 100% certified (left) and that contain 20% certified ingredients (right)

Third-party certifier Fair Trade USA has announced its redesigned certification label and significant revisions to its Multiple Ingredients Product Policy, aimed at better serving the needs of farmers, businesses and consumers looking for fair trade certified ingredients and products.

Under the revised ingredients Policy, which applies to all cosmetic and personal care products, only products that contain 100 percent Fair Trade Certified ingredients may bear the full Fair Trade Certified label (pictured left).

In the case of products containing at least 20 percent Fair Trade Certified ingredients a new Fair Trade Certified Ingredients label (pictured right) will be used.

New label designs

"The clearer, more modern design helps the label 'pop' better on the shelf, enabling consumers to quickly find Fair Trade Certified products where they shop, while better communicating the importance of Fair Trade certification," said Ivan Blackshear, graphic design manager at Fair Trade USA.

"The use of green expresses the environmental benefits inherent in Fair Trade, and the simpler, 'farmer with an open basket design' communicates the reciprocal relationship we have with the farmers that produce our food."

It is the first time that Fair Trade USA has refreshed its logo since the organization's inception in 1998, and brands have been encouraged to convert to the updated logo on packaging by October 2012, although both the old and new labels will be supported to minimize marketplace confusion.

The hope is that the new labels will clearly highlight the difference between products with varying percentages of certified ingredients, and is part of Fair Trade USA’s revised ingredient policy.

Updated policy

"The changes to our Ingredients Policy reinforce the integrity and rigor of the Fair Trade Certified label while maximizing impact for farmers and workers by enabling their products to be included in a wider array of consumer goods," said Cate Baril, director of Business Development, CPG at Fair Trade USA.

"Our new policy provides a point of entry for both farmers and businesses, and encourages companies to include more Fair Trade Certified ingredients in their products."

Since 2009, sales of products containing Fair Trade Certified ingredients have resulted in more than $3.4 million in premiums to support the development of farming communities around the globe, according to Fair Trade USA.

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