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Fair Trade Cosmetics

Fair Trade Cosmetics

FloCert – Fair Trade USA – Fair Trade Int’l – Fair Trade Federation – UTZ Certified – Fair For Life

Above are the fair trade organizations I found in a 5 minute Google search…all private standards and all private non-profits. Each of these organizations has their own standards (rules), their own audit process, and most of them work completely independently from each other

It’s All About the Farmers & Growers

The world of “fair trade” means that a group of growers who work with a processor are audited by a standards organization that looks at fairer business, environmental, and social practices for the grower group. Crops like coffee, tea, bananas, and cocoa, where many land holders may farm and harvest on very small plots and then collectively sell to a processor who then sells to larger buyers, are the usual participants in these programs. The processor holds the certificate and pays more to the growers, but this also means that the end users pay a bit more.

Certifying A Cosmetic

If you want to explore certification for a cosmetic, the certifier will look at the percent of “fair trade” content in the product. This sort of certification allows you to use a “fair trade” claim and the certifiers’ seal. In the US you can reach out to FairTrade USA or Fair for Life.

It is somewhat restricted because when it comes to cosmetics, the most common fair-traded ingredients are cocoa butter and shea butter – so not a lot of ingredient choices. Our favorite is our Fair For Life & Organic Rosehip Oil (Virgin) from Patagonia.

Certification for Fair Trade USA for finished products is done using a desk audit and requires a service fee (sorry – you’ll need to call them for that cost).

Pros and Cons

Pros: you are supporting better trade practices and this helps with poverty and safer working conditions.

Cons: You cannot “claim” the fair trade certifier’s name on your web site or product unless you are certified or have some sort of agreement with them. Also, the different certifiers do not cooperate with each other, so you’d need to find ingredients that all meet the same standard in order to get certified.

Remember – certification seals (USDA, fair trade, No-GMO, etc.) are trademarks and are protected by law. You need permission to use someone else’s trademark.

Use great ingredients for great products. #organicisbest

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