What does
the Fairtrade Mark mean?

The FAIRTRADE Mark is the symbol of the international Fairtrade system – and the most globally recognized ethical label. When you buy products with any of the FAIRTRADE Marks, you support farmers and workers as they improve their lives and their communities.

What does
the Fairtrade Mark mean?

The use of the FAIRTRADE Mark is subject to certain rules and guidelines for sourcing Fairtrade certified ingredients; having the entire supply chain from farm to retail packing certified and signing the FAIRTRADE Mark licensing agreement. Crucially, to use the FAIRTRADE Mark for a specific product, it is necessary that all the raw material in that product that can be sourced on Fairtrade terms should be sourced as Fairtrade Certified raw material.

The FAIRTRADE Mark is an internationally registered trademark owned by Fairtrade International. The FAIRTRADE Mark is the world's most widely recognised ethical label*.

Mark with an arrow

The FAIRTRADE Mark with a small arrow symbol next to it, indicates a supporting statement regarding sourcing method for some of the ingredients being mentioned on the back of pack. With prior written permission, the FAIRTRADE Mark can also be used by organizations in their other communications and promotion material.

This Mark with an arrow is used on products with multiple ingredients, such as chocolate bars or cereal. All the ingredients that are available under Fairtrade conditions have to be Fairtrade (e.g., all the cocoa, sugar and vanilla). The minimum total Fairtrade content is 20 percent but many companies go above and beyond that. You will find the percentages on the back of the pack.

This Mark is also used on single-ingredient products that have been sourced using “mass balance.” This is possible only for cocoa, sugar, fruit juice and tea. This means that companies purchase 100 percent of the volume of ingredients that they label as Fairtrade, but do not need to keep it separate and may mix it with non-Fairtrade ingredients at some point in the supply chain. The amount sold as Fairtrade must match the amount purchased. This way, the farmers and workers receive the full benefits of selling that amount of product on Fairtrade terms. Read more about mass balance here.

Specific Product Marks

Two products have their own specific Marks, gold and cotton. The FAIRTRADE Gold Mark stands for the fair extraction and trading of all of the gold used in a piece of jewelry, as well as the gold’s physical traceability throughout the supply chain. This certification may also be indicated by a stamp on the final piece of jewelry.

Textile Production

There is also a Fairtrade Textile Standard which mandates ethical production of a textile or piece of clothing – you may see a garment with tags that show it is both made from Fairtrade cotton and certified under the Fairtrade Textile Standard.

Fairtrade Sourced Ingredient Mark (FSI)

The Fairtrade Sourced Ingredient (FSI) model is an alternative way for businesses of all sizes to partner with Fairtrade, deepen their commitments to producers and farmers and reduce risk in their supply chains. The FSI model allows businesses to source a specific ingredient in their product as per the Fairtrade Standards and terms. The full supply chain of the ingredients sourced under the FSI model need to be certified according to full Fairtrade social, environmental and economic standards, which are independently verified. 100% of the chosen Fairtrade ingredient in composite products, product ranges or categories must be sourced on Fairtrade terms in order to use the FSI Mark. Further, a separate FSI licensing agreement also needs to be signed with the Fairtrade Organisation in your country or Fairtrade International. The FSI model allows for exciting new ways for businesses to talk about their engagement with sustainability through Fairtrade.

These white Marks indicate that the ingredient named on the tab has been sourced as Fairtrade, such as Fairtrade cocoa in a breakfast cereal. (This is different from the black FAIRTRADE Mark, which signifies that all the ingredients that are available as Fairtrade are Fairtrade certified.)

In this sourcing model, the composite product carries these labels to indicate that the ingredient is Fairtrade certified, such as Fairtrade cashews used in a package of mixed nuts, or Fairtrade honey used in a cereal where the rest of the ingredients are not Fairtrade (even if they could be sourced as Fairtrade).

Up to two FSI Marks can be used on the front of the packaging. An arrow in a tab indicates that the ingredient was sourced using “mass balance” and points to more information on the back of the package.

The Fairtrade Sourced Ingredient model allows farmers and workers more opportunities to sell their produce on Fairtrade terms and gives companies greater flexibility to incorporate Fairtrade ingredients into their products, product ranges or even across their whole business. It also gives consumers more options to shop sustainably. Ingredients sourced under this model continue to be certified according to same Fairtrade Standards, and producers still receive all the same benefits.

The new Fairtrade Sourced Ingredient Marks cover all Fairtrade commodities, except for coffee and bananas.

Where are the
trademarks registered?

Fairtrade’s trademarks are registered in over 170 countries including India. All Fairtrade Marks, FSI Marks and all other individual trademarks or certification marks worldwide are registered or pending in the name of Fairtrade International. To have access to the latest registration updates including goods and services classes and territories, among others, please visit: https://www.connectfairtrade.org/en/documents