Fair Trade USA, the Oakland, Calif.-based organization formerly known as TransFair USA, has reached a strategic partnership with Scientific Certification Systems to provide third party certification.
Under the agreement, Fair Trade USA will introduce updated standards to extend Fair Trade benefits to more growers and farmworkers and provide U.S. businesses with more sustainable supply options, according to a news release.
“We believe SCS’s 25 years of experience and 13 separate global accreditations… speak volumes about its well-respected work as a standards developer and auditor in the food, agriculture and forestry sectors,” Paul Rice, president and chief executive officer of Fair Trade USA, said in the release. “We are confident that our industry and producer partners will appreciate their cost-effective and thorough approach to certification.”
Fair Trade USA and Emeryville, Calif.-based SCS plan to introduce certification to a wider range of producer groups, introduce new standards for a wider range of products and offer cost-effective certification services, the release said. SCS will conduct audits and certify new producer groups to permit them to join the Fair Trade movement.
“This partnership furthers our common goal of helping businesses and consumers support workers and communities by providing transparent information about the social and environmental aspects of the products they buy,” Stan Rhodes, chief executive officer of SCS, said in the release.
The Fair Trade USA goal is to double the reach of Fair Trade by 2015, according to the release.
Fair Trade USA certifies transactions between U.S. companies and international suppliers that meet the organization’s standards for prices, wages, working conditions and environmental sustainability.
Scientific Certification Systems, founded in 1984, provides third party certification in a variety of industries including food and agriculture, forestry and manufacturing.