Getting certified; a guide for producer groups

Shop for Change Fair Trade certification is a gold standard for producer groups, helping them stand out as leaders in social and environmental responsibility. Being certified also speaks to buyers about quality of produce and reliability and helps producer groups access value-added markets.

Shop for Change Fair Trade seeks to hand more control and security to farmer groups during the negotiation process with buyers. By setting a framework for the composition of contracts, farmer groups enjoy more favourable terms and conditions and have more certainty when trading. Contracts must include:

  • The group must be a legally recognised organisation working with a group of producers
  • The group must be involved in capacity building and produce marketing for producers
  • The group should have members that produce similar products in the same way and in the same locality

Step-by-step guide to becoming a Shop for Change producer group

  • Talk with our Standards Manager and learn more about the work we do and how you can partner with us to access value-added markets, train farmers and get a fairer deal.
  • Get to know the Shop for Change standards for producer groups and fill out the Shop for Change producer group Application for Certification form.
  • Work with Shop for Change to set up the relevant systems required to meet minimum certification standards.
  • Successfully complete an initial audit by our team of independent auditors. Subsequent audits will be on an annual basis.

Responsibilities of being a Shop for Change producer group

Being a Shop for Change producer group has many benefits, but it also brings with it some responsibilities. We expect the producer groups we work with to act in good faith and uphold the principles of fair trade. Producer groups must be transparent and accountable to their members. There must be no discrimination or harassment against members and equality should be promoted.

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