Fairtrade is one of the most trusted standards and a credible and valuable partner for businesses in human rights due diligence in their supply chains. 

Helping you address Modern Slavery in your supply chain

Being a Fairtrade licensee means that you are already meeting many of the obligations set out in modern slavery legislation in Australia – both at the Commonwealth and relevant state level. We are still waiting for federal modern slavery legislation to be enacted in New Zealand but the process has started and we expect that this will also be the case there.


Simply put, Fairtrade views forced labour, and any form of exploitation and abuse, as totally unacceptable. We have chosen to engage in areas with a known risk of forced labour because we believe that is where Fairtrade is needed the most.

Our system incorporates rules – which we call Fairtrade Standards – that those involved in our supply chains must adhere to. This includes the farmers who produce Fairtrade products (Producer Standards) as well as other parts of the supply chain (Trader Standards). While the Standards do vary between the two groups, they both seek to address risk of modern slavery.

The Trader Standards

The Trader Standards requires compliance with national labour laws and fundamental ILO conventions (including the Forced Labour and Worst Forms of Child Labour conventions). They also encourage supply chain actors to adopt voluntary best practices on risk mitigation and management.

The Producer Standards

The Producer Standards require compliance with national labour laws and fundamental ILO conventions (including the Forced Labour and Worst Forms of Child Labour conventions) and encourage producers to adopt measures as part of their Fairtrade Development Plan, in order to identify and respond to modern slavery risks. This includes community-based monitoring and remediation systems. These Standards have specific requirements related to:

    • Freedom from Discrimination
    • No tolerance of Gender Based Violence and other forms of violence
    • Freedom from forced and compulsory labour
    • Child Labour and Child Protection
    • Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining
    • Conditions of Employment Occupational Health & Safety

The Fairtrade Standards are monitored by an independent organisation called FLOCERT.


FLOCERT has three-year audit cycle, including unannounced audits, where auditors visit producers and traders for on-site checks. The objective of these audits is to verify compliance of producers and traders with the Fairtrade Standards. An audit is complete when all relevant compliance criteria have been evaluated by the auditor and when opening and closing meetings have taken place.

Above and beyond the normal audit cycle, FLOCERT investigates appeals, allegations and complaints. Anyone can contact FLOCERT via their website and on Whatsapp to alert them to instances or businesses they may need to be checked. This whistle-blowing triggers an investigation and can lead to immediate suspension or decertification of Producer Organisations or Traders if the allegations are substantiated.

Protection policies and procedures for children and vulnerable adults

There are times where instances of child or forced labour are found and when that happens, Fairtrade has Protection Policies and Procedures for Children and Vulnerable Adults in place. We believe it’s really important that solutions are found to support the child, individual and the community without attributing blame.

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