Become A Licensee

Apply to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark on your products.

Before you read any further, we suggest you review our What We Offer to Business page to see all the benefits you will receive by becoming a Fairtrade Canada licensee.

Consult our easy guide to getting your products Fairtrade certified, and see below for more details on the process. Because every business is unique the best way to start is to contact Helen Reimer, our Director of Business Development to learn what your company needs to do to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark on your products.

STEP 1: Business Assessment

Some common questions that we usually ask:

1)      Are you based in Canada?

  • Fairtrade Canada only registers Canadian-based companies to use the FAIRTRADE Mark. If you are located outside of Canada, please contact Fairtrade International to find out who your Fairtrade Organization is.
  • If you want to sell your Fairtrade certified products outside Canada, we certainly encourage you to do so. Fairtrade Canada will process an application on your behalf with the relevant Fairtrade Organization in the destination country.

2)      Do you work with products that have Fairtrade standards?

  • Fairtrade Standards exist for products that make the most difference to farmers and workers in the developing world. These include: coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, fruits and vegetables, flowers, cotton, herbs and spices, nuts / oilseeds and coconut, sports balls, gold and wine.

3)      Where do you source from?

  • Your current suppliers may also have Fairtrade products available so do ask them. If not then we will be able to connect you with suppliers of Fairtrade certified ingredients. Contact us at license@fairtrade.ca for more information.

STEP 2: Apply to become a Licensee

Here we present information for all possible licensee situations. While this can seem a bit overwhelming to people new to Fairtrade, only a small part of this information is applicable to most potential licensees. For example, if you want to sell Fairtrade Coffee, you do not need to worry about product composition or product recipes. Contact Helen Reimer, our Director of Business Development who will help you with the straightforward application process.

What are your responsibilities during the application process?

  • Understand the Fairtrade Canada Standards & Policies that are relevant to your business. We will help identify which you need to be aware of.
  • If you are making a product with multiple ingredients such as chocolate, be sure to check out our page about Product Composition.
  • Complete the Application form, submit the application fee (see below), and get an approved License Contract.

What does it cost?

  • For licensees there is a one-time application fee of $600 to cover the cost of processing your registration.
  • On an ongoing basis we charge a quarterly license fee based on your sales of Fairtrade Certified products. This fee is dependent on a range of factors, including the product category you sell. We will explain what the cost will be to you during the application process once we learn more about your business.
  • Licensee fees are highly competitive when compared to other certification schemes and cover more than just your certification – in fact they help fund a wide range of activities in Canada and internationally.
    • Within Fairtrade Canada your fees allow us to operate two teams creating major impact for Fairtrade in our markets through education, business development, marketing and retail programs, consumer outreach campaigns, and much more.
    • About a third of your fees help fund the global Fairtrade system, empowering farmers and workers in the Global South. This includes the three democratic networks of producers as well as programs on issues such as gender, climate change and worker’s rights.

STEP 3: Contract Approval

Once your application is approved you will receive a signed license contract and all other necessary information such as guidelines for how to use the FAIRTRADE Mark on your packaging and promotional materials.  You will receive a Permission to Trade document which is valid for 9 months. Your first audit will be scheduled during this time period, after which you will receive your Fairtrade Certificate.

What are your responsibilities once you have a License Contract?

  • Submit product recipes for approval if necessary. See step 4 below.
  • Submit packaging artwork and all promotional material carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark for approval prior to printing, following the guidelines that will be provided to you. See step 4 below.
  • Report your quarterly sales of Fairtrade certified products (in all countries) and pay the license fee associated with those sales. Our Mark Integrity team will help you with this simple process.
  • Prepare for audits as scheduled. Our audit process is an essential part of our independent third-party certification process. It is designed to be easy for you to comply with, while ensuring the integrity of Fairtrade supply chains.

STEP 4: Recipe & Artwork

We will work with you to ensure that each product as well as its packaging meets the guidelines outlined in your contract.

STEP 5: Marketing & Commercial Relations

Our account managers are here to help you grow your Fairtrade business and our marketing teams will work with you to spread the word about your new Fairtrade certified products.