Comparison of Labeling Policies of Major Eco-Social and Fair Trade Certifications for Multi-ingredient Products
The following information is intended to help consumers, retailers, and businesses understand the differences in labeling policy among various fair trade and eco-social seals and what could be done to improve them.
|Meets FWP’s expectations and/or is a model program in this area|
|Acceptable policy that at least meets current industry standards, but there is room for improvement|
|Problem area/red flag that needs immediate improvement|
Detailed questions covering key elements that inform our overall assessment
Why is this important?
Labeling policies are how programs communicate to consumers. Especially for multi-ingredient, or composite products, the policies of a program can either help a consumer make an informed choice or mislead them. Independent research has confirmed that a fair trade or eco-social seal with the absence of sufficient descriptive information (such as a disclosure of the percentage ingredients that are actually certified) leads consumers to believe the majority of the product is certified even if it is not, and when they realize it is not they feel deceived. Fair World Project (FWP) advocates first for labeling policies of fair trade and eco-social labels to be clear and honest. The best policies will also:
- Deliver the maximum benefit to farmers/producer by requiring or rewarding brands that use the highest percentage of fair and eco-social ingredients possible while prohibiting any ingredients that exploit producers in that supply chain even if not all ingredients are certified to the highest possible standard.
- Require that the majority of ingredients in a product be certified before approving a front-panel seal.
- Disclose the percentage of actual ingredients certified in a product in conjunction with the seal. FWP has joined several committed brands in asking all certification programs listed here to implement this policy in response to the research cited above.
Updated: October 29th, 2015 (Please note this chart is up to date based on our own research using publicly available information as well as direct correspondence with programs. Any corrections or questions can be directed to [email protected].)