Collaborative Excellence and Accountability

December   2017

*** FairTSA will have a booth at Biofach! ***
Hall 8 - Booth 549 
Come see us!
Dear Cooperating Certifier Partners,

As the year 2017 nears its end, I would like to thank all of you for your cooperation. We do understand that our Fair Trade program and our mission to support small farmers, workers and rural communities would be impossible without your hard work, and for this we are grateful. We are committed to continuing our cooperation and looking forward to our mutual growth and shared mission.

However, there are a few things where we need to improve our cooperation to make the flow of information smoother, and our work more successful. These are addressed below.

We wish all of you some time of relaxation at the end of the year and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018.

The FairTSA Team

New Certificate Template

We will send out a new certificate template to all of you in January with clearer instructions how the certificate needs to look and what information it should contain. Primarily, we request all of you to describe products more clearly and list them in an Appendix, so that additional products can be easily added.

New Certified Producers without contact information, FairTSA Application, Unpaid Producer Fee and lacking Webinar Participation

We still receive certificates for producers we have no information about. Starting in 2018, we will ask the certifier in question to suspend such certificates after we have made one attempt to contact the respective certified producer. Again, these are the requirements producers need to meet BEFORE they can be FairTSA certified:

1.    Submit the FairTSA application
2.    Pay the annual producer fee
3.     At least one producer representative must attend a producer webinar before the first

New FairTSA Clause for the Contract between 
Certifiers and Certified Producers

We will send you a new "FairTSA Clause" to be included in contracts you sign with producers for FairTSA certification. We will especially address the topic above that will enable us to ask for suspension of certification if our conditions are not met by a producer.

Timely Receipt of Certificates

This is one of our biggest problems in the cooperation: it often takes two months, often considerably longer after the inspection before we receive copies of the certificates. In many cases this poses a problem, as we are under pressure from our licensees (the buyers of FairTSA certified products) to produce the certificate. This has also negative economic consequences for both the producers and us as an organization, so we need to get a handle on this. As a rule, we expect to have the certificate in hand one month after inspection at the latest. If that is not possible, we need to be notified about when we can expect the certificate, or alternatively, to be informed on a timely basis if and when there are noncompliances of a serious nature, so that we can communicate with our clients (the buyers).

We will send you an addition to the accreditation agreement in early January to address that you specify our requirements, including that you'll commit to issue intermediary letters in cases where urgent action is required, but the certificate cannot be issued for administrative or work load reasons.

Free Producer Webinars for ALL Producers

We currently conduct free producer webinars in English and Spanish on a regular basis, usually at least once a month in both languages. While these webinars are mandatory for aspiring producers, please let all your certified clients know they are welcome to attend these webinars to discuss any questions they may have. We're happy to meet them this way. Webinars are announced on our website on a regular basis. An email with the wish to attend suffices.

Marketing Package

We are preparing a marketing package for FairTSA certified producers and licensed buyers, and would be happy to provide you materials for trade shows you attend, and internal information purposes. Please let us know what you need, and we will do our best to provide you with these materials.

TRADE SHOWS - Biofach / Expo West / Fancy Food / Natexpo

This year we will have a booth at  Biofach, in Nuremburg, Germany. Please stop by in Hall 8, booth 549 to pick up a marketing package or simply to chat. You can also send buyers you'd like to introduce to FairTSA Fair Trade to our booth or visit with them jointly. If you prefer, we can also make appointments in advance.

In addition, we will attend  Expo West in Anaheim, CA,  Fancy Food Show in New York City, and  Natexpo, in Lyon, France.  Please let us know if you will be attending . . . we'd be happy to talk with you.

Accreditation Fees

We have not increased our accreditation fees since we started the program. To keep up with rising costs, we will moderately increase our fees in January 2018.

Updated Flow Chart for Cooperation

We are working on a new version of the flow chart for our cooperation and will send it to you in January. We will also publish it on our website at that time. Please take a look at it whenever in doubt about what to do next.