Fairtrade Classifications



The cooperation with all of our overseas partners is based on the widely recognised “10 Principles of Fair Trade”.

However, the relationships with our partners differ considerably and are constantly evolving. They vary due to length of the partnership, size and capacity of the partner, trade volume, purchase frequency, CONTIGO’s relevance to the partner and the partner’s relevance to CONTIGO.

Furthermore, CONTIGO’s partners are also positioned in different stages of Fair Trade: Not all producers are able to comply with fair-trade standards from the beginning. CONTIGO wants to give these producers the opportunity to take part in the fair-trade movement. Thus, some of our partners are still improving. Yet, most of the producers fully meet the fair-trade standards. A few of them have even grown beyond that.

The raises the following questions:

  • How can we help these market newcomers to receive attention?
  • How can we ensure that partners with the best practices are noticed?


CONTIGO’s Fairtrade Classifications

CONTIGO aims to contribute to a solution by defining more detailed classifications of Fair Trade. According to the monitoring information Fairtrade partners are classified as:

  • Fair Trade in Progress (FTP)


  • Fair Trade Approved (FTA)


  • Fair Trade Approved PLUS (FTA PLUS)

FTP – Fair Trade in Progress – (Minimum) Criteria and Requiremen

  • Interest in pursuing “10 Principles of Fair Trade“
  • Interest and willingness of the partner to develop
  • Potential for development
  • Potential for market competitiveness
  • No child labour, no forced labour (as defined by the International Labour Organization, ILO convention no. 105)
  • No employment discrimination (as defined by the International Labour Organization, ILO convention no. 111)
  • Clean and humane working conditions
  • First samples successfully ordered and a full normal order has been placed


Reasons for provisional placement in the “Fair Trade in Progress“ category:

  • The relationship is still very new, but promising
  • The partner is still lacking a solid economic basis to fulfil all Fairtrade criteria
  • Not all necessary information has been obtained or verified yet.

CONTIGO is committed to support as many FTP partners as possible to reach FTA status. If producers cannot comply with the minimum criteria for the FTP classification, CONTIGO will not engage in business activities with them.

FTA – Fair Trade Approved – Criteria and Requirements

In addition to FTP criteria:

  • Finalised initial auditing with the completion of the CONTIGO Fair-Trade Questionnaire
  • Differentiated and in-depth knowledge of the production environment
  • Successful completion of all requirements of the CONTIGO General Agreement for Socially Just and Humane Trade
  • Transparency
  • Complete, credible, and verifiable documentation
  • Long-standing and well-developed trade relationship
  • Long-term perspective
  • Support with product design and development, if needed
  • Meeting key staff in person

The large majority of our producers are classified as a FTA partner.

FTA PLUS – Fair Trade Approved PLUS – Criteria and Requirements

In addition to FTA criteria:

  • Long-term, in-depth knowledge of the company and organisation
  • Long-term personal and amicable relationship between the managers of the supplier and CONTIGO
  • Long-term and successful economic and social development
  • Special importance of partner for CONTIGO and the World Shops
  • Special importance of CONTIGO for the partner
  • In general, FTP PLUS partners know each other and are open to joint ventures, like presentations, road shows and joint strategy meetings

Agreements and Benefits:

  • Efforts to establish continuous availability of stocks
  • Producer receives support in accessing the Fair Trade market in neighbouring countries
  • Producer receives support in accessing the mainstream market, through consultations in export and trade shows
  • Annual meetings, permanent contact and support
  • Exclusive purchasing from the FTA PLUS partner (within respective product group)
  • Exclusive supply of CONTIGO within the Fair Trade market
  • Financial support available

The FTA PLUS status is not formally or legally concluded. It arises from long-standing cooperation and is to be understood as a mark-up for joint success.

FTA PLUS Partners:

  • Afrikiko
  • All Women Recycling
  • Craft Beauty
  • Kapula
  • Nook Nook
  • Sapia
  • Shirbandi
  • Veva
Author: Janina Lange on 22. February 2018

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