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Standards

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Short descriptionThe Fair for Life Social & Fair Trade Certification Programme offers operators of socially responsible projects a solution for brand neutral third party inspection and certification in initial production, manufacturing and trading. It combines strict social and fair trade standards with adaptability to local conditions. The system is designed for both food and non-food commodities (like cosmetics, textiles or tourist services).
Facts and Figures*Fair for Life Social & FairTrade Programme offers 3 options to individual operators *69 Social Responsibility Certificates and 209 Social & FairTrade Certificates have been issued; a wide range of products in all countries from all different production types can be certified.
Key features'Fair for life' is a brand neutral third party certification programme for social accountability and fair trade in agricultural, manufacturing and trading operations which includes environmental criteria. *The Fair for Life Social & FairTrade Programme offers certification with the following options to individual operators (producers/factories/estates) and all types of smallholder groups: (1.) For Life Social Responsibility Certification, (2.) Fair for Life Social & FairTrade Certification, (3) Individual Performance Evaluation. *Before certification the operator must fulfil certain must-criteria in the indicated time frame. For certification an operator need to reach 90% in first year, 95% in the second year and 100% of the Total Norm Points per chapter in the third year. *Fair for Life requires that there is a fair trade premium paid for community projects. The premium is generally recommended to be within the range of 10% the farmgate price, and is agreed to in a contract between buyer and seller so that IMO can follow it up.
Product specific / Process specific / Service Specific / GenericGeneric
Last up-date in Standards MapJune, 2018
AddressEcocert IMOswiss AG Hafenstrasse 50c CH - 8280 Kreuzlingen
Telephone+41 (0) 71 626 0 626
E-mailoffice.switzerland@ecocert.com
Websitewww.ecocert-imo.ch
Description of geographic scopeFair for Life Social & Fair Trade Certification is suitable for all types of products and throughout the chain of custody worldwide.
Source of informationhttp://www.fairforlife.org/pmws/indexDOM.php?client_id=fairforlife&page_id=certified&lang_iso639=en
Region - AfricaCongo,Côte d'Ivoire,Ethiopia,Ghana,Kenya,Madagascar,Mali,Morocco,Nigeria,Senegal,South Africa,Sudan,Togo,Uganda,United Republic of Tanzania
Region - AsiaIndia,Indonesia,Israel,Nepal,Pakistan,Palestine,Singapore,Sri Lanka,Thailand,Turkey,Viet Nam
Region - EuropeAustria,Belgium,Bulgaria,France,Germany,Netherlands,Spain,Sweden,Switzerland,United Kingdom
Region - Central AmericaDominican Republic,El Salvador,Guatemala,Haiti,Honduras
Region - North AmericaCanada,Mexico,United States of America
Region - South AmericaArgentina,Bolivia,Brazil,Chile,Colombia,Ecuador,Paraguay,Peru
Region - AustralasiaNew Zealand
DescriptionApplicants must be involved in production, processing or trade of products derived from either: - Natural raw materials (crops, wild plants, livestock, beekeeping, aquaculture, sea salt, etc.) except those from mining or those corresponding to Threatened or Endangered species. - Materials used in handicraft (the used materials may vary, but can never come from Threatened or Endangered species; non-recycled metallic materials; leather treated with harmful products; parts of archaeological or historical monuments). The following product groups, originating from the abovementioned materials, can be certified under the scheme: 1. Food products 2. Cosmetic and beauty products 3. Textiles 4. Artisanal products 5. Other products such as detergents and home perfumes
Step 1Get started: If you are interested in a Fair for Life or for Life certification please contact us at info@fairforlife.org and we will send you the Fair for Life application form and other documents relevant for your type of operation.
Étape 2Fill out the application form: Fill in the relevant application form (download from list below) and send it together with the eligibility statement to info@fairforlife.org or your local IMO representative. Application form for all operations apart from handlers and touristic services. Application form for handlers. Application form for operations offering touristic services. An eligibility statement is only needed if you are a producing operation and situated in a high income or upper middle income country.
Step 3Eligibility check: If your operation is situated in a high income or upper middle income country you must demonstrate your eligibility for Fair for Life. The following points need to be included in a Fair Trade justification statement: Brief socio-economic analysis of status and position of workers and their families in the local community (permanent and temporary workers). Brief description of social-economic situation and concerns in the region Expected focus and impact of Fair Trade on workers, their families and the communities. History, mission and commitment of the company to social and community development. Potential marketing links to buyers interested in buying Fair Trade products including a Fair Trade Development Premium, if any. Furthermore, you will have to commit to continuously improve the working and employment conditions in your operation and to support the empowerment of workers.
Step 4Review of application form: The application is screened to ensure that your operation may, in principle, qualify for certification or at least for a performance rating. If the application can be accepted, you will receive a pro forma invoice (“budget” or “cost estimation”) for approval.
Step 5Cost estimation and Pre-payment: Based on the application form the audit and evaluation time are calculated. All expenses necessary to conduct the audits, evaluations and certification will be charged. If Social & Fair Trade audits are combined with audits for other schemes, the respective additional audit time and certification costs may be presented in one combined budget. The cost estimation has to be signed and send back to IMO and the stated pre-payment organised. To get an overview of how costs are estimated please visit the certification cost section of this website.
Step 6Contract: After the acceptance of the cost estimation a contract is sent which needs to be signed and send back to IMO along with a prepayment of the offer before further steps for audit planning are taken.
Step 7Preparation for audit: Based on specific activity periods of your operation, e.g. harvest time, the availability of inspectors and the availability of your own personnel responsible for fair trade aspects, a time frame for the audit will be set. If several certification schemes are requested, IMO will try to organise a combined audit for all schemes. You will need to contact the auditor in order to organise the logistics for the audit. In case a translator is needed, you will need to organise one. The translator should not be a member of your operation´s management and should preferably not be in any way involved in your operation. You will receive an audit plan which will state a tentative summary of the premises and sections that will be visited, and the functions of persons who would need to be interviewed. Please make sure that the people responsible as named in the audit plan are present during the audit.
Step 8Audit: When all pre-audit requirements have been met the Fair for Life or for Life audit will be conducted. The audit will be conducted by a local or international auditor, depending on location and availability. During an audit your operation will be assessed as to whether it meets the certification requirements. Thus, the audit is a cross-check between the description of your activities and the reality found in the field / premises. The audit covers a number of procedures, the sequence may, however, be decided by the auditor.
Step 9Evaluation: After the audit, the inspector will send all audit documents to the IMO head office in Switzerland where the documents will be evaluated by the office staff. If needed, you will be contacted to clarify additional points or to be informed about open non-conformities that need to be corrected before the certification process can be finalised.
Step 10Certification: The certification decision (positive or negative) will be communicated to you with all accompanying documentation and the final invoice. If the actual audit proves that the minimum requirements are fulfilled, you will receive a certificate, the certification notification, summary assessment and audit report(s). The summary assessment contains the rating including a text evaluation of the operation’s performance, which will be published on the Fair for Life website. There may be certification conditions with indicated deadlines for corrective action and recommendations may be included for the improvement of the operation´s performance.
LOCAL OFFICE 1Max-Stromeyer-Straße 57 78467 Konstanz
Country
Telephone+49 (0) 7531 81301 0
Fax
E-mailimod@imo.ch
Websitehttp://www.imo.ch/index.php?seite=de_index_de
LOCAL OFFICE 2ECOCERT IMO Denetim ve Belgelendirme Ltd. Şti. 2132/2 Sok 3 50 TREND OFFICE Bayraklı/ İZMİR Türkiye
Country
Telephone+90 232 343 43 60 / + 90 232 343 55 50
Fax
E-mailoffice.turkey@ecocert.com
Websitehttp://turkey.ecocert.com/
LOCAL OFFICE 3IMO Chile S.A. Av. Santa María 0112 Depto. J Providencia Santiago Chile
Country
Telephone+56-2 792 6151
Fax
E-mailimo@imochile.cl
Website
LOCAL OFFICE 4IMO Control Private Limited No.3627, 1st Floor, 7th Cross 13th 'G' Main, H.A.L. 2nd Stage, Bangalore - 560 008 India
Country
Telephone+91 (0) 80-2528 5883
Fax(+1) 418 838 9823
E-mailimoind@vsnl.com
Websitewww.ecocertcanada.com
LOCAL OFFICE 5IMO Chile S.A. Av. Santa María 0112 Depto. J Providencia Santiago Chile
Country
Telephone+56-2 792 6151
FaxFax : (+55) 48-3232.80.33
E-mailimo@imochile.cl
Websitewww.brazil.ecocert.com 
LOCAL OFFICE 6IMO Caribe Calle D, No. 2, Costa Verde 11117 Santo Domingo República Dominicana
Country
Telephone+ 1 809 537 8458
Fax+226 25 33 19 71
E-mailoffice@imocaribe.com
Website
LOCAL OFFICE 7MO Uganda Ltd. Mrs. Nirali Pandya P.O. Box 34335 Kampala Uganda
Country
Telephone+25 671 213 46 78
Fax(+261) 20 22 54 864
E-mailnirali@imo.ch
Website
LOCAL OFFICE 8IMO-CONTROL Sertifikasyon Tic. Ltd. Sti. 225 Sokak Dündar Apt. No 29 Kat 7 Daire 7 TR 35040 Bornova/Izmir Türkiye
Country
Telephone+ 90 (0) 232-347 47 05
Fax
E-mailimotr@imo-control.org
Websitehttp://www.imo.ch/index.php?seite=tk_index_tr
LOCAL OFFICE 9IMO México 2a Cerrada San Cristóbal No. 2 Tulantongo, CP 56101, Texcoco, Estado de México
Country
Telephone+52 (595) 92 5 1331
Faxnull
E-mailimomexico@imo-group.org
Website
LOCAL OFFICE 10IMO-US Kerry Hughes 1350 Hayes St., Suite A-13 Benicia, CA 94510 USA
Country
Telephone+1 (707) 644-2354
Fax
E-mailkerry@imo-control.org
Website
Inspection, audit, verification processEach audit report is evaluated in detail by a certification officer in IMO Switzerland.
Type of assessment requiredThird-party audit is required
Frequency of audits or assessmentsAnnual audits,Surprise audits
Validity of certificateone year
Processus d’obtention de la première vérification/certificationApplication with basic information and a with detailed certification budget to be confirmed. A Certification Contract with obligation to comply with the Fair for Life programme and to undergo annual audits must be signed. The first complete audit is initiated and the applicant has to submit complete information about all its acitivities to the control body. If the operation is found to meet the certification requirements a Fair for Life certificate is issued.
Average duration of the full process to get verified/certified the first time - Less than 3 months
Average duration of the full process to get verified/certified the first time - Bw 3 and 6 months
Average duration of the full process to get verified/certified the first time - Bw 6 and 12 months
Average duration of the full process to get verified/certified the first time - More than12 months
Depends on factors
Average duration of inspection, audit, verification - 1-2 weeks
Average duration of inspection, audit, verification - 1-2 months
Average duration of inspection, audit, verification - More than 2 months
Requirement - Immediate actionKO, If not met, these criteria jeopardize the certificate with immediate effect. Must, If not met, rapid correction measures are expected. According to the criteria, MUST requirements must be met from Year 0 (i.e. before the initial audit), 1 (i.e. before first certification), 2, 3 or 4.
Requirement - Witin 1 yearMust, If not met, rapid correction measures are expected. According to the criteria, MUST requirements must be met from Year 0 (i.e. before the initial audit), 1 (i.e. before first certification), 2, 3 or 4.
Requirement - Witin 3 yearsMust, If not met, rapid correction measures are expected. According to the criteria, MUST requirements must be met from Year 0 (i.e. before the initial audit), 1 (i.e. before first certification), 2, 3 or 4.
Requirement - Witin 5 yearsNA
RecomendationsBONUS These criteria are optional but enable the Operation to achieve better performance
Pass or failKO, If not met, these criteria jeopardize the certificate with immediate effect.
Scoring0 Very poor performance / not compliant at all 1 Not yet sufficient but already positive developments towards the norm for good practice 2 Defined as the norm for good practice 3 Voluntary performance higher than norm, beyond the norm for good practice 4 Exceptionally high performance; outstanding, far beyond the norm for good practice
Risk-basedNA
Traffic LightNA
Corrective ActionsIn the Fair for Life Certification decision a list of necessary corrective actions is indicated, as agreed with the operator during the audit.
Major non-complianceas part of surveillance audits
Minor non-complianceas part of surveillance audits
Verification/certification costs - estimateIndividual cost estimates based on information in application form. The costs include costs for travel, onsite audit, reporting and communication during the year, plus a certification lumpsum. Daily fees vary from country to country.
Main factors of costNumber of workers,Number of production units,Land area,Other
Responsible entity for certification costProducers / companies,Producers' associations,Traders and supply chain intermediaries
External audits costsup to 2500 USD per audit,up to 5000 USD per audit,up to 10000 USD per audit,audits may cost more than 15000 USD
External audits corrective actionsup to 2500 USD per audit,up to 5000 USD per audit,up to 10000 USD per audit,audits may cost more than 15000 USD
Implementation costs - estimatesIn a producer group, the producer association is responsible for the certificaiton costs (not the individual smallscale producers)
Responsible entity for implementaiton costTraders and supply chain intermediaries,Buyers and retailers
Membership fee - estimateNot applicable.
Existence of documented policy for products labelling
Description of policy for products labellingFair for Life Module 4 Handling Operations version December 2013 Principle 1.1.1: Products labelled under the Fair for Life Social & Fair Trade Programme are made from Fair Trade Certified ingredients. The products need to be fully traceable and handled in a responsible way. Fair for Life has two product labelling categories, 'Fair for Life - Social & Fair Trade certified products' and 'Products made with Fair for Life Trade Ingredients'. Additionally indication of Fair Trade origin in the ingredient statement is possible.
On-product claims
Off-product claims
Policy on how the claim is delivered (on/off product, use of seal/logo...)
Description
Policy for payment of a specific fee for using seal/logo by producers/exporters
Description
Policy for payment of a specific fee for using seal/logo by traders/retailers
Description
Policy for payment of a membership fee, which allows for using seal/logo
Description
Labelling fee - if applicableNot applicable.
Source of informationhttp://www.fairforlife.org/pmws/indexDOM.php?client_id=fairforlife&page_id=costs&lang_iso639=en
The standard initiative specifically targets some key
Target constituentSmall-scale producers and producers groups,Small and medium-sized enterprises,Vulnerable and minority groups,Community-based organizations
DetailsFair for Life Social & Fair Trade Certification is suitable for all types of products and throughout the chain of custody worldwide.
Is the standard system accessible to any interested producer/supplier?
In terms of membership?No membership is required
Which party initiates the process of certification/verification?Anyone in the value chain can join and initiate the process
Who can join the initiative and use the standard / code?Certifiable organisations/operators Plantations/ estates/ farms Smallholder producer groups Farmers associations/ cooperatives Manufacturers or NGOs contracting farmers for production ('contract production') Groups of handicraft producers, etc. Manufacturers/ processors (food or cosmetics) Manufacturers/ processors (industrial products, e.g. textiles, toys) Traders and marketing companies (food or non-food products) Service provider companies (social responsibility only)
Who is initiating the process of applying the standard?Primary producer,Suppliers and intermediaries,Traders,Buyers and Retailers,Other
Are there specific requirements / restrictions on who can apply for certification?
DescriptionNA
Price information and estimatesFair for Life producers and handlers agree on a fair price that always covers the costs of production under fair conditions. The fair price is expected to slightly exceed market prices in order to cover costs of compliance.
Price information and estimatIn addition to a fair price Fair for Life buyers pay a defined Fair trade development premium (guidance 10% of producer farm gate prices; or 10% of non-.management labour costs in case of Hired Labour operations) to be adminstered separately and used for intended social or environmental community and development projects.
Market price guarantee
Description of market price guarantee - if applicable
Standard documents
URL(s) where documents can be downloadedhttp://www.fairforlife.org/pmws/indexDOM.php?client_id=fairforlife&page_id=root_2_3&lang_iso639=en
ListFair for Life Certification Programme for Fair Trade & responsible supply-chains 2017
Interpretation guidelines
URL(s) where documents can be downloaded
List

Information last updated in the Standards Map database:

  • Fair for Life - June, 2018