Update on how we assure trader compliance

As of July this year, FLOCERT will use an updated toolset to check trader compliance, based on a combination of state-of-the-art assurance methods and tools. While this does not require any immediate action from our trader customers, it will bring about some changes in the way we audit certified traders. Here are more details about our updated toolset’s main features.

As of July 2023, as a trader customer you will receive a mix of onsite, digital and remote audits, tailored to your company’s profile and supported by data from our technical systems. This variety of tools allows us to extend the certification cycle from three to five years.

With this innovation, we aim to improve and modernise our assurance work without increasing costs for you. The updated toolset allows us to leverage our competence, processes, data insights and technology, responding to the current and future needs of the Fairtrade system. As a customer, you will benefit from smoother audits and highly informed auditors. Trust in the Fairtrade Mark will also be strengthened as we will be able to detect more effectively and quickly if a company is not following the Fairtrade Standards.

These are the main new features of our updated toolset:

Extended certification cycle: The mix of assurance tools allows us to extend the certification cycle for traders to five years. We will therefore conduct renewal audits every five years. During this cycle, there will be a mix of onsite and remote focused audits, and digital audits. To reflect the prolonged cycle, your current certificate will be extended by two years. You will automatically receive your updated certificate via the Intact Platform over the course of this year.

Inclusion of digital audits: We introduced this new audit type (which requires no direct customer involvement) as a complementary tool in 2021. Now, every customer will have a digital audit once per certification cycle. This audit allows us to identify potential compliance issues by exploring the data a company has reported in the Fairtrace platform. The audit covers all transactions and focuses on critical criteria, such as ensuring that the supply chain is certified and the correct Fairtrade Minimum Price and Premium are paid.

Continuation of remote audits: These audits have been a necessity since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and have proven to be a highly credible assurance tool for audits where no physical checks are needed. For these cases, a remote audit will replace one onsite audit in the new certification cycle.

Dashboards supporting auditors: Our auditors can now use dashboards based on business intelligence solutions to prepare for audits, for example, by identifying in advance possible deviations or topics worth investigating and discussing during the audit.

Fairtrace alerts: This tool scans our reporting platform Fairtrace for critical compliance and reporting issues and sends automated notifications to certification analysts so they can take action immediately. These alerts enable us to monitor compliance based on almost real-time information and thus quickly clear up any discrepancies directly rather than being flagged during audits.

E-learning induction for new customers: To ensure that all new customers enter the system with a minimum level of knowledge on specific relevant topics, we have launched an e-learning induction initiative. This training supports new customers in their certification journey, preventing common mistakes.

We will start applying these features as of 1 July 2023. If you have an audit coming up, we will – as usual – contact you beforehand with information on how it will be carried out.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Customer Service Desk at flocert@flocert2023.brightminded.com.

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Fairtrade Minimum Price (FMP)
The Fairtrade Minimum Price (where it exists) is the minimum price that must be paid by buyers to producers for a product to become certified against …
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Certification Analyst
A FLOCERT employee who is the point of contact for customers. Certification Analysts coordinate and administer Fairtrade Certification for customers …
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Certification Cycle
The period from the point of initial certification to re-certification, or from re-certification to the following re-certification.
At FLOCERT, one …
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Fairtrade Standards
Fairtrade Standards, comprising Fairtrade Generic Standards and Fairtrade Product-specific Standards, are requirements that producers and traders …
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Certification
Formal procedure of confirmation, by which an authorised person or agency assesses and verifies the attributes, quality, qualification, status of …
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Focused Audit
A Focused Audit may take place in between two Renewal Audits, or an Initial and a Renewal Audit, in order to follow up on Non-Conformities identified …
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Renewal Audit
An audit conducted at the end of a Certification Cycle before the linked certificate expires. The aim is to verify compliance with the requirements …
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Supply chain
Business entities involved in the supply and purchase of materials, goods or services from raw materials to the final product. In contrast to a chain …
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Assurance
FLOCERT provides independent and impartial assurance services. This requires the following five components:

A three-party relationship – the …

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Fairtrace
FLOCERT’s collaborative reporting and assurance platform available for all Fairtrade-certified supply chain actors.
It captures Fairtrade …
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Fairtrade
Fairtrade refers to all or any part of the activities of Fairtrade International eV, FLOCERT, Fairtrade Producer Networks, National Fairtrade …
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Auditor
A person qualified to carry out audits on behalf of a certification body.
Learn more about the audits carried out by FLOCERT auditors.
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Audit
An evidence-gathering process that aims to assess the compliance of an organisation and/or a product with certain standards. There are three types of …
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