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Description of Methodology and Disclaimer:

The Domestic Fair Trade Association has sought to translate the traditional principles of international fair trade, as expressed by organizations such as the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) and the Fair Trade Federation (FTF), into the domestic, regional and local economic spheres. The work of the DFTA is guided by the 16 Principles for Domestic Fair Trade as defined by our members. These principles represent the values which underlie and guide our work together as organizations and individuals united for the promotion of “Health, Justice, and Sustainability.”

The Criteria are based fundamentally on the DFTA Principles and have been developed for purposes of evaluating domestic fair trade standards, programs, and products. They are intended to be a middle ground between the broad overarching DFTA Principles and the detailed language found in standards or policy protocols. Criteria need to be specific enough to hold programs to a high standard and at the same time are broad enough and flexible enough to recognize different legitimate approaches and methods. Some criteria are considered essential, some ideal; all are important.

Each program’s available materials (either publicly on their websites or through correspondence) were analyzed and then compared to the corresponding DFTA criteria.

Initially each program is evaluated to a shorter set of 28 specific criteria. If the program meets all or close to all of these criteria, a longer form evaluation is conducted. At this stage only Food Justice Certified (AJP) has been evaluated using the long form complete set of criteria.  (The full AJP evaluation is not posted on this site due to length but can be downloaded as a pdf by clicking here.)

All programs were followed up with and additional information was requested.  DFTA made itself available to all programs for email and/or phone communications, which most programs took advantage of. In many cases evaluations were modified based on program feedback.

Generally, an evaluation should hold for two years after publication unless DFTA receives additional information, there are significant areas of continual improvement needed, or the program makes a significant change such as changes to governance or the release of new standards. A program can be re-evaluated upon notice of significant changes, upon request, or after two years; a minimum of six months should pass before a re-evaluation to ensure time for significant and lasting changes to be made by the program.

It should be noted that these programs have not been independently evaluated for the implementation of their programs. In other words, DFTA has not investigated whether or not the programs are fully implementing their own standards and protocols. This would be a worthwhile initiative but well beyond the scope and resources of the DFTA at this time.

In addition, it is inevitable that there will be some errors or oversights contained here. When pointed out, they will be corrected. However, in some cases those may be differences of opinion or interpretation and may require more dialogue in order to reach a consensus interpretation.

Read about our process and protocol: Evaluation Protocol_4.14.14