2. The Application process starts with the completion of an application questionnaire by a Producer Organisation interested in Fairtrade Certification and ends with scope check that evaluates the certifiability of the applicant. The Applicant must send an e-mail to africa-applications@ flo-cert.net in order to receive the Application Questionnaire. During the Application process, the Applicants are informed of all the rules that apply to their situation and are provided with sufficient information regarding Fairtrade System in order to prepare for the rest of the certification process properly. The Applicant also pays an application fee for example Small Producer Organisations pay a flat fee of 525 Euros.

  4. Once the Application process has been completed, the Applicant is sent an invoice for payment of Initial certification fee which is charged once. The amount of the Initial Certification Fee depends on the kind of organisation, the number of members or member organisations (in case of Small Producer Organisations), the number of products to be sold under Fairtrade conditions and, last but not least, whether the organisation is owner of a processing installation The Auditor prepares the audit and sends a letter to the Producer Organisation informing them of the most important points relevant to the visit, such as the 'Agenda' and structure of the visit, the list of interviews that need to take place as well and the documents that need to be ready for audit. Upon arrival at the organisation, the Auditor meets with Board representative, Opening MeetingCommittee, other workers committees and farmer's representatives. In the case of hired labor, the Joint Body should also be present at this meeting.

    The purpose of this meeting is to provide the Auditorr with the opportunity to explain how the Audit will take place and what the Organisation can expect of the audit. The Auditor inspects, amongst others, the following documents:Financial and accounting documents; Statutes, internal policies; Labour Documents, Policies related to Occupational Health and Safety. The information contained in these documents is be cross-checked during interviews. The Auditor interviews different people and cross-checks information with each interviewee.

    There are also 'Focus Group Discussions' during which the Auditorr provides a carefully selected group with specific themes to discuss in order to observe and record the reactions and feedback. The physical site visit includes the central office of the organization, processing facilities, individual farms, agricultural activities being performed by workers as well as participation in Annual General Meetings. During the field visit the auditor is always accompanied by an appointed responsible person, identified by the organization, in order to ensure that any questions can be asked and explanations provided. At the end of the audit there is a closing meetingduring which the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation are discussed and all detected non conformities are explained. Ways of correcting the detected non conformances are somtimes suggested during this meeting. Following an audit, a report is sent to FLO-CERT for evaluation.

  6. The Producer Organisation has time to suggest measures to correct the non conformities. Selected staff members evaluate the corrective measures taken by the operator to make sure that all relevant requirements of Fairtrade are adhered to.

  8. Once all non-conformities are fixed, the case is handed to a qualified staff member who was not involved in the inspection or evaluation process. She/he then takes a certification decision on basis of the detected non-conformities and their subsequent resolution.

    FLO-CERT issues a certificate only after the customer has submitted evidence that all non-conformities have been resolved. FLO-CERT certificate is the confirmation that the Producer Orgaisation comply with the relevant FAIRTRADE Standards and that you are allowed to trade under FAIRTRADE conditions.

  10. After being certified, all producer organisation enter a three year certification cycle, during which an Initial Audit and at least one Surveillance Audit are conducted to ensure on-going compliance with the Fairtrade Standards.

    Before the end of a certification cycle, an onsite renewal audit takes place to evaluate if the operator is still in compliance with the relevant Fairtrade Standards