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Fair Trade USA and SCS Announce Joint Partnership to Offer High-Quality, Cost-Effective Fair Trade Certification

San Francisco Bay Area (September 26, 2011)—Fair Trade USA, the leading nonprofit certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States, and Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), a globally-respected, independent third-party certification company, announced details of their new strategic partnership today.

As part of a new innovation strategy, Fair Trade USA plans to pilot and introduce updated standards that will extend the benefits of Fair Trade to millions more farmers and workers; provide U.S. businesses with more sustainable supply options; and empower consumers to make every purchase matter through greater selection and availability of Fair Trade Certified™ products. The organization’s goal is to double the impact of Fair Trade by 2015. In support of this ambitious goal, SCS has been engaged to conduct audits and certify new producer groups that now will be able to join the Fair Trade movement.

“Fair Trade USA is partnering with SCS because of its demonstrated expertise and appetite for innovation in the certification world,” said Paul Rice, President and CEO of Fair Trade USA. “We believe their 25 years of experience and 13 separate global accreditations, including programs accredited under ISO 65, speak volumes about SCS’s well-respected work as a standards developer and auditor in the food, agriculture and forestry sectors. And we are confident that our industry and producer partners will appreciate their cost-effective and thorough approach to certification.”

“We are very proud to partner with Fair Trade USA,” said SCS CEO Dr. Stan Rhodes. “This partnership furthers our common goal of helping businesses and consumers support workers and communities by providing transparent information about the social and environmental aspects of the products they buy.”

Together, Fair Trade USA and SCS plan to introduce certification to a wider range of producer groups, introduce new standards for a wider range of products, and offer cost-effective certification services.

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Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing and standards development since 1984. SCS programs span a wide cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, retailing and more.