Social & Fair Trade

IMO is active in several areas of ethical quality assurance and certification, the most prevalent being Fair for Life Fair Trade Certification. IMO also offers certification in social responsibility, For Life, inspection and certification according to the Fair Wild Standard, performance of audits against the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code, according to SMETA Methodology, and certification according to responsible commodity production and sourcing, such as UTZ.

Fair for Life Fair Trade Certification

Social Accountability and Fair Trade have become important requirements in business development both in North America and worldwide. There are now a number of approaches and labels available on the market; however, many are not suitable for small and medium sized operation, not applicable for a wide range of products and production systems, or simply lack credibility.

In 2006, the Swiss Bio-Foundation and IMO introduced “Fair for Life”, a brand neutral, third party certification programme for Social Accountability and Fair Trade upon client request, in order to complement existing fair trade certification systems, which still exclude a large number of products, production types and countries.

The Fair for Life Social & Fair Trade Certification Programme offers operators of socially responsible and fair trade projects a solution for objective inspection and certification by a highly qualified external verifier. It combines strict social and fair trade standards with adaptability to local conditions. The programme is based on several sets of key baseline standards such as the ILO conventions, FLO Fairtrade standards, SA8000, and IFOAM Social Criteria. It offers operators incentives for continuous improvement of social and fair trade conditions beyond minimum requirements. It also allows for meaningful certification of multi-ingredient products by using content rules that are modeled after those for organic products and by reviewing all critical steps in the value chain.
For detailed information please visit the Fair for Life website.

For Life Social Responsibility Certification

In today’s global business culture, ensuring social responsibility of global vendors is often outside the ability of many companies. The For Life certification program offers annual third party inspection and certification of key social criteria by a highly qualified external verifier, IMO. The standard is applicable to all types and sizes of organizations in most countries around the world.

For Life certification confirms that good working conditions are provided as expressed in the ILO conventions, such as absence of prohibited child labor, non-discrimination, good working conditions and remuneration, health and safety aspects, reasonable working hours and social security coverage. To read more go to For Life Certification.

Fair Wild

The increasing demand for wild collected products in the sectors of food, personal health care and medicinal herbs poses major ecological and social challenges: The high demand of potentially vulnerable plants can substantially endanger local ecosystems. In addition, the collectors often belong to the poorest social groups in the countries of origin, increasing the concern of fair wages.

In order to alleviate these threats to wild plant resources, and also to the human resources of the collectors, the FairWild Standard Version 2.0 was created. Read more here...

Independent Verification Program

IMO conducts individual verification and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) value certification of companies who wish to demonstrate their social and/or fair trade commitment by external validation of their own social corporate responsibility programs, e.g. specific ethical or fair trade sourcing programs.

The IMO verification and certification methodology is adapted for each verified corporate social responsibility scheme with its specific goals and values to be confirmed by IMO verification. Read more here...


UTZ is a worldwide certification program that sets the standard for responsible commodity production and sourcing. UTZ means "good" in a Mayan language. Currently UTZ standards exist for Cocoa, Coffee and Tea. Read more here...

Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code

IMO offers performance audits against the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code, according to SMETA methodology.

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