Our food system is complicated. After ingredients leave the farm, even simple products might pass through many links in the food chain – processors, distributors, and other businesses – before they reach consumers.
These middle links often become invisible to consumers, despite the fact that the abuse of human rights does take place at the processor level.
To maintain truth in labeling, Food Justice Certified uses three different labels to communicate to consumers how many links in the chain were certified in the production of a product.
Tier one labeling includes: single ingredient products directly from the farm or processed products made by certified ingredients, but not made by a certified processor. This is represented by "Fair Farm(s)" label.
Tier two labeling includes: products using ingredients from certified farms that are processed or manufactured by certified companies. This is represented by "Fair Farm(s), Fair Company" label.
Tier three labeling includes: vendors, retailers and restaurants who can promote their fair labor practices in their workplace, marketing material and if they sell certified product they can advertise a full-chain certification! This is represented by "Fair Company" label.
Don’t Forget to Check the Ingredients List!
For multi-ingredient products, such as soup, we require that a significant amount of the total ingredients are certified before our label can be placed on the product. But, manufacturers may bring "Food Justice Certified" in the ingredients list in this case.
For example: If a can of chicken soup only contains Food Justice Certified carrots, the manufacturer would print "Food Justice Certified carrots" in the ingredients list instead of placing a label on the front.
Why make it complicated? This encourages further development of certified supply chains, and prevents "fair-washing" or mis-labeling.