Posted on April 23, 2021

Capture fisheries standard revision

Fairtrade USA

Revised Capture Fisheries Standard

MarFishEco was contracted by Fair Trade USA in March 2021 to produce a Revised Capture Fisheries Standard (CFS) 2.0.0.

The Fair Trade USA Capture Fisheries Standard first addition, published in 2014, was developed to set requirements and compliance criteria for global wild caught fisheries to build strong fishing communities and healthy oceans. It provides fishers with the opportunity to demonstrate the core elements of fair trade in their practices, while helping them commercialise their product. It is a particularly important sustainable fisheries certification for developing nation small-scale fisheries that typically struggle to access the more widely recognised Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification programs. Following minor updates in 2017, the CFS was due for a major revision in 2020 to ensure consistency and clarity of the Fair Trade program.

To produce the Revised CFS, the MarFishEco team conducted a rigorous and transparent review and revision process, based on extensive outreach and consultation with a diverse array of stakeholders, including a variety of producers, brand partners, academics, and NGOs. The MFE team developed the Draft CFS using a review of learnings from over five years of implementation in the field, as well as interviews with a selection of producers, trading partners, environmental and social NGOs, and experts spanning a variety of geographies. Between October and December 2020, Fair Trade USA received feedback on the Draft CFS document to guide the revision and finalisation of the new version.


The Revised CFS 2.0.0. improves upon the original requirements to bring more benefit to producers in the Fair Trade system and increase value and efficiency for all supply chain partners. Following public comment, the Draft Revised CFS 2.0.0 replaced the previous operational CFS version 1.1.0 and will go into effect January 2022.

MarFishEco is pleased to have been involved in producing a clear and impact-oriented revision to Fair Trade USAs CFS that works to make fisheries and seafood sustainability certification accessible for developing nation small-scale fisheries. We are delighted that the Standard produced will go some way to fill the social sustainability gap occurring in developing nations and ensure that the ever-evolving needs and expectations of producers, companies, NGOs, and consumers involved continue to be met.

View the revised CFS landing page