Are you a Canadian company that makes fair trade products? If so, you might be able to sell your products through Rosette Fair Trade! We are a fair trade retailer with a particular focus on Canadian small businesses.
Unfortunately, if your product isn’t fair trade, you aren’t eligible to sell with us. For more specifics, read our complete fair trade supplier guidelines below for Canadian businesses.
Which companies can work with Rosette Fair Trade?
In order to gain the status of a Rosette Fair Trade supplier, our staff must review and approve your company and products. We have minimum requirements that all companies must meet. As a fair trade retailer, we want to support as many ethical companies as possible. However, we also reserve the right to reject any company’s request as we see fit. This could happen in cases where, for example, The Rosette Network detects a conflict of interest.
Below you will find the minimum requirements that each and every supplier of Rosette Fair Trade must meet.
The products in question are verified and/or certified fair trade by an approved body
In order to qualify as a supplier, your products must be verified by the Fair Trade Federation or certified by either Fairtrade International, The Small Producers’ Symbol, or Fair For Life. Rosette Fair Trade recognizes these bodies as representing genuine fair trade due to their high standards. Our goal is to keep high standards while also being a fair trade retailer that offers a broad selection of products to consumers.
In cases where some products are verified/certified and others are not, only the fair trade products that pass our requirements can be sold through Rosette.
The company’s main headquarters is based in Canada
Rosette Fair Trade currently prioritizes Canadian companies. There are some existing fair trade retailers that import a lot of products from the Global South, which we also think is great. However, our particular brand of fair trade retail focuses less on artisanal products and more on food products. Understandably, these tend to be more regulated by the federal government.
Here we define “Canadian” as any company who has their main headquarters in Canada and who’s registered as a Canadian business. We may make an exception in rare cases for companies whose main office is located outside of Canada, but of course you would need to have the required rights to sell products in Canada. Exceptions will only ever happen on a case-by-case basis. We may decide to include you if your company is enabling an especially positive impact for economically-disadvantaged producers, for instance.
The product is high-quality
Companies who don’t have high-quality products won’t become suppliers. If a supplier’s product is regularly the cause of customer complaints, that will compromise the customer’s experience in a substantial way. As a fair trade retailer, we are already working against the mainstream, so quality is key. We don’t mind occasional issues, because we understand that nobody is perfect. But if customer dissatisfaction becomes the rule rather than the exception, we won’t continue to work with you. We hope you understand.
If we enter into a relationship with a supplier and later discover that they are not providing a quality product for our customers, their relationship with us may be terminated.
The fair trade supplier application process
If you wish The Rosette Network (Rosette Fair Trade) to sell your product(s), these are the steps that you will need to successfully go through.
Verify that you meet the basic requirements
As a fair trade retailer, we need to have some basic requirements. In summary, they are:
- Your products are verified and/or certified by an approved fair trade body
- You’re a Canadian company
- Your products are high-quality
If you have any questions about how The Rosette Network operates, what our relationship with suppliers looks like, and so on, you are welcome to ask them by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submit the initial application
If you meet all of the basic requirements, we encourage you to submit an application to become a supplier for Rosette Fair Trade/The Rosette Network. Please click here to access the application form.
Quality assessment (if considered)
If we are considering your company as a supplier, we may ask you to send a sample of the product(s) you’re hoping we’ll sell on Rosette Fair Trade. This allows us to ensure that your products will be a good fit for our customers. In cases where your products are already familiar to us, it may not be necessary to send a sample.
Confirm the details of your products
After the quality assessment, if Rosette would like to sell your product(s) on Rosette Fair Trade, you will need to confirm the details of the product(s) in question. We will ask you about any existing product descriptions that you may wish us to use, or write our own. This information will eventually be used to create product listings.
When Rosette lists your products for sale, the final retail price will usually be 50-75% more than the agreed-upon wholesale price.
Agreeing on our relationship
If both parties still want to enter into a business relationship, both the vendor and a representative of The Rosette Network will sign an agreement.
Below are some common elements of our relationships with each vendor.
Payment of price
We pay all vendors the agreed-upon wholesale price for any merchandise that we sell, less the value of any product that we received damaged. For seasonal items for which the prime season has passed (i.e. Christmas-themed chocolate after December 25th), we may request a discounted price. The resale/retail price of each product is typically 50-75% more than the wholesale price.
We expect suppliers to keep us informed of any products that are being discontinued.
Shipping the order to the customer is always the responsibility of The Rosette Network/Rosette Fair Trade. Once an order is placed, we will ship out the order and adjust inventory accordingly. This is done on a daily basis, Monday through Friday. When the inventory gets low, we will order more product from the supplier.
Except for special cases, The Rosette Network will handle customer complaints. Unless we require further information from the supplier to handle the complaint, we won’t involve the supplier.
We expect our suppliers to invoice us for any shipment of product, so that we may pay for it. Payment will be made by credit card or cheque.
We are grateful to suppliers who allow us to post-pay for our first shipment of merchandise, as we are a new business.
Returns & refunds
In some cases, the best course of action is to offer a refund to the customer. When this happens, The Rosette Network/Rosette Fair Trade will take care of the process. If the customer requests the refund because the product was defective, we may deduct the value of the refunded product from the wholesale amount owed to the supplier. This may also happen in rare cases where it’s clear that the product was damaged before Rosette received it. In cases where it’s reasonable to assume the damage was the fault of Rosette, we will absorb the loss for that product.
When the product isn’t damaged and it’s feasible, we reserve the right to re-sell the product if the original customer ships it back to us. This will not affect the amount Rosette owes the supplier for the merchandise.
Listing of products
The Rosette Network is always the administrator of the product listings on its website. If a supplier notices an error on a listing, they may simply ask and an administrator will make the change (as long as it’s a reasonable request).
While we will always maintain a strong ethical standard and be transparent about our marketing strategies, The Rosette Network reserves the right to market as it sees fit. We never require our supplier to market on our behalf.
If, at any time, a supplier decides that they no longer want to allow The Rosette Network to sell their products, they may terminate their relationship with us. We will sell the remaining inventory and pay you the agreed-upon price, but you are not obligated to ship us more. We simply ask that you give us as much notice as possible so that we may ease the transition for customers.
Advertising/promoting your products on Rosette Fair Trade
The Rosette Network will sometimes feature products or brands in prominent areas of the fair trade online store. This is done at the sole discretion of Rosette. We are willing to consider a fair exchange of product for advertising in some cases, if we feel it will benefit our customers. However, we are not accepting cash advertising agreements at this time.
Featuring your brand on Rosette Fair Trade’s online store
We will publish a supplier profile on the website for each company we work with. This is for the sake of transparency and also to tell the story behind the products. Fair trade is largely about re-forging a connection with where our goods come from, and Rosette wants to honour that.
Which niches does The Rosette Network focus on?
The Rosette Network works with companies in a number of sustainable niches (social, environmental, etc.). If you aren’t a fair trade company, you might be able to work with our network under another niche.
Currently, the niches that The Rosette Network focuses on are:
- Fair trade consumer goods (Rosette Fair Trade)
- Sustainable food systems (The Ugly Cucumber)
- Women-owned businesses (Lia Walsh Studio)
In the near future, we hope to expand The Rosette Network to cover other sustainability issues. These could include:
- Consumer goods not tested on animals
- Zero-waste lifestyle items
- Alternative business models