MADE IN THE USA
Produced and packaged in Denver, the Women’s Bean Project is one of our impact partners that offers products that are made in the United States. To help businesses like the Women’s Bean Project stand out in this respect, there is a certification specifically made for products that are made in the United States.
What is it?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sets the standard for what is required of a “Made in USA” claim. Their regulations stipulate that “all or virtually all” of the product must be made in the United States which includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories. “All or virtually all” means that the significant parts and processing that goes into the production of the product must originate from the United States. Automobiles, textiles, wool, and fur products with U.S. content are required to disclose their content. Other industries, manufacturers, and marketers are not required to make a “Made in USA” claim, but they must comply with the FTC’s policies in order to make this claim. Finally, the FTC discourages manufacturers and marketers from indicating, either overtly or covertly, that an entire product line originates from the U.S. when only some product in that line follows the FTC’s regulations.
All Made in USA Brand licenses require that the products must comply with all of the FTC Regulations. Namely, all signification parts and processing that go into the product must originate for the U.S., the last substantial transformation of the product must have taken place in the U.S., and the final assembly or processing must have taken place in the United States. Accredited companies must pay an annual license fee that is proportionate to gross annual revenue. The Made in USA Brand licenses come in both qualified and unqualified certifications: the Verified Made in USA Brand Certification Mark, the Self-Certified Made in USA Brand Certification Mark, the Unqualified Verified Certification Mark, and the Unqualified Self-Certified Certification Mark. The qualified certifications must have at least 50 percent of the product’s total manufacturing costs assigned to U.S. parts and processing, and the last substantial transformation and final assembly or processing of the product must have taken place in the U.S.
Made in USA Certified is the leading independent third party certification source for “Made in USA”, “Product of USA”, “Grown in USA” or “Service in USA” seals. These seals vary on the percentage of U.S. content is in a particular product. The content percentages are at least 51 percent, 75 percent, 90 percent, and 100 percent U.S. content. The Product of USA Certified Seal and the Grown in USA Certified Seal require 100 percent U.S. content. The Service in USA Certified Seal requires 100 percent of the labor force to be in the USA. For all of there certifications, there is a monthly compliance check after the initial audit.
Why does it matter?
On the business side of things, certified companies enjoy an increased amount of contract acquisitions and profits while also increasing their validity and reliability to their consumers. The certification often provides a powerful message to consumers that purchasing their products means that they are supporting products and services of the United States.
This kind of certification also minimizes environmental degradation and labor exploitation. It is a common practice for large corporations to out-source the production process to other countries. It is easier to cut corners in order to increase profits. As a result, local communities and the environment suffers from this negligence. The company may be fined for these bad practices, but they will happily pay it if it means that they are able to conduct business as usual with a little monetary slap on the wrist. When the entire production process is concentrated in the U.S., these companies are less likely to engage in these practices due to stricter environmental and labor laws for industry. This is not to say that such exploitation continues to occur, but it does mean that it is far less likely to happen on such a large scale.
The Made in USA certification encourages American companies to be more socially and environmentally responsible while giving American consumers the option to support local products and reduce environmental and social degradation caused by industry.