The International Trappist Association (ITA) unites twenty Trappist abbeys throughout the world, monasteries in which Trappist monks and nuns produce a variety of products for sale. The association is non-profit. It is dedicated to assisting the members of the ITA in the production of goods and in the pursuit of standards of excellence. The association also protects the “Trappist®” trademark and the fundamental values associated withevery Trappist product.
All abbeys which are members of the ITA belong to the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance. This Order follows the sixth-century Rule of Saint Benedict, and is guided and inspired by Cistercian spirituality.
Silence and prayer
Any economic enterprise undertaken by member communities is marked by prayer, an attitude of responsibility, and silence. The Trappists, both monks and nuns, participate in management as well as production. They are careful to ensure the welfare of their colleagues and to provide consumers with correct information. They are also attentive to environmentally friendly production and sustainability, putting quality above quantity. They strive to maintain a high degree of integrity in their marketing and sales policies.
Through their industries, ITA members play a part in the wider market economy. Monastic values play a role in their production policies and ensure the uniqueness of each individual product. The ITA ensures that member communities develop a good balance between their commercial goals and their spiritual heritage, helping and supporting them in the following ways:
To indicate the origin of their products, all the Trappist monasteries worldwide may advertise their products using the Trappist® trademark. This also applies to yeast used in beer production. Abbeys that brew beer develop yeast especially for each Trappist® beer. There is, for instance, a Rochefort Trappist® yeast, an Orval Trappist® yeast, etc. The “Trappist®” trademark is protected. Use of the Trappist® trademark in other contexts is not allowed and should not mislead anyone.
Authentic point of origin
The monastic life appeals to the imagination of many producers. The ITA therefore ensures that the Trappist® name is not used improperly. Indeed, the origins of the ITA stem from a need to ensure such protection: the association was founded in 1998 to inform consumers of the origin and authenticity of Trappist products with no ambiguity.
Trappist® products with the ATP label
Whereas all Trappist abbeys have the exclusive right to use the Trappist® trademark, members of the ITA may request another label ensuring the quality of their product: the “Authentic Trappist Product” label (ATP). A Trappist® product with an ATP label not only has a monastic origin, but is also guaranteed to have been produced according to the strict guidelines established by the ITA.