Joint statement by Nobunto and WFTO



NOBUNTO & WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization) have the pleasure to communicate that as of November 2016 they have reached an agreement that allows to resolve the dispute (see below) amicably, avoid proceedings before the Court, and ensure their time and limited resources are rather invested in obtaining their respective objectives.

The agreement includes a commitment from both parties to act amicably towards one another and to refrain from communicating about their views on the dispute, the Agreement and terms of the settlement in the broadest sense, with the exception of this Joint Statement.

It also clarifies that Nobunto is welcome to re-apply for WFTO membership as soon as allowed by the GS Handbook, as established in the agreement.

Background:

WFTO is a global network of Fair Trade Organisations promoting and accrediting Fair Trade practices through the WFTO Guarantee System. Nobunto is a South African producer of hand-painted candles and gift items.

Nobunto was approved as a provisional member of WFTO in March 2014. WFTO received an alert against the organisation. This alert led to an investigation process according to the WFTO Guarantee System Handbook that culminated in the termination of Nobunto’s provisional membership in June 2015. Nobunto decided to use its right to appeal this decision but, after having run the appropriate Appeals Procedures, WFTO confirmed the termination in October 2015.

A dispute between the parties then arose in relation to the validity of the decision to terminate Nobunto’s provisional WFTO membership. This dispute is now for good settled.

WFTO wishes to thank the pro-bono support of the law firm Freshfields in reaching an amicable solution to this matter.