What We Stand For

What we stand for

We believe that an alternative way of doing business is possible. And we don’t simply believe that: we are seeing purpose-driven entrepreneurs and activists doing it every day. Our organisation works to support Fair Trade Enterprises to change the economy, globally.

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WFTO members are pioneers with a clear vision of what the economy should look like: one where profit-making does not come before the wellbeing of the people and the planet. They significantly differ from conventional profit-maximising models by embracing a triple bottom line that encompasses the well-being of people, the preservation of the planet, and the pursuit of sustainable profit.

It is our responsibility to build a new economy and advocate for one that prioritises justice on all levels. That’s why our aim is to support a profound transformation through the influential force of Fair Trade Enterprises.


Addressing structural issues in the current economy requires a holistic understanding and approach to challenges. Systemic problems in supply chains necessitate multi-faceted solutions. Unfair wages, environmental degradation, lack of transparency and accountability, forced labour, and poor working conditions are all integral elements of today’s economy. To drive systemic change, businesses must embrace holistic strategies and acknowledge that there is an alternative to profit-centric models. That’s why we use our Fair Trade Principles as a comprehensive guide for sustainable business practices, paving the way for a more equitable and responsible economic landscape towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.


The Fair Trade business model challenges conventional commerce, transcending charity with a transformative approach. We aim for customers, buyers, and retailers to choose our products for their trust in our unwavering commitment to sustainability and exceptional quality. Our reputation as trusted entrepreneurs dedicated to excellence drives our desire to be the preferred choice in the marketplace.


Our 10 Fair Trade Principles extend beyond the Global South, providing a universal blueprint for ethical business practices. While the Global South faces unique challenges stemming from poverty and exploitation, our principles are applicable and vital in all regions. Fair Trade business models transcend borders, urging a transformative shift in the global and local economies. They inspire entrepreneurs, consumers, and policymakers to prioritise social and environmental responsibility, fostering a more just and sustainable approach to commerce on both global and local levels. We are verifying the businesses that choose to be part of this #BusinessRevolution.


Fair Trade Enterprises, and especially SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises), promote robust local economies by emphasising direct trade relationships and retaining a larger portion of revenue within communities. This not only restores trade power dynamics, but it also generates increased income for producers and enables investments in vital local services. Embracing North to North and South to South markets reduces dependence on import-export dynamics, less CO2-emissions and fostering resilient and sustainable local economies. By supporting Fair Trade Enterprises, individuals contribute to regional self-sufficiency, economic justice, and a better quality of life, laying the groundwork for fair economies  globally.


Fair Trade Enterprises challenge the profit-maximisation mindset by demonstrating that ethical business practices can be commercially viable. WFTO members prioritise social and environmental impacts alongside financial success, emphasising the well-being of producers and the environment. By finding a balance between profitability and ethical responsibility, Fair Trade Enterprises show that long-term success is intertwined with sustainable practices and positive social outcomes, promoting a more equitable world.

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WFTO Membership & Associate Types

  • Fair Trade Organisations (FTO)

    All trading members of WFTO. This includes all organisations that have more than half of their income and/or more than €100,000 in income from trade.

  • Fair Trade Support Organisations (FTSO)

    An organisation whose primary mission is to support Fair Trade and/or provide services to organisations that are or want to become Fair Trade Organisations.

  • Fair Trade Networks (FTN)

    An organisation which is an association of organisations committed to Fair Trade.

  • Individual Associates (IA)

    Individual Associates are supporters of the Fair Trade movement with limited rights. The WFTO Guarantee System does not apply to them.

  • Associate Organisations (AO)

    Associate Organisations align with WFTO’s values but after their application. They do not undergo monitoring and also have limited rights.

WFTO Guarantee System Monitoring Statuses

  • Candidates

    Candidates have been conditionally approved for membership but have not completed their first monitoring cycle under the WFTO Guarantee System. They have limited rights within WFTO. They may not use the WFTO Member Mark and Product Label or claim that they are monitored by WFTO.

  • Guaranteed Members

    Guaranteed members have met the WFTO Membership requirements and are monitored under the WFTO Guarantee System.

  • Member

    Organisations that have no or little income from trade go through a reduced version of the WFTO Guarantee System that does not include criteria related to trade. These organisations may use the WFTO Member Mark but cannot use the Product Label for any products they may be trading to support their mission. This status only applies to Fair Trade Networks (FTN) and Support Organisations (FTSO).

  • Renewal in Progress

    Members who are in the process of renewing their guaranteed status and are overdue on some requirements retain full rights while they work to meet the demands of the Guarantee System on an administrative or compliance level.

Become an Impact Ally

Collaboration is key to successful transformation, meaningful impact, and our movement

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WFTO welcomes applications from established Fair Trade Organisations as well as organisations that support Fair Trade. Individuals in their capacity as researchers, writers, consultants and specialists in their field who can contribute solid skills, knowledge and expertise to WFTO and members are also welcome.

Add Your Heading Text Initial requirements for organisations:

  • Compliance with the WFTO 10 Principles of Fair Trade. Please have a look at the WFTO Fair Trade Standard for more specific information on compliance with these principles.

  • All applicant organisations must already be duly registered (as a legal entity) and active for at least one year.

Who can apply?

  • Fair Trade Organisations (FTO)

    All companies, partnerships, co-partnerships and other legal bodies – as determined by the legal provisions of the country of the member concerned – that are directly engaged in Fair Trade. They may be producers or northern or southern based trading FTOs for whom Fair Trade is the main activity. To qualify for FTO membership, income from sales (turnover) must account for 50% or more of the total income. Applications for FTO membership cannot be accepted from organisations with no prior sales history.

  • Fair Trade Networks (FTN)

    Legal entities whose primary function is to serve as national or international associations of Fair Trade producers and/or Fair Trade Organisations.

  • Fair Trade Support Organisations (FTSO)

    Fair Trade Organisations where trading is not the main activity (proportion of trade is less than 50% of total income). These organisations are engaged in Fair Trade indirectly, through activities that promote and support Fair Trade. These activities can include business counselling, finance, advocacy or networking.

  • Associate Organisations

    This is a special category for national or international organisations that are interested in supporting and promoting Fair Trade, including donor organisations. Organisations that do not meet the one-year legal existence requirement also fit in this group.

  • Individual Associates

    Individual researchers, writers, consultants and specialists in their field that can support WFTO. WFTO expects its individual associates to be active Fair Trade supporters whose experience and expertise in their own particular field can be of practical benefit to WFTO's members. To apply, please submit a curriculum vitae.

    While FTO, FTN and FTSO are entitled to full WFTO membership, organizational and individual associates have only limited rights.

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Please feel free to contact us should you have any specific enquiries
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The WFTO Product Label is more than just a Fair Trade symbol. It signifies not only that the practices across the supply chain are checked against the WFTO Fair Trade Standard, but it also represents support to the battle against poverty and inequality. Products carrying the WFTO Label are made and traded by Guaranteed Fair Trade Organisations dedicated to the sustainable Fair Trade economy. Every purchase of products with the WFTO Label supports small producers and their communities.

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