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.
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.
OUR HOLISTIC APPROACH TO ACHIEVE JUSTICE
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.
BUSINESSES, NOT CHARITY
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.
A GLOBAL REVOLUTION / THINKING GLOBAL
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.
A LOCAL REVOLUTION / ACTING LOCAL
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.
PROFIT-MAKING VS PROFIT-MAXIMISING / AGAINST PROFIT “AT ALL COSTS”
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.