Who We Are
Who we are
The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) is the global community and verifier of enterprises that fully practise Fair Trade. We are an association of visionary Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that believes that a new economy is possible: together, we stand as a collective of entrepreneurial activists and changemakers who are at the forefront of advocating for an equitable and sustainable world.
Fair Trade Enterprises are changing the way business is done on a global scale. Active throughout 84 countries, with more than 1 million livelihoods impacted from North to South, they are demonstrating a viable alternative to the current exploitative businesses by prioritising social and environmental sustainability, alongside with economic success.
From fashion to houseware, from food to beauty products, we are transforming the industry, by upscaling the number of Fair Trade Enterprise and phasing out the unsustainable business practices. As a global membership organisation, we are dedicated to supporting our members in achieving their goals and enabling them to increase their ethical markets. They do this by producing high-quality products, with respect for workers and the environment. As a movement, we are also amplifying our voice as Fair Trade entrepreneurs to change (international) policies to promote Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
With our Guarantee System, we ensure that businesses maintain the highest standards of sustainability, encompassing both environmental and social aspects. Our aim is to gain a comprehensive understanding of how an enterprise operates, taking into account various factors such as production processes, supply chains, and stakeholder relationships. Our verification label represents the commitment of such enterprises, and the rigorous evaluation process they went through.
What sets us apart is our holistic approach that goes beyond assessing a single commodity. We thoroughly examine the entire business, seeking to understand the model employed by the enterprise. We strive to comprehend the underlying principles and values that guide the enterprise's operations. This allows us to assess not only the product itself but also the practices and methodologies employed throughout the entire value chain. A Guaranteed WFTO member is fully practising all the 10 Fair Trade Principles.
Our commitment to understanding the broader context in which a business operates enables us to address systemic issues and promote positive change. Through our rigorous evaluation process, we guide and encourage businesses to adopt sustainable practices that align with our required and highest standards in both environmental stewardship and social impact.
The history of the Fair Trade movement
These initiatives were labelled as "alternative trade".