The Fair Trade Movement calls on the Parties of the UNFCCC to act on their commitments under the Paris Agreement and to prioritise fair trading practices in the global supply chains as indispensable for climate justice.

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The Climate Crisis is unjust – its impact is felt most severely by those who are least responsible for it. Smallholder farmers in the Global South are suffering the effects of climate change: droughts and floods, changing ripening and harvesting patterns, new climate-related pests, weeds and diseases and reduced yields. With the COVID-19 pandemic the same is true: The most marginalised are hit hardest as infection spread and/or lockdown measures have a negative impact on their work and trade. Both the climate and COVID-19 crisis are symptoms of the root disease: They are stark reminders of the powerful correlations between the global economic model and the larger health and environmental crises we are facing, also in the form of loss of biodiversity, deforestation, etc. An economic model where a significant imbalance in power in supply chains means that poor and marginalised producers and workers in global supply chains are being kept in perpetual poverty with unsustainable livelihoods, while buyers/retailers are reaping profits for their shareholders on the back of smallholders’ and SMEs’ crops and products. A key example is deforestation, which is chiefly driven by the current model for cocoa and coffee supply chains. A small group of big actors in the Global North capture high profits, while farmers in the Global South are pressured to deliver more and more product at prices below cost of production, often resulting in undesirable practices such as deforestation, use of child labour, and perpetual poverty. 

Clearly, addressing poverty and the inequality embedded in these supply chains is necessary to address sustainability practices, especially those affecting the climate. The priority must shift away from large-scale, industrial farming to first and foremost providing trade justice to smallholder farmers, enabling them to weather both the Climate Crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. This is increasingly substantiated in independent research as well, most recently in this recent IFAD report. Though the specifics are different for farmers, artisans and workers in other global supply chains, like those involved in the textiles and fashion industry, the necessity of addressing poverty to ensure environmental sustainability and climate adaptation remains the same.

The transformation of sustainable modes of production and consumption is at the heart of the theory of change of the Fair Trade movement. It calls on all actors: to defend a fair, equitable and remunerative price for producers, allowing them to live with dignity as a result of their work and to invest in agro-ecological modes of production. The Fair Trade movement provides working, alternative business models that function through transparent, long-term business partnerships with the aim of providing decent livelihoods while safe-guarding working conditions, women’s rights, children’s rights, workers’ rights and environmental sustainability. It demonstrates that an economy that works for people and planet is viable, and active through several actors such as Fair Trade enterprises, who are mission-led businesses fully practicing Fair Trade, and companies sourcing Fairtrade certified products. The Fair Trade Movement is also increasingly growing its political commitment to Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence. There is a need for enabling public policies and mandatory corporate regulation, and in this arena policy-makers and Parties to the UNFCCC are key actors for progress on their commitments under the Paris Agreement.

National governments, businesses and citizens – consumers – must collaborate to effectively advance the SDG targets for Sustainable Production and Consumption, which are  vital to realising the objectives of  the Paris Agreement. For climate mitigation and adaptation to truly be achieved policy coherence must ensure trade is fair and happens on decent terms for marginalised smallholder farmers (such as those living from cocoa, coffee, bananas value chains) and at-risk producers, artisans and workers across the world. So long as those at the beginning of global value chains are left behind by disproportionate imbalances of power in trade, the climate crisis will not be solved. 

The Fair Trade movement’s recent call to Build Back Fairer highlights that we cannot go back to ‘business as usual’ in a post-COVID-19 pandemic world. It is vital that recovery efforts ensure the creation of a new economy inclusive and supportive of Fair Trade Enterprises, Fairtrade certified producer organisations, and other social enterprises. An economy where climate and trade policies incentivise fair and climate-friendly products through mandatory Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence standards, reformed taxation, and a ban on unfair trading practices in all sectors. To achieve this new economy, public stimulus packages as part of Covid-19 recovery plans must be conditional on companies adhering to social and environmental standards on par with those set by Fair Trade Enterprises and Fairtrade certification. 

As per our call under  the joint Fair Trade movement position paper on COP25 smallholder farmers must be prioritised in the COP negotiations. Concretely, smallholder farmers must be included when developing NDCs; when stipulating provisions for technical expertise and support in implementing sustainable modes of production; when facilitating better access to finance and climate risk insurance; and when promoting digital and infrastructure measures as part of climate adaptation. In addition, the burden of transitioning to low or zero carbon agricultural supply chains should not fall on farmers, workers or artisans alone – they must be adequately supported by all actors in the supply chain. 


Fairtrade International
World Fair Trade Organization
Fair Trade Advocacy Office
Fair World Project
Coordinadora Estatal de Comercio Justo 
Equo Garantito
Traidcraft Exchange 
Polish Fair Trade Association 
Fair Trade Scotland
Scottish Fair Trade Forum 
Commerce Équitable France
Forum Fairer Handel
Oxfam Magasins du Monde
GEPA Fair Trade Company
Swiss Fair Trade
EZA Fairer Handel 

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17th international


17-20 SEPT 2024 – CAPE TOWN 

We are thrilled to invite you to our upcoming International Fair Trade Summit, set to take place in the vibrant city of Cape Town, from the 17th to the 20th of September 2024.

The International Fair Trade Summit aims to bring together leaders, practitioners, and advocates from all corners of the globe to collaborate and promote Fair Trade practices. This edition promises to be a unique opportunity for participants to engage in enlightening discussions, exchange ideas, and forge partnerships that will shape the future of Fair Trade.

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.

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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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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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