The 17th International Fair Trade Summit in Cape Town, South Africa 17-20 September 2024

Culemborg – The excitement is building as preparations are underway for the highly anticipated 17th International Fair Trade Summit, organised by the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). 

This biannual event is scheduled to take place in the vibrant city of Cape Town, South Africa, from September 17th to 20th, 2024. The International Fair Trade Summit is a premier gathering for leaders, practitioners, entrepreneurs, advocates, and supporters of Fair Trade from all corners of the globe. This event serves as a platform for collaboration, innovation, and dialogue aimed at advancing Fair Trade Enterprises’ practices and principles. 

“We are delighted to announce the upcoming International Fair Trade Summit,” said Leida Rijnhout, WFTO Chief Executive. “This event represents a pivotal moment for the global Fair Trade community to come together, share insights, and let the world know that Fair Trade Enterprises are a huge leverage for sustainable production and consumption models, and to build inclusive economies.” 

The summit will feature engaging speakers, interactive panel discussions, and insightful workshops centred around key themes such as the future of Fair Trade (Enterprises) for “Market Visibility”, “Future-Proof Fashion,” “Engaging the Next Generation,” “Donut Economics,” and ” System Change Approach.” Such an event is also geared to facilitate connection, networking, and collaboration to amplify the voices and strengths of SMEs and the sustainability movement. There is also space for WFTO members to discuss some internal matters to strengthen our movement. 

For South African businesses, the summit offers unparalleled opportunities to delve into the world of Fair Trade and sustainable businesses. Attendees will have the chance to gain invaluable knowledge about Fair Trade practices and connect with numerous like-minded local and global businesses that will land in Cape Town. This will allow understanding firsthand how Fair Trade can benefit local communities and economies. Additionally, the event provides a platform to forge new connections and partnerships with international Fair Trade Enterprises, opening doors to global markets and opportunities for collaboration. South African businesses can showcase their products on a global stage, attracting potential buyers and distributors from around the world. 

Moreover, participants will have access to a market expo, where they can participate, and view products showcased by various WFTO members in diverse product categories. The summit also offers tailored content through conference sessions specifically designed for nonmembers, providing practical insights and strategies for integrating Fair Trade principles into local business operations. Regardless of membership status, all are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Whether you’re a seasoned Fair Trade advocate or new to the concept, there’s something for everyone at the summit.

The International Fair Trade Summit aims to achieve tangible outcomes, including:

 • Sharing information, knowledge, and experience between members and the wider movement while exploring new market opportunities. 

• Discussing strategies and concrete measures on how the Fair Trade movement can tackle the triple planetary crisis and connecting with other civil society networks to advocate for change.

 • Actively focusing on forming partnerships, alliances, and planning for future collaborative work with like-minded partners, building awareness about the inspiring enterprise models of WFTO members to drive a transformation of the global economy.

 ”This gathering of like-minded people from all over the world creates unique opportunities to learn, learn from each other, inspire and be inspired, and make the connections we value so much,” said Pieter Swart, Director of Turqle Trading, a WFTO-Guaranteed Fair Trade Enterprise and co-host of the summit. 

Join us at the International Fair Trade Summit as we work together towards a just and sustainable global economy. 

For more information and to register for the summit, visit: 

The summit venue will take place at: Century City Conference Centre, 4 Energy Ln, Century City, Cape Town, 7446, South Africa 

About the World Fair Trade Organization 

The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) serves as the global community and verifier of enterprises committed to practising the 10 Fair Trade Principles. With a membership of visionary small and medium-sized enterprises spanning diverse sectors, we advocate for an equitable and sustainable world. 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. 

In 35 years of operation and with a network of more than 420 organisations, WFTO has impacted over 1 million livelihoods across 81 countries. 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 well-being of the people and the planet. They significantly differ from conventional profitmaximising 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. 

Please contact Nicola Probyn at for any Media inquiries. 

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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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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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