This World Fair Trade Day, It’s Time To Reimagine The Economy!

The current economic model has brought about unsustainable levels of resource consumption, environmental degradation, and social inequality. We see the devastating effects of this in the people and environment around us. Our time for debating is running out, and the time for action is now. When there is so much to do, what to do can seem overwhelming.

For World Fair Trade Day, observed on 13 May 2023, The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) will focus on the theme “Reimagining the Economy: Regenerative Businesses for the Future.” It’s critically important for us to reimagine the economy and find a more sustainable and equitable way forward.

As we seek to create a better future, it’s essential that citizens, enterprises, activists, influencers and policy makers work together to promote Fair Trade practices and support ethical and sustainable businesses.

In this article, we’ll explore how you can join the Fair Trade movement and contribute to creating this future with us.


  • Ask the right questions to educate yourself and others: Question the impact of your purchasing choices and the principles of your favourite brands and businesses. Read about Fair Trade, Fair Trade principles and ask for the right information from the right sources. The WFTO website and social media channels are regularly updated with the latest information, and you can sign up to receive the WFTO newsletter via the contact form below.
  • Engage in responsible consumption: Think about the impact of your purchasing power. Responsible consumption means choosing products and services that are produced using fair labour and environmental practices, reducing consumption of single-use materials, and choosing products with minimal packaging. Encourage others to adopt these practices by leading by example and sharing information on how to make more sustainable choices.
  • Support local and small businesses: Support local and small businesses that prioritise sustainability and fairness in their practices. This can help reduce the environmental impact of transportation and support the local economy. You can also contact us via the contact form below to find out about products and services WFTO members can supply.

Activists & Influencers:

  • Raise awareness and advocate for change: Raise awareness about issues related to Fair Trade and sustainability by sharing information through social media, organising events and campaigns, and engaging with local and national media outlets. Advocate for change by lobbying policy makers and businesses to adopt more sustainable and equitable practices.
  • Support and promote local initiatives: Support and promote local initiatives that prioritise sustainability and fairness in their practices, such as community gardens, farmers’ markets, and sustainable transportation options.

WFTO is an international network of over 450 Fair Trade enterprises from more than 80 countries that focus on supporting, developing and promoting businesses who are committed to Fair Trade.

  • WFTO focuses on the entire supply chain of businesses involved in Fair Trade, including producers, cooperatives, wholesalers, and retailers. Its primary goal is to create a supportive environment for these businesses to thrive and uphold WFTO’s 10 Fair Trade principles.
  • WFTO operates as a global network of enterprises committed to Fair Trade principles. Members are subject to peer review and self-assessment processes, as well as independent verification to ensure compliance with WFTO’s principles.
  • WFTO’s 10 Principles of Fair Trade cover a broader range of topics, including transparency, accountability, capacity building, payment of fair prices, gender equity, and environmental sustainability. The focus is on long-term, holistic improvement for the enterprise and communities involved in Fair Trade.

As we strive to create a more sustainable and equitable global and local economies, it is crucial that Fair Trade enterprises on every level of the supply chain receive the support they need on this journey.

This is how WFTO supports Fair Trade enterprises:

By becoming a verified member of WFTO, enterprises have access to a range of benefits that will help them stay competitive and sustainable.

These benefits include:

  • Access to a global network of Fair Trade enterprises: WFTO members can collaborate with like-minded businesses from around the world, share knowledge, and exchange best practices.
  • Verification: WFTO verification provides businesses with a globally recognised mark of excellence, demonstrating their commitment to Fair Trade practices, transparency, and accountability.
  • Capacity building: WFTO offers training and support to businesses looking to improve their Fair Trade practices, including training in areas such as product development, marketing, and financial management.
  • Market access: WFTO helps businesses access new markets through its online marketplace and trade fairs, providing them with the opportunity to showcase their products and reach a wider audience.
  • Movement & Advocacy: WFTO brings the interests, goals and vision of its enterprises, and in particular of SMEs, to the attention of policy makers and governments.
  • Enquire about membership via the contact form below.

Policy Makers:

  • Create policies that incentivise fair trade and sustainability: This can include tax incentives, subsidies, and other forms of financial support for businesses that prioritise social and environmental goals.
  • Set standards and regulations: This can include regulations on emissions, waste disposal, and labour practices.
  • Support fair trade initiatives: Such as fair trade labelling and certification programs, to help citizens identify products that have been produced using fair labour and environmental practices. Additionally, support initiatives that promote transparency and accountability in supply chains, such as mandatory reporting requirements for businesses.

This World Fair Trade Day, let’s come together to reimagine the economy and create a more sustainable and equitable future for all. Whether you’re a citizen, enterprise, activist, influencer, or policy maker, there are steps you can take to promote Fair Trade practices and support the WFTO’s mission.

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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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