Maricucha de la Fuente
Allpa, Peru

My name is Maricucha de la Fuente. I am one of the founders and CEO of Allpa, a leading Fair Trade company in Peru. We were created 32 years ago and work with artisans who produce alpaca textiles, home décor and fashion garments and jewelry.

As a woman, and as the leader of a Fair Trade Enterprise, one of the principles that I most cherish is NO DISCRIMINATION OF ANY KIND. At its heart, this means ensuring the same opportunities and working conditions for both men and women.

Maricucha de la Fuente

Even if this sounds obvious these days, it is not. Women still receive lower salaries for the same work as men, even in the most advanced Western countries. The situation is much worse in 3rd world countries- especially in Asian countries due to religious and cultural reasons.

I was extremely lucky to get a higher education in my country. My education opened up a whole world of knowledge and possibilities. I studied Sociology, and I think my studies inspired me to become an entrepreneur. It was like a new adventure, exploring the possibility of creating bigger opportunities for artisans who faced huge obstacles to get into the market. I will never regret making this decision 32 years ago.

As a CEO of Allpa, I feel like I’m running a household, just on a much bigger scale. It involves economic issues; planning budgets; looking for efficiency in resources uses; solving problems; fixing things; health issues, psychological problems; education and training.   

On top of this, the fight for survival in the global market pushes you to constantly develop, analyze markets and reach more customers. At the same time, you have to keep an eye on your own household and responsibilities to your family. Double job, it is called…

Allpa is fighting to create more platforms where these issues can be made public and discussed openly. We must create an awareness with public and private leaders about how to really enable women’s participation in economic, politic and cultural life. Women still live in a world controlled by men. Allpa, as a partner of Fair Trade, will always be committed to creating platforms for opportunity to women artisans and producers.

But we Fair Traders still need to create more spaces where we can discuss our challenges now and beyond. Communicate, and work together- with your neighbor, your partner and your community. Together, we can transform obstacles into opportunities to grow.

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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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