By Eve Broadis
Fair Trade Scotland

I was very fortunate to have been brought up in an area of East London undergoing major social change in the late 1950’s. On leaving Grammar School it was clear that I had benefitted from an education that was second to none.

Whilst adults around us were angry and frightened at the emerging diversity of cultures, we were taught to embrace and value these differences. It was not until 1984, and now with a young family, that I heard of the Boycott Nestle Baby Milk Campaign.

As a young mother I was appalled at the injustice – by big corporations – to find markets, at any cost, for their products and my passion for fairness and the realisation that I could be part of the solution through the purchases I made, led me into the world of Fair Trade.

Eve Broadis

Being part of the community

I joined IFAT (now WFTO) in the 1990’s and it felt good to be part of a global movement, dedicated to improving the livelihoods of producers, who struggled to make a living. Fast forward 30 years and the decision to become a WFTO Guaranteed Importer member of WFTO completed the journey.

WFTO is home to over 400 members, across 70 countries, it is as much a culture as an organisation -it’s like one big global family. At its core there is a set of underlying principles, it is an attitude of mind rather than a set of rules and regulations.

Like any large family there are differences of opinion and disagreements within WFTO, but with a combined vision of working towards a sustainable and fair global economy, these issues are overcome by working together – putting people and planet first.

In a patriarchal society customs are an integral part of a woman’s life and women are expected to take care of the house and children, even when they have full time jobs.

Equity in the Fair Trade supply chain

Having a ‘women only WFTO supply chain’ can be advantageous for women producers as there is an understanding of the archaic thought that ‘a woman’s place is in the home’ and this is where the concept of equity and equality come in.

I have seen at first-hand the problems facing women producers as they strive to make products that appeal to consumers, and then cope with the added burden of bringing them to the ‘open’ market to find buyers who will give them a price that covers the full cost of production.

WFTO Women producers/importers have the opportunity to influence the equity in the supply chain and lift communities out of poverty, through long term trading partnerships.

Over 50% of our WFTO GS producer membership are women and as a female importer I share their passion and dedication to provide work for their local communities, and wanted to ensure my business embraced and supported them.

World Fair Trade Tartan – long term Fair Trade partnership

It is with this in mind that we are developing an exclusive range of WFTO Fair Trade Tartan products that secures both equality and equity in to the WFTO Guaranteed Fair Trade supply chain, with our World Fair Trade Tartan partner and WFTO producers globally.

The concept of the WFTO Fair Trade Tartan accessories is to ensure that producers receive the maximum profit for creating the finished product. 

As a woman importer I appreciate the commitment to ‘upskill’ that the weavers are undertaking to produce the difficult weave, which uses 6 batons rather than the usual 2/3, ensuring the weaver is paid more for their skill – which can take months to perfect.

It is essential this information is passed onto the consumer,  as a women led supply chain is generally more empathetic to the way a product is produced and less likely to drive down the price – hence there needs to be a ‘safeguard’ in place when taking the product to the wider market.

Our first WFTO Tartan partnership is with Guaranteed Member Villageworks, Cambodia where they are making the first range of WFTO Fair Trade Tartan accessories. As an organisation they fully embrace diversity and this helps create sustainable livelihoods for the artisan weavers and sewers.

We are working collaboratively with World Fair Trade Tartan to build capacity and measure the social impact this product will have for the producers of the WFTO Fair Trade Tartan products, which will see an increase in the family income and should lead to an improvement in health and education opportunities for the children, making it easy for the responsible consumer to support.

“For consumers ethical trading, is most crucially about transparency and accountability. Communications should not be about forcing consumers to choose between or prioritise the plethora of sustainability issues that will arise in a company’s supply chain. It is about making the responsibility choice the easy choice. Marilena Lazzarini, President Consumers International.

“On the path to gender equality, we need gender equity. In order to have gender equity, we need to change the narrative and focus away from fixing women and put it squarely where it belongs – fixing the system. A system that has generated a leaky pipeline and suppressed economic opportunity at all levels – individual, family, company and country”. Katicia Roy is an Ambassador for Gender Equity.

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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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