Q&A: Find out about WFTO

In January 2020, the Scottish Fair Trade Forum became a network member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). Here you can find out more about WFTO, its product label and how it relates to the wider Fair Trade movement.  

What is the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO)? 

WFTO is a global network of Fair Trade organisationsthe majority of which are small, artisan enterprises. It is structured as a membership association. To become a member, organisations must show that they commit to people and the planet in everything that they do.  

At present, WFTO has over 400 members in over 70 countries. WFTO estimates that its members’ Fair Trade organisations benefit almost one million small-scale producers and workers across the world, the majority of which are women.

How do I recognise products from WFTO Members? 

When buying products, look out for one of these labels from Guarantee Members. Members can choose to use a generic "Guaranteed Fair Trade" label (on the left) or one that includes their organisation's name as seen in the examples in the middle and right. 

 

 

 

How does the WFTO’s verification system work?

To become a member of WFTO, organisations’ ethos and practices are audited against the 10 Principles of Fair Trade that are based on International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions, human rights and Fair Trade values. The process requires a self-assessment, peer assessment and an independent audit. It also requires members to internally audit the organisations they buy from, ensuring these suppliers are either WFTO members or certified by an equivalent fair trade label . The FAIRTRADE Mark is considered an equivalent label.

Who is a member of WFTO? 

WFTO membership comprises several types of organisation:  

Membership Category  

Examples of member organisations

 Additional information 

Trading organisational categories

Organisations that trade Fair Trade products

 
 

The majority of WFTO’s members fall into this category.  These members are known as “Guaranteed Members.”  

 

Non-trading organisational categories  

Fair Trade Networks 

A network is "an association of organisations committed to Fair Trade." 


 

Fair Trade Support Organizations 

 

This category is "open to organisations whose primary mission is to support Fair Trade and/or provide services to Fair Trade organisations." 

Associate Organizations  

This is a "special category for national or international organisations that are interested in supporting and promoting Fair Trade, including donor organisations." 

Individual Associates

 

"Active Fair Trade supporters whose experience and expertise in their own particular field can be of practical benefit to WFTO's members."

Source: WFTO Membership

Why did the Scottish Fair Trade Forum become a member? 

We decided to become a network member in order to: 

 Demonstrate our commitment to Fair Trade in everything we do; and

 Enable us to make direct connections to, raise awareness of and support Fair Trade enterprises run by small-scale producers and workers across the world. 

 

How is WFTO different from Fairtrade International? 

The WFTO and Fairtrade International are recognised as the two largest and most influential Fair Trade organisations operating at a global level. Both organisations share the vision, objectives and definition of Fair Trade set out in the 2018 International Fair Trade Charter. They both aim to: 

The Approaches of Fair Trade from the International Fair Trade Charter

 

  1. Create the conditions for fair trade  
  2. Achieve inclusive economic growth  
  3. Provide decent work and helping to improve wages and incomes 
  4. Empower women  
  5. Protect the rights of children and invest in the next generation  
  6. Nurture biodiversity and the environment  
  7. Influence public policies  
  8. Involve citizens in building a fair world 

Source: International Fair Trade Charter (2018)

 

Whilst Fairtrade International and WFTO share a common visionthey differ with regard to how they deliver on that. In general, we can say that Fairtrade focuses on verifying the supply chains of products and the WFTO verification system is designed with small-scale Fair Trade enterprises in mindThe differences and similarities are summarised in the table below from the 2019 Reference Guide to Fair Trade Labels

Source: Reference Guide to Fair Trade Labels (2019)

How can I find out more and support WFTO Fair Trade? 

 Check out the WFTO's website

 Find UK-based WFTO members' webshops.

 Support WFTO's #StayHomeLiveFair campaign.

 Join WFTO's annual campaign day, World Fair Trade Day.