Good news! We’re delighted to say that we have been granted network membership of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). We are now officially part of the the global community of Fair Trade organisations committed to rigorous sustainability standards in business.
To become a member, we had to demonstrate that we put people and planet first in everything we do.
This was was checked through an independent audit and approval by the WFTO’s international board. At each assessment stage, our committment to people and the planet was verified against the 10 Principles of Fair Trade and we were required to ensure our suppliers were compliant with these principles too. The 10 Principles of Fair Trade are based on International Labour Organization conventions, human rights and Fair Trade values.
Whilst the Forum was awarded network membership status, the majority of WFTO’s members are small, artisan enterprises who are “mission-led” – businesses that were set up with the exclusive aim of making a positive social difference in their communities whilst minimising harmful impact to the environment.
An example is Villageworks in Cambodia who you may know as the producers of Fair Trade tartan.
More recently, Villageworks has been producing beautifully crafted accessories from upcycled materials using waste from the local construction industry.
The enterprise directly supports their employees, many of whom have disabilities and are based in very remote, rural parts of Cambodia.
WFTO’s membership also includes Pacari whose internationally award-winning, palm oil free and vegan chocolate is entirely produced and packaged in Ecuador thereby supporting more than 3,500 families, the local economy and the environment.
Environmental protection is at the heart of Pacari: the delicious chocolate is also organic-certified, and all the cacao is produced on smallholder farms embedded harmoniously within, rather than in place of, the Amazon rainforest.
Our Chief Executive, Martin Rhodes, said:
“We are proud to be granted network membership status of WFTO after a thorough assessment. This membership demonstrates our commitment to Fair Trade in everything we do. It also enables us to make direct connections to, raise awareness of and support Fair Trade enterprises run by small-scale producers and workers across the world.”
The WFTO also runs campaigns such as World Fair Trade Day in May each year to promote and connect its members.
Colleen, our Engagement and Communications Officer, said:
“The WFTO is a dynamic network to be part of. As campaigners, we are participating in the current #StayHomeLiveFair campaign, can’t wait for World Fair Trade Day on 9 may and look forward to working with WFTO members to tackle other global challenges such as the climate emergency and inequality.”
Looking for more information about WFTO? Check out our Q&A.
*Source: Fair Trade Business Models Report (2020)