Fair Trade Federation

The Fair Trade Federation (FTF) is a US based organization with its headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware.  Formerly the North American Alternative Trade Organization (NAATO), FTF is a trade association of North American retailers and wholesalers that are committed to fair trade principles.

Retailers or wholesalers that apply for membership are evaluated according to the group’s 9 principles, which are based on those of the World Fair Trade Organization.  While FTF acknowledges that retailers may sell composite products, no more than 15% of products can be sourced in the “Global North”.  A distinct membership type termed “The Café Network” has been created for small, food-based businesses such as coffee shops which cannot acquire the majority of their products from fair trade sources.  When determining whether products can be considered to be fair trade, FTF uses the FLO standards definition of Fairtrade International.

Principles

  • Members should create economic and social opportunities for disadvantaged groups
  • Openness and cooperation throughout the “trade chain”
  • Increase independence and production capacity of suppliers
  • Promote fair trade practices as a means to economic justice
  • Provide prompt payments at fair prices and offer interest-free loans or prepayment.
  • Safe and healthy working conditions, free from discriminatory practices
  • Support for UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • Encourage environmentally sustainable practices
  • Respect cultural diversity and indigenous traditions while promoting positive change

Evaluation

  • Applicant Types
    • Wholesaler – Handmade
    • Wholesaler – Agricultural Products
    • Retailer
    • Retailer working directly with Producers
    • Cafés
    • Application includes
      • Questionnaire to describe business practices
      • Financial statement (most recent accounting period)
      • List of suppliers
      • Three references (who can describe trade practices)

Monitoring

  • FTF appears to rely on self-monitoring by members
  • There does not appear to be a formal audit process

Source: Summary based on material published by the Fair Trade Federation.