World Fair Trade Organization

The World Fair Trade Organization is based in the Netherlands and is the umbrella organization for regional chapters in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim (including Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, and the United States).  In addition to advocacy and monitoring, WFTO offers business services and a supply and demand website for member organizations.

The World Fair Trade Organization focuses on certifying organizations and is not a product mark.  Producers that are certified by WFTO often produce handcrafts, since the product-based certifying organizations only label commodity products.

Principles

  • Poverty reduction for small producers (family-owned or cooperatives)
  • Open communication and transparency throughout the supply chain
  • Trading practices based on long-term relationships with producers.  Trade is in solidarity with the producers and not at their expense.
  • Mutual agreement of fair price
  • Adherence to UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and no forced labor
  • Non-discrimination, gender equity, and support for collective bargaining by workers
  • Safe and healthy working conditions
  • Advocacy for economic justice
  • Respect for the environment

Evaluation

  • Prospective members fill out a self-assessment report, responding to a series of questions designed to indicate adherence to the 10 WFTO principles
  • The assessment reports are reviewed by WFTO and feedback is provided if improvement is needed in the performance areas
  • The applicant organization is offered one opportunity to make changes and reapply

Monitoring

  • WFTO does not describe an onsite auditing or periodic re-evaluation process for certified organizations
  • If a complaint is received, a third-party review is performed

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