There are many fair trade organisations situated all around the world. In this post I’m going to tell you about just three of them as these are ones that we mention most often in listings, in our blog posts, on social media, and in person should you visit us in our shop and get us talking about fair trade (which is not a difficult thing to do!)
BAFTS are the British Association for Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers and we are proud to be members of this supportive community.
A network of independent shops and suppliers dedicated to the promotion of Fair Trade retail in the UK, BAFTS provides a structure of accountability to its members who are required to adhere to the 10 Principles of Fair Trade as set out by the WFTO (see below).
When we first applied to become a member of BAFTS we were required to fill out a pretty lengthy form detailing how we adhere to the 10 Principles, what we sell including details of our suppliers, how we promote Fair Trade, and our plans for the following year. Our application was then made available to all other existing members of BAFTS to consider, and we were proud to be approved. Since becoming a member of BAFTS, we have had the opportunity to read and comment on all new applications from other shops and suppliers prior to them being accepted.
On the anniversary of joining BAFTS, members have to renew their application. The process of renewal includes giving details of accounts, activities, and new plans, along with our thoughts about our successes as well as any learning curves we have navigated over the past year. The renewal is then checked over carefully before approval, which comes with helpful suggestions and advice.
BAFTS has recently opened up its membership to individuals and organisations that are not shops or suppliers. You can find out more about how to become a Friend of BAFTS here.
WFTO stands for the World Fair Trade Organisation.
A global community of social enterprises (which includes organisations such as BAFTS, above), the WFTO’s Guarantee System verifies that its members are truly Fair Trade Enterprises that put people and planet first.
The WFTO drew up the 10 Principles of Fair Trade and uses peer-reviews and independent audits to verify that members are mission-led enterprises fully practicing these Principles across their businesses and throughout their supply chains.
With Fair Trade Enterprises all around the globe producing and trading, campaigning and educating for a better world, the WFTO declares a direct impact on a whopping 965,700 livelihoods. 74% of theses farmers and artisans are women. Women make up the majority of the leadership and pioneer upcycling and social enterprise, refugee livelihoods and further women’s leadership.
More information about the work of the WFTO can be found here.
The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent non-profit organisation, and a part of the international Fairtrade system which is working to secure a better deal for farmers and workers. Within the UK, the Fairtrade Foundation focuses on four key areas of work:
- Licensing the use of the Fairtrade Mark in the UK
- Helping to grow demand for Fairtrade products and to empower producers to sell to traders and retailers
- Finding new ways of working with partners to support producer organisations and their networks
- Raising public awareness of the need for Fairtrade, and the significant role of Fairtrade in making trade fair (if that sounds a bit strange our earlier post, “Fairtrade of Fair Trade?” might be helpful).
The Fairtrade mark, mentioned above, can be found on many of our drinks and chocolate, and guarantees that those products were produced with the greatest respect, not just for the planet, but also for the people involved with that production.
You can find out more about the Fairtrade Foundation here.
This is just a very brief introduction to the three main fair trade organisations that we mention regularly. Click on the links given to learn more about them. We hope you agree that these are fantastic organisations to get behind.
Please remember to check out our Green Dot items where 25% of the sale price is donated to the Fairtrade Foundation.