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Frequently Asked Questions
25 April 2009

How can I get involved in the Fair Trade movement?

Please see our Get Involved section. Here you can find out about ways of volunteering, making donations and where to buy Fair Trade products. For more information on volunteering at the WFTO Global Office and with other WFTO members, please see below.

We are a commercial company which trades ethically - am I eligible for any kind of Fair Trade recognition?

Normally, no. The terms 'Fair Trade' and 'ethical trade' are often used interchangeably, but they are actually different things. To gain recognition as a Fair Trade organisation, it is not enough to be ethical.

Fair Trade is about more than following codes of conduct and meeting labour standards. Fair Trade organisations specifically seek to work in partnership with marginalised and disadvantaged groups to try and help them overcome the serious barriers they face in finding markets. Therefore, while a Fair Trade businesses must be ethical, an ethical business is not necessarily Fair Trade.

If you want further information on ethical trading, please visit the Ethical Trading page in our Links section.

What are my options for gaining Fair Trade recognition for my products or organization?


There are essentially two internationally recognised marks or labels.

The first is issued by WFTO to registered members and is called the Fair Trade Organization Mark, or FTO Mark for short. This is a mark to identify organizations that practice Fair Trade. We will be transitioning this Mark to the new WFTO logo.

The other is issued by FLO (the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation) and is called the Fairtrade Label. It is used to identify Fair Trade products. You may know FLO by another name: TransFair, Fairtrade Foundation, Max Havelaar etc. Theses are all national initiatives of FLO.

You can also visit the Fair Trade Labelling section of this website for more information.


We wish to become a Fair Trade business - how do we go about it?

Although we would like to, WFTO does not have the resources to assist non-members in improving their Fair Trade standing. However, we do make our Principles for Fair Trade Organizations available publicly. These are the principles against which we measure our members in authorizing use of the WFTO logo (please see above) and can be a useful resource for organisations who want to change the nature of their business to a Fair Trade one. We also suggest you get in touch with your local/regional FTOs for advice and help. Please check out the WFTO Members Lists to search for members by region/country.

You may also be interested in visiting the Fair Trade Federation (FTF), a US based network of Fair Trade organisations. They have a category of membership called Business Friends which is for organizations and businesses that are just beginning to incorporate Fair Trade practices. FTF's membership is based mainly in North America , but also incorporates organisations from other parts of the world.

I am a student doing a project on Fair Trade. Can you tell me what studies have been done on Fair Trade? Can I interview someone from the WFTO Global Office?

We are delighted that more and more universities and students are studying Fair Trade, but we are not able to help with projects or dissertations. However, we do try to put relevant information on this website to try and help you. Please browse this site where you can find information on what is Fair Trade, who is WFTO and what do we do, and information on Fair Trade networks and resources.

I am looking to source Fair Trade products for my business.

Please see our Sourcing Fair Trade Products section.

I am a fashion student and would like to use Fair Trade Fabrics in my designs - how can I find suppliers?

Please see our Sourcing Fair Trade Products section.

I would like to apply for an internship/volunteer at WFTO - how do I go about it?

Please click here for vacancies, internships and volunteering opportunities.

If you are interested in volunteering for WFTO, please send your CV (maximum 2 pages) and a cover letter explaining (1) why you want to volunteer for WFTO (2) what aspects of our work particularly interest you and (3) how much time you can offer us (e.g. 3 days per week from July to September). Please email applications to the WFTO Global Office. Please keep looking at our jobs page for specific vacancies.

I would like to volunteer with one of your members - how do I go about it?

Please go directly to our Members Lists to find the organization you would like to volunteer for, and approach them directly. VSO and Peace Corps volunteers are also often placed in Fair Trade organizations. You may wish to approach these two groups and apply for their structured and funded volunteering schemes.

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