HOW TO JOIN WFTO
Membership Application Procedure
Organisations fully committed to the Fair Trade Principles and Code of Practice are welcome to join WFTO. Potential applicants are encouraged to do a self-check against the membership prerequisites to determine eligibility to apply. These are listed in the WFTO Standard. Successful applications are based on the compliance with these requirements.
Organisations whose main activity is not trading may apply as Fair Trade Support Organisation or Fair Trade Network. If your organisation does not fall in the above membership types, we welcome you to have a closer look at becoming an Associate Member of WFTO.
Newly approved members automatically become Provisional members with limited rights. Full membership is attained after the organisation has successfully passed the first Monitoring Audit.
An organisation wishing to apply must:
- Be able to demonstrate commitment to the Fair Trade Principles and Code of Practice;
- Be committed to helping disadvantaged groups and have this as one of the core missions of their organisation;
- Be in legal existence and fully operational for at least two years;
- Be able to demonstrate sound economic performance;
- Be sustainable, use sustainable practices in their production processes/supply chain;
- Have external references, at least one of the references is a WFTO member.
Steps when applying
- Read and familiarise all required information. You may download information and application form from the WFTO website, or request these from the Regional Office of WFTO:
- Application procedure and application fees
- Explanation of membership categories and who can apply
- Membership fees categories
- WFTO Code of Practice
- Relevant sections of the Guarantee System Handbook
- Application Form (Profile for New Members Form - Form 11.1.1a)
- WFTO Standard (Chapter 6 of Guarantee System Handbook)
- Fill out the application form (WFTO Profile Form) and submit all requested documents listed on the front page, including the signed WFTO Code of Practice, to the WFTO Global Office.
a. Important note on requested documents: Submitting all the requested documents (complete) makes a big difference in the processing time of your application. Please send the most recent and relevant documents being asked/requested in the WFTO Profile Form. Please send all documents in digital format.
b. Important note on Referees: The application form asks for three (3) referees, at least one of whom must be an existing member of WFTO. Applicants without links to WFTO members and from countries currently without a WFTO presence, may provide references from non-WFTO member organisations, such as trading partners, local NGOs, etc.
c. Important note on sending the Profile Form and requested documents: WFTO accepts applications only in digital format. Please scan all original documents and save it as PDF files. You may also submit files in Word, Excel and other file formats. Please keep original documents on file for future external audit. Please send application and requested documents to membership[@]wfto.com.
- An email confirmation will be sent to the applicant once the application is received by the WFTO Global Office. The applicant will also be informed in the email that the application is forwarded to the WFTO Regional Office, which will be in regular contact with the applicant to ensure the application form and all the required supporting information are complete, including the checking of references. When all necessary information and supporting documents are collected, the WFTO Regional Office will forward the application with their recommendation to the Guarantee System Manager of the WFTO Global Office.
- The Guarantee System Manager will review the application and supporting documents. If the application is in order, the GS Manager will forward the application with a recommendation to the WFTO Board of Directors for screening and decision. Data and information collected in the application are treated with strict confidentiality. All decisions of the Board are made by consensus.
- For guidance and further questions, you may contact our Regional Offices.
Provisional Membership Status
An approved applicant will be asked to sign a WFTO Membership Contract and pay their first annual membership fee. When these conditions are met, the applicant attains the Provisional Member status.
Full Membership Status
The WFTO Constitution requires all WFTO members (including provisional members) to meet the monitoring requirements of the WFTO Guarantee System. Provisional members are required to undergo the first cycle by filling out the Self Assessment Report (SAR) within 12 months of being approved for provisional membership, and undergo a Monitoring Audit within 12 months of SAR acceptance. Failure to submit SAR within the specified period will result in the termination of membership. The SAR will be the basis for the Peer Visit and/or Monitoring Audit, which needs to be undertaken within 12 months after the acceptance of the SAR.
If a provisional member has no experience with audits and wishes to receive support before undergoing a monitoring audit, it is recommended to organise a Peer visit.
The timeline mentioned only serves as a maximum, the applicant is free to move as quickly as possible.
If the audit confirms that the provisional member meets the WFTO Standard, the WFTO Board will receive a recommendation for approval as a guaranteed member. Once approved, the organisation receives a notification of full membership, and the contract for the use of the WFTO Product Label, if applicable.
- Check requirements
- Download application form
- Collect Supporting documents
- Make sure you have your referees
- Submit form in digital format. Application and supporting documents, in digital format, must be submitted to membership[@]wfto.com.
- Pay Handling fee
- Read WFTO Guarantee System Handbook
- Read WFTO Guarantee System Manual
- Complete Self Assessment Report (SAR)
- Plan Peer Visit (optional)
- Plan Monitoring Audit
- Pay Annual Membership Fee
- Implement Improvement Plan
- Fulfill monitoring requirement as stated in the monitoring schedule
- Pay Annual Membership Fee