Fair Trade Facts – 10 Standards of the WFTO

The World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) prescribes 10 standards that Fair Trade organisations must follow in their day-to-day work and carries out monitoring to ensure these principles are upheld.

At The FAIR Trade Store, I do my best to work within these standards and am pleased to be able to explain them in this “What is Fair Trade?” page of the website.

FAIR TRADE FACT 1: Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers.
Poverty reduction through trade forms a key part of the organisation’s aims. The organisation supports marginalised small producers. It seeks to enable them to move from income insecurity and poverty to economic self-sufficiency and ownership. The trade supports community development.

Sreepur Village, Bangladesh ladies sorting fabrics

Bangladesh – ladies sorting fabrics

FAIR TRADE FACT 2: Transparency and Accountability
The organisation is transparent in its management and commercial relations and is accountable to all its stakeholders. The organisation finds appropriate, participatory ways to involve employees, members and producers in its decision-making processes.

FAIR TRADE FACT 3: Trading Practices
The organisation trades with concern for the social, economic and environmental well-being of marginalised small producers and does not maximize profit at their expense. Suppliers respect contracts and deliver products on time and to the desired quality and specifications.

Fair Trade buyers, recognising the financial disadvantages producers and suppliers face, ensure orders are paid on receipt of documents and according to the attached guidelines. An interest free pre payment of at least 50% is made if requested.

The organisation maintains long term relationships based on solidarity, trust and mutual respect that contribute to the promotion and growth of Fair Trade. It maintains effective communication with its trading partners.

Conserve, India - Sorting for Recycling

Conserve, India – Sorting for Recycling

FAIR TRADE FACT 4: Payment of a Fair Price
A fair price is one that has been mutually agreed by all through dialogue and participation, which provides fair pay to the producers and can also be sustained by the market. Where Fair Trade pricing structures exist, these are used as a minimum. Fair pay means provision of socially acceptable remuneration (in the local context) considered by producers themselves to be fair and which takes into account the principle of equal pay for equal work by women and men.

FAIR TRADE FACT 5: Child Labour and Forced Labour
The organisation adheres to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and national / local law on the employment of children. The organisation ensures that there is no forced labour in its workforce and / or members or homeworkers.

Newspaper Bags Project, India - Workshop

Newspaper Bags Project, India – Workshop

Organisations who buy Fair Trade products from producer groups either directly or through intermediaries ensure that no forced labour is used in production and the producer complies with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and national / local law on the employment of children. Any involvement of children in the production of Fair Trade products (including learning a traditional art or craft) is always disclosed and monitored and does not adversely affect the children’s well-being, security, educational requirements and need for play.

FAIR TRADE FACT 6: Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Freedom of Association
The organisation does not discriminate in hiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, HIV/Aids status or age.

Felt Making in Nepal

Felt Making in Nepal

FAIR TRADE FACT 7: Working Conditions
The organisation provides a safe and healthy working environment for employees and / or members. It complies, at a minimum, with national and local laws and ILO conventions on health and safety.

Working hours and conditions for employees and / or members (and any homeworkers) comply with conditions established by national and local laws and ILO conventions.

Fair Trade Organisations are aware of the health and safety conditions in the producer groups they buy from. They seek, on an ongoing basis, to raise awareness of health and safety issues and improve health and safety practices in producer groups.

TARA Projects Fair Trade producer in India

TARA Projects Fair Trade producer in India

FAIR TRADE FACT 8: Capacity Building
The organisation seeks to increase positive developmental impacts for small, marginalised producers through Fair Trade.
Organisations working directly with small producers develop specific activities to help these producers improve their management skills, production capabilities and access to markets.

FAIR TRADE FACT 9: Promotion of Fair Trade
The organisation raises awareness of the aim of Fair Trade and of the need for greater justice in world trade through Fair Trade.

FAIR TRADE FACT 10: Environment
Organisations which produce Fair Trade products maximize the use of raw materials from sustainably managed sources in their ranges, buying locally when possible. They use production technologies that seek to reduce energy consumption and where possible use renewable energy technologies that minimize greenhouse gas emissions. They seek to minimise the impact of their waste stream on the environment. Fair Trade agricultural commodity producers minimise their environmental impacts, by using organic or low pesticide use production methods wherever possible.

Asha Handicrafts Fair Trade Producer Group Workshop in India

Asha Handicrafts Fair Trade Producer Group Workshop in India

Buyers and importers of Fair Trade products give priority to buying products made from raw materials that originate from sustainably managed sources, and have the least overall impact on the environment.
All organisations use recycled or easily biodegradable materials for packing to the extent possible, and goods are dispatched by sea wherever possible.


Thanks for reading my Blog post. I have written another article called “What is Fair Trade? Five top Fair Trade facts to answer that question” that you may also find interesting.

“If you have anything to add, or any questions, please use the Comments section below” – Paul