The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), formerly the International Fair Trade Association, was created in 1989 and is a global association of 324 organizations in over 60 countries. Members are fair trade producer cooperatives and associations, export marketing companies, importers, retailers, national and regional fair trade networks and Fair Trade Support Organizations.
WFTO's mission is to improve the livelihoods and well being of disadvantaged producers by linking and promoting Fair Trade Organizations, and speaking out for greater justice in world trade.
WFTO's core fields of activities are:
- Developing the market for fair trade.
- Building trust in fair trade.
- Speaking out for fair trade.
- Providing networking opportunities
- Empowering the regions.
In 2004 WFTO launched a fair trade certification. The FTO Mark identifies registered Fair Trade Organizations worldwide (as opposed to products in the case of FLO International and Fairtrade mark) and guarantees that standards are being implemented regarding working conditions, wages, child labor and the environment. These standards are verified by self-assessment, mutual reviews and external verification. The FTO Mark is available to all WFTO members who meet the requirements of the WFTO Standards and Monitoring System and so far over 150 organizations have registered.
What can we do?
St. Mary's will try to utilize products from the Fair Trade, if possible and will also be looking into selling some of them at fund raisers such as Silent Auctions. If you are interested in purchasing products, contact some of the local partners listed below:
Catholic Relief Services: http://www.crsfairtrade.org/
Equal Exchange: http://interfaith.equalexchange.com