History of World Fair Trade Week

Every 2 years WFTO, with the support of a local host organizes a Global Conference open to all who are involved and interested in Fair Trade issues. In 2013, this initiative was further developed into the first ever World Fair Trade Week, which took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hosted by the Brazilian Government and the City Council of Rio de Janeiro. World Fair Trade Week and Biennial Conference see the largest gathering of organisations representing the Fair Trade supply chain, from producers to wholesalers, retailers and buyers. It is the only International event that brings all actors of the Fair Trade movement in one place. Traditionally, each WFTO conference is held in a different city around the World and hosted by a WFTO member. The 14th edition of the Conference will be held in New Delhi and co-organised by Fair Trade Forum-India.

What is Fair Trade?

Fair Trade is a global movement that shares a vision of a world in which justice, equity and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full human potential. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers.

Fair Trade is grounded in three core beliefs; first, producers have the power to express unity with consumers. Secondly, the world trade practices that currently exist promote the unequal distribution of wealth between nations. Lastly, buying products from producers in developing countries at a fair price is a more efficient way of promoting sustainable development than traditional charity and aid.

Fair Trade is more than just trading:

  • It proves that greater justice in world trade is possible.
  • It highlights the need for change in the rules and practice of conventional trade and shows how a successful business can also put people first.
  • It is a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty, climate change and economic crisis.
  • It provides a fair price for goods and services, safe working conditions and a commitment to environmentally sustainable production.
  • Fair trade practice supports welfare programs, education, healthcare and training for marginalized workers. Holistic approach makes Fair Trade unique and empowers disadvantaged communities to play an active part in their own development.
  • It ensures accountability and transparency in the supply chain so consumers can be sure their product has been sourced ethically.

Fair Trade organizations have a clear commitment to Fair Trade as the principal core of their mission. They, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional trade.” They follow the 10 Principles of Fair Trade:

Fair trade affects the lives of millions of artisans and farmers. Today, the Fair Trade movement comprises over 4,000 grassroots organisations and their umbrella structures, representing 2.5 million small-scale producers and workers in over 70 countries. Over 1850 Fair Trade towns around the world are advocating Fair Trade. WFTO members alone account for a combined income of 778 million Euros in Turnover/income.