Build Your Application

Before filling out the FTF membership application, familiarize yourself with the following:

FTF’s screening process is designed to evaluate organizations with established fair trade systems and strong fair trade business practices. In many cases, it may be beneficial to wait longer than the minimum required one year in operation before applying for FTF membership.

Every applicant must submit at least three references. For all applicants working directly with producers (artisans or farmers), two general references and one producer reference completed by an artisan or farmer are required.  Applicants who do not work directly with producers do not need a producer reference. 

  • Who should serve as a general reference? A general reference may be anyone who is not directly associated with your organization but is familiar with your trading practices and your commitment to fair trade. References should not be employees or immediate family. References from FTF members and others who are knowledgeable about fair trade are especially helpful.
  • Who should serve as a producer reference? A producer reference should be from a producer who grows/makes products your business sells. Producer reference forms are available in English, Spanish, and French. If the producers with whom you work are illiterate or speak a language other than the translations available, it is acceptable for a translator or transcriber to assist the producer in completing the reference form.  Please consult with the Membership Manager.

The above links are to Word documents on which individuals may type their answers. If they do not download as Word documents, please contact the Membership Manager.


Choose the application that best describes your business model. Consider where and how your business sources your products, what types of products you sell, and your primary sales channels.

Please note: We posted revised application forms in November 2015!  We will no longer accept previous versions.

In addition to the reference forms, applicants must also submit the following items. Electronic submissions are preferred.

  • Financial Statement: This should show your last completed fiscal year. A profit & loss sheet is preferred; the financial statement does not need to be an audited report. This information is confidential.
  • Producer and/or Wholesale Vendor List: For all applicants working directly with producers, this should be a list of farmer/artisan groups that produce the products you sell. For retailers and cafes that do not purchase or import products directly from producers, this should be a list of all the wholesale vendors from which you purchase. This information is confidential.
  • $85 Screening Fee: Payable by check or credit card. Click here to pay with a credit card. Mail checks to 342 North Queen St, Rear Lancaster, PA 17603.
  • Other Materials (Optional): Feel free to include brochures, news articles, hang tags, reports, sample products, and other items to supplement your application. Items will not be returned.

Each year, accepted members submit an updated financial statement and producer/supplier list along with information about business practices pertaining to two of the fair trade principles. This also serves as the annual membership renewal. (We calculate annual member dues using information from the financial statement.)

In this way, each member is rescreened for all nine of the fair trade principles over a period of five years.  This rescreening process also allows the FTF to investigate and respond to any complaints that may be received about a member’s practices.

Contact the Membership Manager for more info at 302-655-5203 or