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.

We have updated our application process, and the new – and easier to use – forms are available via the links below! Please note the application form for the café network is coming soon. If you are unsure of which category your business falls into, reach out to us BEFORE you get started at

If needed, you can view a pdf of the questions for your category here: Handmade ProductsFood & Farm Products, Retailer, and Cafe Network. PLEASE NOTE: These versions are for reference ONLY; all applicants must submit through the online application form for their category linked in the bullet points above.

In addition to the reference forms and questions, 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. Upload it here.
  • Producers and/or Suppliers 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. If you do both, include both. This information is confidential. Upload it here.
  • Additional Materials: Submit your required non-discrimination policy here. If you utilize purchase orders, submit a copy here along with any brochures, news articles, hang tags, reports, sample products, and any other items you want to supplement your application. This information is confidential. Upload them here.
  • $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.

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