Eligibility Requirements

Any trading organization based in the United States or Canada which meets the following basic criteria may apply for membership.

  • The applicant organization sources all products in compliance with all nine Fair Trade Federation principles. Fair trade must be an integral part of applicants’ organizational mission, structure, and daily operations. To read the requirements for each principle, download the FTF Code of Practice.
  • Trade (rather than humanitarian work, education, etc.) must be the primary activity of the applicant organization. A trading branch that is part of a larger parent organization may be eligible for membership only under very specific conditions.
  • The applicant organization has been in operation (a full production & sales cycle) for at least one year. Retailers should refer to the Code of Practice for exceptions.
  • Members and applicants must report their sales to a taxing authority in the USA/Canada and have an operational presence (staff, volunteers, or other workers) in the USA/Canada.

For more details on these criteria, please refer to Overarching Requirements in the Code of Practice.

What can I do if my business is not yet eligible?

FTF membership is a wonderful asset to your business, and some fair trade stores do purchase products only from FTF members. However, FTF membership is not (and should not be) the only way to grow a successful, trustworthy fair trade business.

Take advantage of business development resources the FTF provides to the public. Attending an FTF Conference is a great way to connect with the fair trade movement and learn from experienced fair trade business leaders.  Join our email list to stay updated on FTF events.


Contact the FTF Membership Manager for more info: 302-655-5024 or screening@fairtradefederation.org.