Fair Trade Logos and what they mean

Fair Trade logosYou may see a number of different Fair Trade logos on different products and wonder what they mean.  It can sometimes be a bit confusing to know what to look out for to ensure you are getting fair trade products.

It’s important to have an understanding about what logos refer to the various Fair Trade organizations within the UK and abroad.

This post aims to show you the most commonly found Fair Trade Logos, and give a brief explanation of the body behind the logo, and what the logo means when on a product.

 Fair Trade Logo


Fairtrade logo

Fairtrade Foundation

The Fairtrade mark is a registered certification from the Fairtrade Labelling Organization (FLO).

This is one of the logos you will most often see on labels on fair trade produce in UK supermarkets.

To use this mark, companies must meet international Fair Trade standards as agreed by the FLO.  The standards are agreed through research and consultation with producers, traders, NGOs, academic institutions and the Fairtrade Foundation.

The Fairtrade Foundation doesn’t certify individual products but instead evaluates an entire business.  Once a business is certified it can add the fair trade logo to any of its products.

The symbol in the logo is similar in some ways to the Yin and Yang symbol, but is most commonly thought to represent a person with one arm raised, with green grass below and blue sky above.

However it can also be seen as a parrot, fish or leaf.



BAFTS is the Bristish Association for Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers.

It is an association of independent Fair Trade shops and wholesalers in the UK.  Although independent, the businesses associated with BAFTS are united in a desire to promote the ethics and practices of Fair Trade.

BAFTS is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization and the Trade Justice Movement.

To display a BAFTS logo on a website or other marketing material, a retailer must either:

  • buy at least 70% of its stock from recognized fair trade suppliers in the UK
  • buy at least 70% of its stock direct from developing world producers and follow the WFTO
 World Fair Trade Organization Logo

World Fair Trade Organization

The WFTO is the global authority on Fair Trade. Membership is open to:

  • Fair Trade Oranizations
    Organizations directly engaged in FT activity
  • Fair Trade Networks
    National or International associations of fair trade producers
  • Fair Trade Support Organizations
    FT organizations where trading is not the primary activity.  e.g. counselling, advocacy, finisnce etc.
  • Associate Organizations
    Organizations that support and promote Fair Trade
  • Individual Associates

The WFTO mark is used to identify companies or organizations who are members of the WFTO, and thus have proven there commitment to the 10 principles of Fair Trade.


 fair trade federation

Fair Trade Federation

The Fair Trade Federation (FTF) is a North American trade association that strengthens and promotes North American organizations fully committed to fair trade.

Membership depends on meeting the following criteria:

  • Source all products in compliance with Fair Trade Principles and code of practice as defined by FTF.
  • Have been in operation for 1 year or more
  • Registered legal entity in the USA or Canada
  • Trade is the primary activity of the organization

International Fair Trade Association

This is the old name for the WFTO.

 Fair Trade Certified Logo-New 2012

Fair Trade USA

Fair Trade USA is the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States.

Much like the FLO mark, this logo is regularly seen on products to show membership of certifying body.

They work with over 800 US companies to certify and audit the products to ensure they comply with International Fair Trade standards.


You may see other fair trade logos


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