Who do we lend to?

The Society lends to fair trade buyer organisations who are members of WFTO. We also consider lending to fair trade buyer organisations that are registered with other fair trade networks which are in turn members of WFTO, such as Fair Trade Federation in the US and the British Association of Fair Trade Shops (BAFTS) in the UK.

The Society lends to fair trade organisations that are either members of WFTO or on the FLO - CERT register. The Society will also lend to organisations that are certified by

  • ECOCERT/IMO - Fair For Life
  • Naturland Fair

In addition, the Society will consider lending to organisations where an assessment has been carried out which demonstrates an acceptable alignment of mission and values based on the WFTO 10 Fair Trade Principles and where the lending is linked to production and trade.


We lend for the production and procurement of both handcrafts and commodities.

We finance organisations from micro through to very large scale, including producer co-operatives and buyers which are structured as companies or other legal forms

Before we can consider your application your organisation need to fulfil our main criteria:

  • Three years of trading with financial statements (Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet)
  • Fairtrade certified or Membership organisation(Non-certified organisations following fair trade principles may be eligible on assessment)
  • Positive capital position
  • Established relationship with at least one buyer (Producer only)

Although we look at each case on an individual basis and in principle we are prepared to consider applications on their merits and there are a number of general guidelines that should be adhered to:

  • An increase in sales/turnover to reflect the business type
  • Acceptable levels of cash generated
  • Acceptable profit/loss levels in relation to type of organisation
  • Reasonable stock levels maintained
  • An acceptable gearing position
  • Social and environmental impact and use of Fairtrade premium
  • Strong enough balance sheet
  • Cash flow forecast for stock facility/term loan applications and where total exposure exceeds USD 500k

Please note that due to control exchange regulations we cannot provide direct lending to organisations in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan. In addition, there are countries in which we are not currently working including Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Palestine.

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