About BAFTS

How To Join

Thank you for your interest in The British Association for Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers.  

If your organisation is based in the UK you can apply to become a member of BAFTS if you satisfy the following membership criteria.  

BAFTS membership comes in three categories: Shops, Suppliers and Direct Sourcing Retailers

BAFTS Shops

Shop members are the public face of BAFTS and fair trade retailing. Whether you trade through a website, a market stall, at craft fairs, through a physical shop or any combination of these, if you buy at least 70% of your goods (by value) from  fair trade sources and sell to the public, you are eligible to become a shop member of BAFTS. BAFTS classifies fair trade goods as those which are purchased from BAFTS supplier members (you'll find a list of these in the Resources section of the website), from WFTO members or goods which carry the FLO mark. If you are unsure whether you sell 70% fair trade goods, please see the section below: Associate membership. 

You will need to show a minimum of 12 months' trading history and complete our application form where you will be asked to explain how your business works and who your suppliers are.

Once your application is received it will be assessed by members of the BAFTS Board and then go through our consultation process, which means that our shop members are given the chance to read and comment on your application. 

The whole process takes around 8 weeks, and once your application has been approved, you will be invoiced for your first 12 months' membership fees.  The fee table can be found in the next section - Fees and Member Benefits.

Thereafter, every 12 months you will be asked to complete a renewal form so we can be sure you still qualify for BAFTS membership. 

If you think you qualify and you would like to join BAFTS please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and we'll send you an application form.  

 

BAFTS Suppliers 

Supplier members have direct trading relationships with producers in the developing world. They sell to shops and retail outlets in the UK, and similarly, we require that at least 70% of the goods sold are fair trade. The difference here is that you do not need to buy from producers which already have fair trade certification. Our application form for supplier membership requires you to describe your trading relationships with reference to the Ten Principles of Fair Trade (you'll find a copy of this in the Resources section of the BAFTS website).  BAFTS supplier members are required to offer a range of exclusive member benefits to shop members, based on your turnover. Details of this can be found in the next section - Fees and Member Benefits.

You will need to show a minimum of 12 months' trading history and complete our application form where you will be asked to explain how your business works and who your suppliers are.

Once your application is received it will be assessed by members of the BAFTS Board and then go through our consultation process, which means that our shop members are given the chance to read and comment on your application.

We know how hard our supplier members work to develop relationships with producers and your commercial confidentiality is important to BAFTS. For this reason details of your producers are redacted before they are shown to anyone other than the three Board members - all strictly shop members - who deal with new applications. This way there is no possibility of any other importer seeing your producers' details.

The whole process takes around 8 weeks, and once your application has been approved, you will be invoiced for your first 12 months' membership fees.  The fee table can be found in the next section - Fees and Member Benefits. You will see that if you are an importer member you can apply to be a shop member as well, and receive a 20% discount on your shop membership fee. If you sell the goods you import on a retail basis you cannot use the BAFTS logo for your retailing activities unless you have shop membership. Your application for supplier membership needs to be approved before your application for shop membership can be considered as, until you become a supplier member, your goods will not meet the 70% criterion for shop membership.

Thereafter, every 12 months you will be asked to complete a renewal form so we can be sure you still qualify for BAFTS membership. If you have membership in two categories, but sell the same goods, you will only need to complete one renewal form each year.

If you think you qualify and you would like to join BAFTS please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and we'll send you an application form.   

Direct Sourcing Retailers

Direct Sourcing Retailers (DSRs) combine elements of both the other categories. If you have trading relationships with producers in the developing world and sell only to the general public, you are a Direct Sourcing Retailer. The criterion requiring that 70% of the goods you sell are fair trade still applies but if you buy from other fair trade suppliers in the UK to supplement your own goods, this is fine, so long as the total non-fair trade goods does not exceed 30%.

You will need to show a minimum of 12 months' trading history and complete our application form where you will be asked to explain how your business works and who your suppliers and producers are.

Once your application is received it will be assessed by members of the BAFTS Board and then go through our consultation process, which means that our shop members are given the chance to read and comment on your application. 

The whole process takes around 8 weeks, and once your application has been approved, you will be invoiced for your first 12 months' membership fees.  The fee table can be found in the next section - Fees and Member Benefits.

Thereafter, every 12 months you will be asked to complete a renewal form so we can be sure you still qualify for BAFTS membership. 

If you think you qualify and you would like to join BAFTS please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and we'll send you an application form.   

Associate membership

At the 2013 AGM, BAFTS members voted to introduce a new category of Associate Membership. This applies to shop members who sell between 50% and 70% fair trade goods. If you are a retail outlet but your goods are not quite 70% fair trade, you can complete the application form and be considered for associate membership. Associate members cannot vote at the AGM but are entitled to the member benefits described below, which are offered by our supplier members.

We know all business are different, and this is particularly true of fair trade businesses, and one size doesn't fit all, so please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call Joanna on 0791 354 8817 if you're not sure which category you fall into, or would like to discuss your specific situation.

 

WHY JOIN BAFTS?

The British Association for Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers (BAFTS) is an association of members in three membership categories who, although independent, unite in a core purpose which is to bring about fundamental changes in the status of developing world producers through Fair Trade retailing and campaigning.

Fair Trade shops and suppliers promote social justice for the producers of the goods they sell. Our members work together to create an alternative model to conventional international trade; a model in which human rights are at the top of our agenda.

BAFTS seeks to create a vibrant network of members, so that they are better able to contribute towards the building of greater justice and equity in the world. The association and its members support campaigns that increase awareness and understanding of the needs of producer workers and of their rights. Here's what some of them say about the value of their membership:

 "Having an independent shop can sometimes feel quite isolating, but knowing that you are part of a like minded community gives a wealth of support and strength with many opportunities to network."

 "It gives a well-established and known accreditation for our business. It gives new customers the assurance that they are ordering from a business with this endorsement." 

"BAFTS membership helps me back up my claims to fair trade, so that when customers ask me what fair trade means, I can show them something concrete. It also gives me a sense of being part of a wider community of retailers who are working towards a fairer world." 

"You can stay well informed of new suppliers and the stories behind the products which in turn gives your customers confidence in you as a truly ethical business."

 Becoming a member of BAFTS will strengthen public perception of your business and your values.

  • Customers can confidently shop or order from a BAFTS member organisation, knowing that they are buying from an organisation whose fair trade principles are monitored and assessed annually.
  • You can gain a wealth of information and advice from being in BAFTS. From shop owners to online retailers to wholesalers, all our members have the same reason for being a member - to support, promote and engage with fair trade.
  • Being within a community such as BAFTS will really strengthen your presence within fair trade. We are the national network representative of the World Fair Trade Organisation, and most of our members have links with Fairtrade Towns campaigns across the country.
  • BAFTS has an increasing presence on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest, and we will help promote your events and stories to the wider public.
  • From 2014 BAFTS shop members will be entitled to a range of exclusive offers from BAFTS supplier members. 
  • Our AGM, conference and the increasing number of regional meetings offer a unique opportunity to engage with people who do what you do. Fair trade shops and suppliers rarely meet in informal surroundings and we've found our members really value these networking opportunities. In September 2013, for example, we had a meeting, open to all our members, with Bruce Crowther, Director of the FIG Tree centre, Garstang - the first ever Fairtrade Town. In October we are meeting with the Founder of Fairtrade USA as well. The 2014 AGM and conference will be held at the Reading International Solidarity Centre on Sunday 18th and Monday 19th May 2014.
  • We held our first BAFTS' week in September 2013, and are building upon these successes, and raising our profile, in future years.

 

 

Fees and Member Benefits

 

BAFTS fees for 2013

ANNUAL TURNOVER  BandShop MemberSupplierMemberDirect Sourcing Retailer Member
Up to £25,0001£55£50£80
£25,001 to £50,0002£60£85£95
£50,001 to £100,0003£100£110£150
£100,001 to £150,0004£150£160£200
£150,001 to £200,0005£200£235£335
£200,001 to £400,0006£325£365£455
£400,001 to £600,0007£400£500£600
£600,001 to £800,0008£550£865£900
£800,001 to £999,9999£650£965£1110
Over £1,000,00010£800£1,250£1300
 + Donation+ Donation+ Donation

Additions:                 £10 for each additional retail outlet. 

Deductions:               20% discount on Shop Member fee for organisations that are BOTH Shop and Supplier members

50% deduction from Supplier membership fee for organisations which are members of WFTO

Suppliers in Bands 1 & 2 must offer at least 1 member benefit to BAFTS Shop members.

Suppliers in Bands 3 & 4 must offer at least 2 member benefits to BAFTS Shop members.

Suppliers in Bands 5 and above must offer at least 3 member benefits to BAFTS Shop members. 

Member benefits 

As a result of a resolution passed at the 2013 BAFTS AGM all our supplier members are required to offer a range of exclusive benefits to BAFTS shop members. This arrangement is intended to be mutually beneficial and need not cost the supplier member any money. Supplier members can benefit from increased public knowledge about their products as a result of engaging with shop members and staff. They will also benefit from increased promotions as BAFTS will promote each supplier's offers to shop members via social networks and a weekly newsletter. 

Member benefits can either be permanent or can be time-limited to aid promotion of BAFTS Week (the third week in September) 

You’ll find suggestions below but you may also offer any other trade benefit to BAFTS shop members. The requirement is to make the offer, regardless of whether any BAFTS shop member takes advantage.

You can change or add to your offer at any time by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Suggestions for member benefits are as follows:

No minimum order or reduced minimum order

 

Lower carriage paid orders

 

Settlement discount for prompt or immediate payment

 

Open day for BAFTS shops - meet the producers etc.

 

Enhanced free POS materials eg for BAFTS Week

 

Displays and customer promotions for special events

 

Speakers for promotional or fair trade events

 

No pack sizes

 

Options to trial new products at discounted prices

 

Options to trial new products before general release

 

Sale or return

 

Attend and/or help organise a BAFTS regional meeting/event

 

Any other work for the BAFTS Board or for BAFTS as an organisation.

 

 

 

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