The Asia Fair Trade Forum (AFTF) is a network of fair trade producers, marketing and development organizations in Asia. It has a membership roster of 70 social enterprises and confederations from 9 countries which are among the poorest in Asia:  Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal, Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam, all of which belong to the craft and food sectors.

The Asia Fair Trade Forum (AFTF) was formed in March 2001 as a network of fair trade producers, marketing and development organizations in Asia. It is a registered NGO with a Secretariat presently domiciled in Manila.



The AFTF aims to contribute to the sustainable development of disadvantaged producers in Asia by:

1.      Providing them access to the regional and inter-regional export markets;

2.      Creating a platform for more effective networking among member-organizations in the areas of skills development, technology transfer, and access to information;

3.      Promoting fair trade principles and practices in the region.

Anchored on these objectives are three (3) main programs of AFTF: 

·          Market Access,

·          Capacity-Building and

·          Advocacy.

"Trade as a Strategy Against Poverty"


Mixing business with community development is a formidable task, but to the poor of Asia, it provides an accessible way to enjoy fuller meals, keep boys and girls in school, and replace rusty kerosene lamps.

Sustained over three decades, these small community-based livelihood projects have, as a matter of practical necessity, bonded together to become a major player in a movement which espouses Fair Trade as a crucial option and strategy against poverty.  "TRADE NOT AID" basically expresses the conviction propelling the Fair Trade movement to carry forward people's struggle for a more decent life.

Fair trade is a trading partnership which aims to contribute to the sustainable development of excluded and disadvantaged producers through terms of trade that ensure among others

(a) fair price which reflects an adequate return on production inputs 

(b) long-term contractual relationship between producer and buyer to ensure continuity of orders and stability of income

(c) access to trade financing and technical support when necessary 

(d) decent working conditions which protect the rights especially of women, children, and indigenous people (e) safe work environment and

(f) production processes that give careful regard to environmental sustainability.

The fair trade market a current annual sales turnover of about US$500 million encompassing thousands of small producers in developing countries and over a hundred importing organizations in developed countries with a distribution network consisting of 3,000 world shops. 

The fair trade market, though it has grown considerably over the past two decades, comprises only a small percentage of global trade.  And with the onset of globalization, a vast array of handicrafts and food products from big players - with their technological, financial, and marketing strength, and consequently their price competitiveness, now saturate the mainstream market.  

In order to survive and ensure their long-term sustainability, it now becomes imperative for small producers in developing countries to gain access to the mainstream market.  This  means significant adjustments in terms of 

(a)    product innovation, consistency in quality, timeliness of delivery, and price efficiency 

(b)    marketing strategy utilizing mainstream distribution channels

(c)     over-all management and business skills.

For us in Asia, it means that we need to work together in partnership and collaboration to enable us to acquire access to markets and resources.


Over and above the activities under the three (3) core programs, there are institutional activities which are crucial to the good governance and sustainability of AFTF as an organization. 


Annual General Meetings

The general membership meets every year during IFAT regional and international conferences.  In this assembly, we (a) discuss broad as well as specific issues pertaining to our work in fair trade  (b) exchange views and experiences from which we draw valuable lessons from each other  (c) map out our strategies and plan our activities for the next years (d) strengthen our personal and business relationships vital to the nature of our organization as a regional network.

Executive Council Meetings

The AFTF Board meets at least once a  year to discuss the (a) strategic directions of the AFTF and (b) operational management of the three core programs.  These meetings are crucial because they serve to foster a spirit of commitment among the Board members as leaders of their countries and of Asia.  

Resource Mobilization

Among the most important tasks of the Executive Director, in cooperation with the Board is to (a) raise funds for the core programs and institutional requirements of AFTF (b) network with consultants, advisers and partners for the core programs  (c) network with partners in the fair trade movement.



Trade Fair Committee, 2004-2006

Lucas Caldeira, Head

Committee on  Asia Centre Of Excellence, 2004-2006

K. Panchaksharam, Head

Advocacy Committee, 2004-2006

Arun Raste/ Girish Kowale



The AFTF is the regional chapter of the International Fair Trade Association (IFAT).

Our members represent thousands of grassroots workers and artisans, cooperatives, family units, workshops for the handicapped, women's groups and small private companies whose common denominator is that they are small and oftentimes marginalized.  They mostly operate in the informal economy where wages and incomes are low, social benefits almost non-existent, working conditions difficult.

Organization Country


1 Aranya Crafts Ltd. Bangladesh

2 Artisan Hut  Bangladesh

3 BRAC-Aarong Bangladesh

4 Concern Bangladesh

5 Corr-The Jute Works Bangladesh

6 Creative Handicrafts Bangladesh

7 Development Wheel Bangladesh

8 Ecota Fair Trade Forum Bangladesh

9 GUP Batik & Handicraft Unit of Gono Unnayan Procheshta Bangladesh

10 Heed Bangladesh Bangladesh

11 Jahanara Cottage Industries Bangladesh

12 MCC Bangladesh

13 Noakhali Rural Development Society Bangladesh

14 Polle Unnayan Prokolpo Bangladesh

15 Thanapara Swallows Development Society Bangladesh

16 USHA Handicrafts Bangladesh

17 YWCA Bangladesh

18 Threads of Yunnan/Danyun Business Affairs Consulting Co. China

19 Asha Handicrafts India

20 EMA India

21 Fair Trade Forum India India

22 Federation of South India Producer Associations [SIPA] India

24 Grameen Crafts India

25 IFFAD, Cooperative Cottage Indl Soc Ltd  India

26 Imagination India

27 International Resources for Fairer Trade, Inc. India

28 Madhay Kalikata Shilpangan India

29 Noah's Ark India

31 Pushpaan Jali India

32 Sasha Exports  India

33 Share India

34 Shilpa Trust, Banglore India

35 SILENCE India

36 Sunderban Khadi & Village Industrial Society India

37 Tara Projects India

38 Apikri Indonesia

39 CD Bethesda Indonesia

41 Lombok Pottery Centre Indonesia

42 Mitra Bali Indonesia

43 Pekerti Indonesia

46 F.T.Co. Japan

48 Association for Craft Producers Nepal

49 Bhaktapur Craft Printers Nepal

50 CHILDREN Nepal Nepal

51 FTG Nepal Nepal

52 Get Paper Industry Nepal

53 Kumveswar Technical School Nepal

54 Mahaguthi Craft with a Conscience Nepal

55 Manushi Nepal

56 Nepal Leprosy Trust Nepal

57 New Saddle Nepal

58 Sana Hastahala Nepal

59 Women's Skill Development Centre Nepal

61 Advocate of Philippine Fair Trade Inc. Philippines

62 Alter Trade Corporation  Philippines

63 Barcelona Multipurpose Cooperative Inc Philippines

64 Community Crafts Association of the Philippines  Philippines

65 Much n Little Philippines

66 Panay Fair Trade Center Philippines

67 Philippine Fair Trade Forum Philippines

68 PREDA FAIRTRADE Philippines

69 SAFRUDI Philippines

70 Salay Handmade Paper Industries Inc. Philippines

71 Southern Partners & Fair Trade Corp. Philippines

72 Ashley Exports Sri Lanka

73 Central Council of Disabled Persons Sri Lanka

74 Golden Palm International Sri Lanka

75 Gospel House Handicrafts Ltd. Sri Lanka

76 Lanka Jathika Sarvodaya Shramadana Sangamaya Inc. Sri Lanka

77 People's Organization for Development Import & Export Sri Lanka

78 Siyath Foundation Sri Lanka

79 Thai Craft Thailand

80 Thai Tribal Crafts Thailand

81 Craftlink Vietnam

Our Organizational Structure


The policy--making body of the organization is the AFTF Governing Board, which is composed of representatives of all member-countries. The Board exercises the corporate powers and, through the Executive Director, the executive management of AFTF. It ad ministers the organization's funds and properties.

Three working committees oversee the core programs:Trade Fair Committee, Asia CoE Committee and Advocacy Committee, each headed by acommittee chair.


Asian Fair Trade Forum

Purchase directly from artisans all over the world that adhere to fair trade practices.

11112 Midvale Road,

Kensington, MD, 20895,

United States

Main Contact :  Daniel Salcedo

Technical Contact :  Surendra Shahi

Phone :  301 949 6625

Fax :  301 949 8693

Email :  peoplink@peoplink.org 

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