From the mid 70s, Fair Trade Organizations worldwide began to meet informally in conferences every couple of years. By the mid 80s there was a desire to come together more formally and the end of the decade saw the foundation of the European Fair Trade Association (EFTA, an association of the 11 largest importing organisations in Europe) in 1987 and the International Fair Trade Association (IFAT), now the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), in 1989. The organizations that are a part of WFTO vary greatly. They represent the whole chain from producer to sale and also include support organizations such as Shared Interest, which provides financial services and support to produces.
Networking between Fair Trade Organizations is crucial to their success. All over the world, networks have been established. Regional networks include the WFTO Asia (formerly Asia Fair Trade Forum – AFTF), Co-operation for Fair Trade in Africa (COFTA), WFTO Latin America (formerly the Association Latino Americana de Commercio Justo – IFAT LA) and WFTO Europe (formerly – IFAT Europe). National networks include Ecota Fair Trade Forum in Bangladesh, Fair Trade Group Nepal, Associated Partners for Fairer Trade Philippines, Fair Trade Forum India, Kenya Federation for Alternative Trade (KEFAT), etc.
FLO, WFTO, NEWS! and EFTA started to meet in 1998 with the aim to enable these networks and their members to cooperate on important areas of work, such as advocacy and campaigning, standards and monitoring of Fair Trade.