GAFTA can trace its origins back to 1878, when the London Corn Trade Association (LCTA) was established by members of the corn trade to protect their interests. The LCTA sought to achieve this through the adoption of standard forms of contract, drawn up by the association, with any disputes arising out of these contracts being settled by arbitration rather than legislation. Disputes were referred to London and conducted under English Law.
GAFTA sets out to promote international trade and protect the interests of its members.
Today GAFTA is an international trade association with over 1500 members in 89 countries. It’s International trading standard system developed 128 years ago, but still successfully functioning and still serves as basis for Importers, Exporters, Brokers, Dealers, Manufacturers, Processors of raw materials for human and animal consumption, Millers, Brewers, Distillers, Analysts, Superintendents, Fumigation Operators, Forwarding Agents, Arbitrators, Banks and Solicitors.
Nowadays sphere of activity GAFTA much wider, but it original and primary aim is international contract system. More than 80% of the world's trade in grain, and a significant proportion of trade in animal feeds, moves on the terms of GAFTA contracts. These contracts are kept under constant review and altered as necessary to follow trade practices and requirements, all contracts were continuously updated and republished effective. Any amendments or proposed new contracts are considered by the International Contracts Policy Committee.