Fair Trade Advocacy Office Press Release from 4th June 2015. 

The Committee of the Regions plenary adopted an opinion on Fair Trade on 4 June. This EU advisory body representing local and regional authorities calls again on the European Commission to adopt a more ambitious approach to this topic.

In the own-initiative opinion “local and regional support for Fair Trade in Europe”, its author Barbara Duden, Vice-President of the Free and Hanseatic Parliament of the City of Hamburg, expresses the need for a fully-fledged EU Fair Trade Strategy that mainstreams this concept across various EU policy areas: trade, development and sustainable consumption and production. The Committee of the Regions had already called for such a Strategy in an opinion dating from 2010, with no concrete follow-up by the EU.

One of the landmark initiatives that should be put forward is the setup of a European Fair Trade Capital Award. It would not only reward the various modalities of Fair Trade support by cities in Europe, but also help to disseminate the good examples to encourage other cities to take action in this area. In addition, this EU-wide recognition would be an incentive for them to go further in their commitments, besides giving visibility to the topic among citizens.

Local and regional authorities play a relevant role in promoting Fair Trade: by setting the example with their own consumption and by raising awareness among citizens. They can furthermore encourage the supply of Fair Trade products by economic actors in their territory. To date there are more than 1.500 communities in Europe that have been awarded Fair Trade town status.

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“The European Commission is the best placed to mainstream Fair Trade, and should use the upcoming new EU Trade Strategy to do so” stated Sergi Corbalán, Executive Director of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office.

“In my country many of the good practices from the regional and local level are encouraged by the award of the German capital of Fair Trade, this should also be replicated at EU level with a similar scheme” declared Barbara Duden during her speech at the plenary session.

The Committee of the Regions press release is available here.

In support of the above mentioned opinion, the Committee of the Regions has published a study on “local and regional authorities promoting Fair Trade”.
A pdf version of this press release can be found here.

European Development Days 2015 (EDD) took place on 3-4 June in Brussels.

This 9th edition served also as flagship event for the European Year for Development and offered more than 130 different workshops and sessions on 12 topics.

EDDs gathered more than 5000 attendants this year and speakers included the president of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker, the president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, Melinda Gates, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica, the president of the sixty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly Sam Kutesa, Linda McAvan and much more.

03 June 2015 - Belgium - Brussels - European Development Days - EDD - Trade - Empowering smallholders participation in global supply chains © European Union

Speakers (from left) Sergi Corbalan, Shivani Reddy, Judith Sargentini, Francesca Giubilo and Caroline Hickson © European Union

Workshop on smallholders’ participation in global supply chains

During the first day of the event, Fair Trade Advocacy Office organized a workshop “Empowering smallholders’ participation in global supply chains.”, aimed at discussing  the necessary policy interventions to ensure that a serious action is taken to address unsustainable supply chains, from the farmer to the consumer; and in particular how we can guarantee small producers a seat at the table.

WFTO-Europe coordinator Francesca Giubilo was amongst the speakers to present WFTO and its Guarantee System. Other panelists included Sergi Corbalan from Fair Trade Advocacy Office, Caroline Hickson from Fairtrade International, Shivani Reddy from Fairtrade Foundation who presented the latest report on the role of smallholder farmers in Public Private Partnership (PPPs).

Regis Meritan from the European Commission DG DEVCO also joined the speakers and pinpointed that there was a need to address the asymmetry of information we have on supply chains. The workshop, lively moderated by MEP Judith Sargentini was highly attended.

Other workshops WFTO-Europe attended included Joining forces to make undernutrition historyFeeding the planet togetherTrade for inclusive and sustainable growthFeeding the urban world: Local solutions for global challengesFrom cotton production to ethical clothing and fashion.

By Michael Sarcauga, Communications Coordinator of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO)

The World Fair Trade Day (WFTDay) celebration on Saturday 9 May was a total success! Thousands of Agents for Change showed up on social media, streets, schools, shops, churches, workshops, shopping centres, and wherever Fair Trade is! The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) members led the celebrations worldwide.

On social media, the Agents for Change have reached millions of people. Our hashtags #AgentChange, #WFTD2015 and #FairTrade has proven that! Our heartfelt thanks to all who participated in our social media campaign. You helped us spread the message of Fair Trade and change!

WFTD

 “Let World Fair Trade Day be a reminder for all of us that we have the power to promote change, and each of us is an Agent for Change. We thank our members and all who joined in the celebration. Each day is our chance to make a difference. Let every day be a Fair Trade Day!” said Natália Leal, WFTO Chief Executive

 “Fair Trade is unstoppable. It’s a growing solution to fight poverty, social injustices and climate change. Many companies and organisation worldwide are embracing Fair Trade and sustainable practices because of the growing demand for a sustainable future for all of us. At WFTO alone, Fair Trade Organisations are growing with an overall sales turnover of over €430 million for 2014. And every month we are expanding as more and more organisations are joining the Fair Trade movement and the WFTO network.” said Rudi Dalvai, President of WFTO

Fair Trade is change. Fair Trade products and the people in the Fair Trade supply chain are making a difference every minute, every time a Fair Trade product is purchased. Backed by consumers who believe in their purchasing power, Fair Trade makes positive change every day.

We thank our Fair Trade Networks for organising World Fair Trade Day campaigns. For example, ARGE Weltläden, our Fair Trade Network in Austria, spearheaded the Agent for Change campaign in Austria. We also thank the pioneer of the WFTDay celebration People Tree UK, Trade Aid New Zealand, and SERRV International for helping us!

We look forward to celebrating with you once again next year! Our theme ‘Be an Agent for Change’ will be used for 2016 and 2017 celebrations! Viva Agents for Change!

See the faces and images of our Agents for Change here.

– See more at: http://www.fairtrade-advocacy.org/ftao-publications/newsletters/157-newsletters-articles/840-wftday2015#sthash.Nm7PNVmp.dpuf

 

WFTO Product Label

The WFTO Guarantee System (GS) assesses the compliance of Fair Trade Organizations against the WFTO Standard (a set of criteria used to evaluate compliance with the WFTO Fair Trade Principles). Members that have gone through the WFTO Guarantee System will be allowed to use the WFTO Product Label on their products once they have signed a contract with WFTO on how the WFTO Product Label may be used. Note however that this is an organizational label that can go on a product.  It does not certify the product, but rather the (Fair Trade) practices of the member organization which produced/sold it.


WFTO Logo

All trading and non-trading organizations will be authorized to use the WFTO logo  (on website, promotional material, etc.) once they have signed a contract with WFTO on how the Logo may be used.


Other Benefits


WFTO members with their headquarters in Europe will also be WFTO-Europe members and will be entitled to:

  • Publicize their membership of WFTO and WFTO-Europe;
  • Access and participate in e-commerce platforms like http://wftomarket.com/;
  • Actively participate in all activities of WFTO global and WFTO-Europe;
  • Stand for nomination for, and if elected serve on, both the Global and the WFTO-Europe Boards of Directors or by invitation be co-opted to serve on Committees;
  • Serve on Global and Regional (sub)committees;
  • Attend the Global and the WFTO-Europe Annual General Meetings (AGM), and the business sessions and workshops preceding it, with authority to speak and to put forward recommendations;
  • Vote in person or by proxy at the Global and the WFTO-Europe Annual General Meetings;
  • Benefit from the services of and information coming from the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO), in Brussels, which is maintaining a regular surveillance over the European trade and development policies, guaranteeing a permanent communication between Fair Trade actors and political decision-makers and promoting a political attitude in the area of Fair Trade and trade justice (more at http://www.fairtrade-advocacy.org);
  • Request the promotion of their Fair Trade-related activities, events and projects in WFTO-Europe’s website, Newsletter and social networks;
  • Access WFTO Global and WFTO-Europe’s intranet (Members Section).

 

Last Saturday 9th of May, WFTO-Europe celebrated together with you and all the other organisations across the world, the World Fair Trade Day. As you know, for this year as well as for 2016 and 2017, WFTO has decided to launch a new campaign inviting everyone who wants to make a difference and support posWFTD pòsteritive changes to nominate its AGENT FOR CHANGE and participate in the celebration of the WFTDay. Please read here the press release of WFTO. Taking this into account, WFTO-Europe agreed to launch a strong political message and to call for an action against Unfair Trading Practices, by promoting, together with the Fair Trade Advocacy Office and other organisations, the following theme/motto during the WFTDay:

“End the imbalances of the power: fight for fair trading practices in the food supply chain”

The BOXING GLOVE is our AGENT for change! It represents our fight against Unfair Trading Practices and our power to break the egg-timer that symbolises the imbalances of power in the food supply chain.

On this occasion, WFTO-Europe had the opportunity to have a stand at the Open doors at the European Economic and Social Committee, organised to also celebrate Europe Day. This was a great moment to officially launch the ‘Power in Supply Chains’ campaign and ask people to support our cause, by taking pictures with the boxing glove breaking the egg-timer.

Over the day, several people showed interest in the campaign and wanted to know more about our fight and how they could concretely contribute in enabling fair trading practices within the food supply chain.

As a follow-up of this event, a petition will be launched to push the EU to put in place a Directive that makes our demands binding for all Member States and rid the EU of Unfair Trading Practices.

For any further information about the campaign, please read here or the FTAO page on the Power in Supply Chain. An explanatory video is also available now.

Many other events were organized in Europe and all around the world to celebrate the WFTDay.  Here you can find a list of some of them. Thanks again to all of you for making this day more and more special every year!

The World Fair Trade Day is an initiative of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) that takes place annually on the second Saturday of May. It is a worldwide festival of events celebrating Fair Trade as a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty, climate change and the economic crisis that has the greatest impact on the world’s most vulnerable populations. A third of the world’s population lives on less than 2 USD a day. The global crisis confirms the need for a fair and sustainable economy locally and globally. Trade must benefit the most vulnerable and deliver sustainable livelihoods by developing opportunities for small and disadvantaged producers. Millions of producers and traders, business and policy-makers, supporting organizations and volunteers have contributed to the substantial growth of Fair Trade.

Fair Trade producers, their organizations, local and international marketing organizations, exporters, importers, wholesalers, retailers, volunteers and citizens celebrate Fair Trade in diverse events worldwide on WFTDay. On the frontlines are women, indigenous peoples, artisans, farmers and workers, who give testimony of the benefit of Fair Trade in their lives, a good reason to go out and celebrate World Fair Trade Day!

WFTDay 2016

WFTDay 2015

WFTDay 2014

WFTDay 2013

WFTDay 2012

Member of the Month

Lanka Lamai 

lankalamai-fairtrade

Lanka Lamai Fair Trade is registered as Dutch Fair Trade Organization since 1993 and as WFTO member since 2005.

Since 1986, we have been importing from Sri Lanka, motherland of our 3 children. After adoption of the 1st child, we became aware of the difficulties of this country and fell in love with it. We saw how difficult life for many people in Sri-Lanka was and we started buying from them. One day, we decided to stop being only a business partner, but to buy from these people under fair rules.

We cooperate with 20 suppliers in Sri Lanka. We import textiles, toys, wooden crafts, cards, paper products, products from elephant dung paper and a lot more from all over the country. Sri Lanka is famous for its wooden toys, of which we have a nice range. Most of our suppliers have their WFTO membership or are busy getting it at the moment. We sell our products to the Fair trade shops in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and to other countries that are interested in Fair trade. Since few years we have been importing also from India, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Philippines, Pakistan and China. These are all WFTO members and it is nice working with them.

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Thanks to these activities, we have a large range of goods from all over the world. Our main selling place is located in Culemborg, together with Barbosa Fair trade. Everybody is very welcome to come to this place, to have a look and buy our products.

We also have a webshop, where you can register and check our products.

 

For more information: www.lankalamai.nl

Email: lankalamai@solcon.nl

 

Name: Lanka Lamai
Head Office: Surhuirsterveen, Netherlands
Year of foundation: 1993
Website: www.lankalamai.nl 

WFTO-Europe welcomes a new Guaranteed member, FairMail (The Netherlands), which has recently successfully completed the WFTO Guarantee System process. Since the implementation of the WFTO Guarantee System in 2013, the number of members transitioning to Guaranteed Fair Trade Organisation status is gradually increasing and by the end of 2015 all WFTO-Europe’s members are expected to become Guaranteed members.

The GS is the first international Fair Trade system that verifies organisations on their compliance with the principles of Fair Trade, and ensures that improvements are consistently carried out over the years through a scheduled monitoring scheme. Read more about the Guarantee System here.

About Fair Mail

FairMail Cards is a Dutch Fair Trade Organization based in Amsterdam, and probably the first organisation selling Fair Trade cards. It was founded in Peru by Janneke Smeulder, aFairMail_001 Dutch sociologist and entrepreneur. When Janneke visited Trujillo, the capital of La Libertad region and the most populous city in the North of Peru, she saw many children in the slums struggling to survive. She decided that they deserved an alternative way of living.

The concept that Janneke developed is simple but effective – train teenagers take pictures and use the images to produce Fair Trade greeting cards. The money earned is used to pay for their education. Today, FairMail is working with teenagers in Peru, India and Morocco. They offer free photography classes to the teenagers. The teenagers get 50% of the profit of the card where the photo is used, and on top of that they also receive medical fund, and advice for their future plans.

“We are very happy that FairMail is now a WFTO guaranteed member and thus allowed to print the label on our fair trade greeting cards with pictures taken by underprivileged teenagers from Peru, India and Morocco,” said Peter den Hond, FairMail’s General Manager.

“With the logo appearing on more than half a million cards sold worldwide each year, we hope to also help increase the visibility and acceptance of this new label. This way not only helping FairMail, but the whole Fair Trade community.”

In less than ten years more than 2 million cards have been sold in 14 countries. 50 young photographers have taken part in the project and earned more than 100.000 euro that they  invested in their education.

FairMail is a recipient of the Dutch Card Award for “most innovative card concept” in 2008,  and the ASN Ethical Bank’s “World Prize against Child Labor” in 2011.