Member of the Month

EL PUENTE

EP LOGO simpelThe Company
EL PUENTE is among the pioneers of the fair trade movementnt and is today the second largest fair trade organization in Germany. Already since 1972, EL PUENTE has stood as a bridge between north and south, and has worked with small businesses and cooperatives in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The work of EL PUENTE is not profit-orientated. Through the import and distribution of fair trade products, the organization supports more than 140 project partners in 40 different  countries. The range of products consists of around 5,000 handicraft and food articles. Thus, the assortment ranges from jewelry and bags, to tableware and decorative pieces, right up to coffee, chocolate and spices. As a wholesale trader EL PUENTE sells the goods to about 1.000 fair trade shops in Germany and in some neighbouring countries.

Organization Structure
The organization structure of EL PUENTE is pretty unique because of the so called “Partner Committee” (PaCo) which offers the producer organizations the opportunity to be an equal co-owner of the company. Moreover EL PUENTE has a special body which controls the activities of EL PUENTE independently. New project partners, whose products shall be incorporated in EL PUENTE’s assortment, need to be approved by this body, the so called PPA. Detailed questionnaires, completed by the partner organizations, serve as the main basis for the approval.

Local Activities
The city of Hildesheim in Northern Germany is the birthplace of EL PUENTE. It continues to be the location for many activities, which are mainly initiated by the EL PUENTE association. The only store owned by EL PUENTE is located in the very centre of Hildesheim, as well as the so called EL PUENTE “World Café”. In both places EL PUENTE offers products and carries out various activities and educational events. “With the development policy-related educational activities which are organized by many committed people on a voluntary basis, we make people more aware of Fair Trade, ” Richard Bruns, founder of EL PUENTE and voluntary manager of the WorldCafé explains. Many of these activities are supported by the EL PUENTE foundation, which promotes educational work in developmental- and socio-political topics in Germany.

WFTO Guarantee System
EL PUENTE is a WFTO member since 1997 and took part in the pilot project of the new WFTO Guarantee System in 2013. “The process of the WFTO-certification was extremely useful for us; we got very positive feedback for our work but also gained constructive criticism which helps us to improve,” Martin Moritz, manager of EL PUENTE Ltd. says.

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Name: El Puente
Head Office: Hilde-heim, Germany
Date of foundation: 1972
Websitewww.elpuente.de

 

Member of the Month

Oxfam Magasin du Monde

logo-oxfam-magasins-du-mondeOxfam-Magasins du monde is one of the main fair trade organisations in Belgium. It covers the regions of Wallonia and Brussels, while its sister organisation Oxfam-Wereldwinkels is active in Flanders. In 2012, the organisation turnover was equal to €5.8 million and it employed 55 full-time equivalent employees. It works with various fair trade partners in the South: directly with 33 handicraft partners and indirectly with 106 food and 18 cosmetics partners.

The main legitimacy of the organisation comes from its very strong movement of volunteers, more than 4,500, all organised in a democratic way: they manage themselves the world shops, vote for new producers to be added to the list of partners, etc. They also participate to various actions and campaigns on fair trade and economic justice issues.

In the next months, this campaigning work will focus on the coming elections, which in Belgium will take place at regional, federal, and European levels. As part of the larger ‘Vote4FT’ campaign, our main demands to the politicians will be to support fair trade of course, but also to put in place trade policies protective of human and workers’ rights. For Oxfam-Magasins du monde, it is clear that tragic events such as the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh are linked with economic pressures, forcing people to risk their lives in hope for a better future. In this context, sante-oxfampoliticians have a key role to play: putting in place an international trade framework, for example on base of fair trade, so that trade is better regulated and meets its societal goals (decent work, but also right to food, etc.). Beside the use of different tools (Vote4FT manifesto, articles, partners’ testimonies, campaign video, etc.), one major highlight of the campaign will be a public debate with EU Belgian candidates on March 4th in Brussels.

Name: Oxfam-Magasins du monde
Head Office: Wavre, Belgium
Date of foundation: 1976
Website: http://www.oxfammagasinsdumonde.be/

 

 

fairtrees_logo_green_eng


Every year, when people traditionally dance around their Christmas trees it is likely that few, if any, consider the fact that their Christmas tree probably originated in Georgia. The vast majority of seeds used for growing Christmas trees in Europe are sourced from Georgia, where both quality and production quantity are considerably higher.

coneDANGEROUS WORKING CONDITIONS
For decades, the cone pickers have been working at the risk of their lives. Harvesting of seeds in Georgia is carried out by hand and under primitive conditions. The Georgian cone pickers climb up into 30 m tall fir trees in order to reach the cones, which they then pluck and throw to the ground. The cone pickers work entirely without safety equipment, which means that occupational injuries – and fatal accidents – come with the territory of being a cone picker. Fair Trees® wants to improve working conditions for the Georgian cone pickers.

A BETTER LIFE THROUGH FAIR TRADE
Fair Trees® insists that all workers take a course on safety and that they use secure climbing equipment. The cone pickers are provided with labour insurance that covers the costs of occupational injuries as well as standard medical care. Furthermore, Fair Trees supports various social initiatives ensuring education and development in the cone picker community.

 

Websites: www.fairtrees.co.uk – www.fairtrees.de – www.fairtrees.dk –
www.fairtrees.at – www.fairtreesfund.com

 

Award winning Fair Trade fashion brands, Pachacuti and People Tree, will launch their first collections containing the WFTO Product Label. Both organizations, committed to meet the Fair Trade standards throughout their supply chain, are delighted to inaugurate the WFTO Product Label. First of its kind, the WFTO Product Label allows now consumers to detect Fair Trade businesses that hold a 100% commitment to Fair Trade in their activities. People Tree and Pachacuti follow and promote the WFTO’s core Principles of Fair Trade, covering fair wages, working conditions, transparency, capacity building, environmental best practice and gender equality. Fair practices are becoming increasingly important as people are getting more and more interested as well as informed about the ethics of supply chains.

 

people tree Product LabelPeople Tree, started already 20 years ago in Japan and has been pioneering a Fair Trade and organic cotton supply chain ever since its creation. The organization is very pleased to be among the first to launch the WFTO Product Label on their upcoming 2014 spring summer collection. This advancement is crucial as Safia Minney (MBE Founder and CEO of People Tree – UK and Japan) belives that “since the Rana Plaza tragedy, consumers want to know what to look for to be sure producers are treated well”.

 

 

pachacuti Product Label

Since becoming the world’s first Fair Trade Certified Organisation by the WFTO, Pachacuti has continued to work towards pushing standards higher and improving traceability and transparency within their supply chain. The organization is delighted to be among the first companies worldwide to use the WFTO Product Label on their new collection of Panama hats and beach bags, launched at the London Fashion Week. Carry Somers (Founder and Managing Director at Pachacuti) expressed her deep satisfaction of this new upgrade: “This label is an exciting development and I am sure that it will develop into a widely-recognised mark which will become a guarantee of the highest social and environmental standards.”

 

 

Rudi Dalvai (President of the World Fair Trade Organization) expressed his deep gratitude as well: “World Fair Trade Organisation is delighted that People Tree and Pachacuti will launch the new global Fair Trade product label at London Fashion Week. I’m Italian and love fashion, but I love good ethics too! People Tree and Pachacuti are skillfully combining both aspects.”

 

picture hat 1

 

View the original press release : pachacuti press release

For PR enquires or more information please contact:

People Tree  
Mia Hadrill
People Tree
5 Huguenot Place, 17a Heneage Street
London, E1 5LN
Email: mia.hadrill@peopletree.co.uk
Tel: 020 7042 8935
Pachacuti
Carry Somers
Pachacuti Ltd
19 Dig Street, Ashbourne
Derbyshire DE6 1GF, UK
Email: carry@panamas.co,uk
Tel: 07545135015

Ferrara 2010 (1)
Tuttaunaltracosa is the annual Fair Trade caravan that leads workshops, Fair Trade centrals, craftsmen from the southern hemisphere and volunteers from all over Italy to an happening, every year in a new town.
From the first edition in 1994, Tuttaunaltracosa has toured a great deal of big Italian cities (Milan, Genoa, Modena, Ferrara, Lecce, Naples, Reggio Emilia and many more). 40,000 visitors in three days, over 100 exhibitors from all over Italy and promotion of local solidary economies, exhibitions, conferences. Since 2007 the national fair of fair trade is under the high patronage of the President of the Republic.
Energy will be the key word for the 2013 edition of Tuttaunaltracosa. Clean energy, because the production and supply chains of fair trade are always trying to ensure maximum respect for the environment. Young and vital energy, thanks to the daily commitment of thousands of volunteers throughout Italy. But above all, energy that moves the minds, that circulates thoughts, gives oxygen to the ideas and broadens horizons: the most intense among all energies, which again Tuttaunaltracosa wants to turn on in all those who want to visit the spaces and the initiatives of the fair.
 
The appointment for everyone, then, is from October 4th to October 6th in Ferrara (Piazza Ariostea), near Reggio Emilia, from 9 am until late at night. Free entry. Reggio Emilia 2011 (1)
At Tuttaunaltracosa you can also meet the young people from Tuttounaltrocampo, the international work camp that is an apprenticeship group in a fair, a laboratory of ideas and friendships.
It is inspired from the former principles of Fair Trade and aims to share the vision of today and above all the projects of the future in an environment without national borders. Young people from all over the world coming for more than ten days to discuss Fair Trade, sustainable development, environmental politics and to meet the producers that will be present at Tuttaunaltracosa.

 

During the 2013 Belgian Fair Trade Week (Semaine du Commerce Équitable), taking place during October (02-12) in Brussels, the CTB (Trade for Development Centre) will be supporting the activities of several actors engage in or promoting Fair Trade.

WFTO-Europe is one of the participants to this annual event, with a project called Un monde équitable, une personne à la fois. The main goal of WFTO-Europe’s activities is education and the promotion of Fair Trade and its principles, seeking to raise public awareness in general, but also giving an opportunity to people interested in Fair Trade to express their individual support.

Hence, WFTO-Europe’s project Un monde équitable, une personne à la fois invites us each to see public support for Fair Trade values as something that can be built step by step, one person at a time. Photos of individuals holding the Fair Trade speech bubble ‘I support Fair Trade’ will be available in different languages. The final goal is to use these photos to build a world map of people supporting Fair Trade.

 

Our main objectives are to:

1)  Inform the public about Fair Trade and the European movement that supports it;

2)  Give visibility to the positive impacts of Fair Trade on Global Development;

3)  Invite the public to get involved in discussions concerning Fair Trade;

4)  Give visibility to the general public support towards Fair Trade principles and values.

VOTE4FT, the EC-funded project to which WFTO-Europe is a partner for three years, started to unfold in the beginning of January 2013.

Falling under the “EuropeAid Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Development: Raising public awareness of development issues and promoting development education in the European Union” Call for Proposals, the project targets at engaging EU citizens in an EU-wide Fair Trade movement advocacy campaign, in order to achieve EU policies in support of Fair Trade and Fair Trade principles. This will be achieved by creating a dialogue between EU citizens, EU decision-makers and the Fair Trade movement representatives within the EU.

The campaign does not only encourage EU citizens to convey their views to EU decision-makers regarding EU policies related to Fair Trade, but also gives them the tools to act. It aims therefore at transforming the civil society from a mere passive receiver of information, to an active participant in the Fair Trade movement at large.  Political candidates running for the European Parliament elections of June 2014 are being targeted. Fair Trade actors within the EU will work as the liaison element between the civil and political parties, all with the aim of raising awareness about the situation of marginalised producers and workers in the South and that of generating action.

We will keep you informed on the progress of this project during 2013-2015!

VOTE4FT, or officially “Advocating together for EU Fair Trade policies” is a EC-funded project led by the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) and the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO), with partners and associates from 16 EU Member States.

 

Project Outcomes and News

Watch our video testimonials:

#2 Esther Mwanyama from Bombolulu Workshops and Cultural Centre, Kenya, recorded by our partner FTAO.

VOTE4FT – Prodecer Testimonial #2

 

#1 Nabir Bordoloi of Ambootina Tea Grour, Darjeeling, India, recorded by CTM Altromercato

VOTE4FT – Producer Testimonial #1

 

This project is co-funded by the EuropeAid Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Development programme.