This year on 12th May the world celebrated #FairTradeDay, an initiative of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) that takes place on the second Saturday of May each year.
It is an inclusive worldwide festival of events celebrating Fair Trade as a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty, climate change and unfair practices in supply chains. WFTO and its members believe that trade must benefit the most vulnerable and deliver sustainable livelihoods by developing opportunities for small and disadvantaged producers.
More and more people are becoming fair and ethical consumers. That’s right. There is a growing number of consumers who are willing to pay for a product that helps people and the environment. To keep this trend going up, we adopted the theme ‘Live fair, one Fair Trade product at a time’ for this year’s celebration.
To celebrate this special day, WFTO-Europe has collaborated with its members from all 16 European member countries to celebrate.
Thank you to our members featured in the video:
Austria – EZA Fairer Handel GmbH Belgium – Elecosy bvba Bosnia a H. – BHcrafts doo Czech Republic – Fairtrade Czech Republic and Slovakia Denmark – Fair Trade Danmark Finland – Mifuko Oy France – Karethic Germany – Weltladen-Dachverband e.V. (WL-DV) Italy – Ctm Altromercato Soc. Coop. Netherlands – Sarana Poland – The Polish Fair Trade Association (PFTA) Romania – DECE – S.C Networks Trading Srl Spain – Coordinadora Estatal de Comercio Justo – CECJ Sweden – The Organisation of Swedish Fair Trade Retailers Switzerland – Association romande des Magasins du Monde (ASRO) United Kingdom – Shared Interest Society Ltd, Island Spirit
Today we celebrate International Women’s Day and we are more than happy to share with you our booklet “Women & Fair Trade”.
It is a short publication featuring 6 of our members: SeeMe, Mifuko, Dece Clothing, esgii, Dassie Artisan and Traidcraft Exchange. In the booklet, you will find who they are, what they do and what impact do they have on their female artisans.
Click on the cover and discover more:
Please, if you like it, share it with your friends, thank you.
#PressForProgress #GenderEqualityNow #InternationalWomensDay2018 #FairTrade
Dear Fair Trade friends and supporters,
the end of the year is slowly approaching and the holiday season is upon us.
We would like to thank you for supporting us throughout the whole year of 2017 and wish you all the warmth and happiness that this beautiful season always brings.
We are looking forward to cooperating with you even more in 2018.
WFTO prescribes 10 Principles that Fair Trade Organizations must follow in their day-to-day work and carries out monitoring to ensure these principles are upheld:
Principle One: Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
Poverty reduction through trade forms a key part of the organization’s aims. The organization supports marginalized small producers, whether these are independent family businesses, or grouped in associations or co-operatives. It seeks to enable them to move from income insecurity and poverty to economic self-sufficiency and ownership. The organization has a plan of action to carry this out.
Principle Two: Transparency and Accountability
The organization is transparent in its management and commercial relations. It is accountable to all its stakeholders and respects the sensitivity and confidentiality of commercial information supplied. The organization finds appropriate, participatory ways to involve employees, members and producers in its decision-making processes. It ensures that relevant information is provided to all its trading partners. The communication channels are good and open at all levels of the supply chain.
Principle Three: Fair Trading Practices
The organization trades with concern for the social, economic and environmental well-being of marginalized small producers and does not maximize profit at their expense. It is responsible and professional in meeting its commitments in a timely manner. Suppliers respect contracts and deliver products on time and to the desired quality and specifications.
Fair Trade buyers, recognizing the financial disadvantages producers and suppliers face, ensure orders are paid on receipt of documents and according to the attached guidelines. For Handicraft FT products, an interest free pre-payment of at least 50 % is made on request. For Food FT products, pre-payment of at least 50% at a reasonable interest is made if requested. Interest rates that the suppliers pay must not be higher than the buyers’ cost of borrowing from third parties. Charging interest is not required.
Where southern Fair Trade suppliers receive a pre payment from buyers, they ensure that this payment is passed on to the producers or farmers who make or grow their Fair Trade products.
Buyers consult with suppliers before canceling or rejecting orders. Where orders are cancelled through no fault of producers or suppliers, adequate compensation is guaranteed for work already done. Suppliers and producers consult with buyers if there is a problem with delivery, and ensure compensation is provided when delivered quantities and qualities do not match those invoiced.
The organization maintains long term relationships based on solidarity, trust and mutual respect that contribute to the promotion and growth of Fair Trade. It maintains effective communication with its trading partners. Parties involved in a trading relationship seek to increase the volume of the trade between them and the value and diversity of their product offer as a means of growing Fair Trade for the producers in order to increase their incomes. The organization works cooperatively with the other Fair Trade Organizations in country and avoids unfair competition. It avoids duplicating the designs of patterns of other organizations without permission.
Fair Trade recognizes, promotes and protects the cultural identity and traditional skills of small producers as reflected in their craft designs, food products and other related services.
Principle Four: Payment of a Fair Price
A fair price is one that has been mutually agreed by all through dialogue and participation, which provides fair pay to the producers and can also be sustained by the market. Where Fair Trade pricing structures exist, these are used as a minimum. Fair pay means provision of socially acceptable remuneration (in the local context) considered by producers themselves to be fair and which takes into account the principle of equal pay for equal work by women and men. Fair Trade marketing and importing organizations support capacity building as required to producers, to enable them to set a fair price.
Principle Five: Ensuring no Child Labor and Forced Labor
The organization adheres to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and national / local law on the employment of children. The organization ensures that there is no forced labor in its workforce and / or members or homeworkers.
Organizations who buy Fair Trade products from producer groups either directly or through intermediaries ensure that no forced labor is used in production and the producer complies with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and national / local law on the employment of children. Any involvement of children in the production of Fair Trade products (including learning a traditional art or craft) is always disclosed and monitored and does not adversely affect the children’s well-being, security, educational requirements and need for play.
Principle Six: Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment and Freedom of Association
The organization does not discriminate in hiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, HIV/Aids status or age.
The organization has a clear policy and plan to promote gender equality that ensures that women as well as men have the ability to gain access to the resources that they need to be productive and also the ability to influence the wider policy, regulatory, and institutional environment that shapes their livelihoods and lives. Organizational constitutions and by-laws allow for and enable women to become active members of the organization in their own right (where it is a membership based organization), and to take up leadership positions in the governance structure regardless of women’s status in relation to ownership of assets such as land and property. Where women are employed within the organization, even where it is an informal employment situation, they receive equal pay for equal work. The organization recognizes women’s full employment rights and is committed to ensuring that women receive their full statutory employment benefits. The organization takes into account the special health and safety needs of pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers.
The organization respects the right of all employees to form and join trade unions of their choice and to bargain collectively. Where the right to join trade unions and bargain collectively are restricted by law and/or political environment, the organization will enable means of independent and free association and bargaining for employees. The organization ensures that representatives of employees are not subject to discrimination in the workplace.
Principle Seven: Ensuring Good Working Conditions
The organization provides a safe and healthy working environment for employees and / or members. It complies, at a minimum, with national and local laws and ILO conventions on health and safety.
Working hours and conditions for employees and / or members (and any homeworkers) comply with conditions established by national and local laws and ILO conventions.
Fair Trade Organizations are aware of the health and safety conditions in the producer groups they buy from. They seek, on an ongoing basis, to raise awareness of health and safety issues and improve health and safety practices in producer groups.
Principle Eight: Providing Capacity Building
The organization seeks to increase positive developmental impacts for small, marginalized producers through Fair Trade.
The organization develops the skills and capabilities of its own employees or members. Organizations working directly with small producers develop specific activities to help these producers improve their management skills, production capabilities and access to markets – local / regional / international / Fair Trade and mainstream as appropriate. Organizations which buy Fair Trade products through Fair Trade intermediaries in the South assist these organizations to develop their capacity to support the marginalized producer groups that they work with.
Principle Nine: Promoting Fair Trade
The organization raises awareness of the aim of Fair Trade and of the need for greater justice in world trade through Fair Trade. It advocates for the objectives and activities of Fair Trade according to the scope of the organization. The organization provides its customers with information about itself, the products it markets, and the producer organizations or members that make or harvest the products. Honest advertising and marketing techniques are always used.
Principle Ten: Respect for the Environment
Organizations which produce Fair Trade products maximize the use of raw materials from sustainably managed sources in their ranges, buying locally when possible. They use production technologies that seek to reduce energy consumption and where possible use renewable energy technologies that minimize greenhouse gas emissions. They seek to minimize the impact of their waste stream on the environment. Fair Trade agricultural commodity producers minimize their environmental impacts, by using organic or low pesticide use production methods wherever possible.
Buyers and importers of Fair Trade products give priority to buying products made from raw materials that originate from sustainably managed sources, and have the least overall impact on the environment.
All organizations use recycled or easily biodegradable materials for packing to the extent possible, and goods are dispatched by sea wherever possible.
We are excited to begin offering subscription to our public newsletter! We aim to publish this newsletter biannual, that is twice a year, in order to avoid overwhelming our subscribers with emails. The content is planned to include: an overview of our recent activities and of those in our network, updates on our members and their initiatives, the latest information on the Fair Trade movement in Europe and around the world, and more. The first issue will go out at the beginning of the new year, so keep an eye out in January!
Enriching lives with ethical finance
UK-based, Shared Interest lends money to Fair Trade organisations worldwide. What makes us different is we do not usually require security. This enables us to reach farmers and handcrafters in remote communities, struggling to find finance elsewhere.
We are a Registered Society with 11,000 UK investors providing over £38m. We strive to be a responsible lender, recognised with a Queen’s Award twice, and in 2015 awarded the title of ‘most ethical finance institution working in the fair trade sector.’
Shared Interest currently makes payments to over 400 producer groups across 59 countries. Our main aim is to help smallholder farmers and handcraft groups, and we lend in two ways: directly to fair trade producers and to fair trade wholesale or retail businesses. We lend to support Fairtrade products such as coffee; fresh fruit, nuts, and cocoa, as well as handcrafts such as weaved baskets and furniture.
We want to do more than provide finance on fair terms. The Fair Trade organisations we finance say that, thanks to our supporters, they have helped transform their communities. For this reason, we like to keep up to date with issues faced by our customers. We find that our annual Producer Committee meetings facilitated by in-country staff in Peru, Ivory Coast, and Kenya, give producers the opportunity to discuss common issues and market trends. While it is not in our remit to provide a solution to these problems, sharing experiences can assist organisations in resolving their own issues.
For instance, citrus farming is a growing source of income in Ghana but climate change continues to be a big challenge, with fruit ripening early or crops being lost in their entirety due to the changing rainfall patterns. Nyame Akwan is a Fairtrade orange producer that is surviving commercially, despite these various setbacks.
Farmers approached Shared Interest for finance in 2015 when fruit flies were causing production losses of up to 40%. The loan allowed the group to purchase fertilisers for farmers and ultimately increase production volumes. Farm maintenance equipment helped reduce fruit loss to only 10%.
Education also helped improve yields. Previously, harvesting involved manually plucking the fruit with sticks, which led to spoilage. After training, the farmers began to hang wire nets under the trees to catch the oranges.
Thanks to Shared Interest investors, Nyame Akwan is helping over 100 farmers to earn a living. Chairman Mustapha Akubakar said: “Once our membership reaches 200, we would like to become a co-operative.”
See their website here.
Fair trade towns reaches milestone
2,000 Fair Trade Towns Span the Globe
October 2, 2017
Fair Trade Towns, an international, grassroots campaign to build solidarity between consumers and producers, raise awareness of Fair Trade, and drive institutional commitment to Fair Trade products, has reached a major milestone as there are now over 2,000 Fair Trade Towns in 29 countries on 6 continents. Starting in 2000 in Garstang, U.K., the grassroots campaign swept across Europe in the early 2000’s and then grew to many other countries including Costa Rica, the U.S., Ghana, Canada, Japan, Australia, Brazil and many, many others. The most recent Fair Trade Towns were declared in Finland, Germany and Canada.
“The Fair Trade Towns movement is vital, and is making a huge difference. It is a grassroots social movement and together with the producer forms the beating heart of changing the world trading system.” – Harriet Lamb, Executive Director, Fairtrade Foundation 2006
Led by various organizations at the regional and national level, the Fair Trade Towns movement recently held its 11th annual international conference in Saarbrucken, Germany where a new tally was taken and the milestone recognized. The U.K. and Germany are the countries with the most Fair Trade Towns – 631 and 500 respectively. In the last few years the movement has seen growth in new countries and regions with efforts in Ecuador, Honduras, Lebanon, Cameroon, and Switzerland. The growth of the movement continues to escalate. It took 11 years to reach the first 1,000 Fair Trade Towns and just 6 more to reach the next 1,000. With towns that have met the goals necessary to earn the title, Fair Trade Town in 29 countries, and active efforts in 7 more, the Fair Trade Towns movement has also expanded to include Fair Trade University, Fair Trade School and Fair Trade Places of Worship efforts. These collectively make up one of the largest international grassroots campaigns in the world.
“It was a pleasure to participate in the Saarbrücken conference and meet so many different people from all over the world committed to a better world, a more just, and equitable world. People that work every day to defend Fair Trade and a decent life. The Fair Trade Towns campaign now has more than two thousand towns, thanks to the perseverance of consumers, activists, traders, producers, and volunteers, working for a common goal. We all walk together for dignity, leaving behind our differences”. – Rosa Guamán, small-scale fruits and herbs producer, President of the Small Producers Symbol (SPP) and member of the Local Fair Trade Town Committee in Riobamba, Ecuador.
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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact your country coordinator or International Fair Trade Towns Steering Committee. The contact list is available on www.fairtradetowns.org .
To download this press release please click here.