In this edition

WFTO-E at home
Follow-up on the AGM 2020
Workshop with P. Echard
The second edition of our Members Review is out!

Europe in a nutshell
EU: Towards a green recovery?
Our advocacy work

WFTO around the World
The Fair Trade International Symposium online panel – 10 & 11 June 2020
People’s Mask, Not Just a Face Covering but a Fair Trade Social Solidarity Initiative in Action

GS training

Member of the Month

WFTO-Europe’s Fair Train

News from the Regions

News from the Board

Agenda

News


WFTO-Europe at home

Follow-up on the AGM 2020

Our AGM was held on the 23rd of June and exceptionally online due to the current pandemic. Thank you to all of our more than 40 participants and to the 11 members represented via proxy votes.

Several points were discussed and approved during the event, such as the accounts and balance of 2019, the provisional budget 2021 as well as the strategic and action plan 2020-203. Due to the end of the EU-funded “TFLF” project and a lack of external source of funding, the WFTO-Europe Secretariat will soon be in a critical financial situation, which will significantly impact its budget for 2021. 

During the past months, and with the help of our members during an online discussion on the 3rd of June, the Secretariat has been working on elaborating a new strategic plan and action plan for 2020 – 2023. The coronavirus and our difficult financial situation have impacted the final plan, and some amendments have been approved to make sustainability and cooperation with Fair businesses more at the heart of our upcoming activities. 

This meeting was also the occasion to say goodbye to our Board member Stephanie Brookes (Traidcraft Exchange, United Kingdom) and Estelle Vanwameke (Oxfam Magasins du Monde) and to welcome three new Board members: Charlotte Timson (Traidcraft Exchange), Cassandre Maury (Les Jardins de Gaïa) and Jean-Christophe Galland (CMC Malongo). Jean-Christophe and Cassandre had been co-opted in October 2019 and were officially elected by the Assembly on the 23rd of June. Thank you Stephanie and Estelle for your help and expertise during these 3 last years; and welcome Charlotte, Cassandre and Jean-Christophe!

And last but not least, since WFTO Global’s next year’s AGM will be held at the end of August 2021 in Berlin, WFTO-Europe will organise an online AGM around June 2021 to approve legal documents as well as a physical regional meeting during the Global Conference in Berlin. We already look forward to meeting you all there!

If you wish to read the minutes or find all of the documents that have been approved and updated, click here

 

Workshop with P. Echard (Mikkel)

 

The second edition of our Members Review is out!

In May, as we celebrated World Fair Trade Day, we published our second edition of our Members Review. Climate change is becoming an increasingly important issue, and we wanted to set a focus on our members’ commitment to address it. Fair Trade Enterprises are not just social enterprises, they also integrate green and sustainable practices in their business models, and honour our principle 10 of Fair Trade: “Respect for the environment”.

Find out more about their practices and constant improvement through 7 inspiring stories from our members.

With the sanitary circumstances we have adapted our celebrations with #PlanetFairTrade and #FairTradeSolidarity, click here to have a look at our members’ and Fair Trade supporters’ lovely contributions. Once again, we have shown that the Fair Trade movement remains united in all circumstances, and that we stand for one another. 


Europe in a nutshell

EU: Towards a green recovery? 

© European Union 2012 – European Parliament

At the beginning of the year, it was still too early to imagine the disastrous consequences that the corona pandemic would have on our societies. A few months of lockdown and teleworking later, while trying to keep ourselves busy by finally getting rid of the chores we had been postponing for years, baking our own bread or learning a new language, some of us had the time to rethink our lavish lifestyles. Lockdown has forced us to live with ourselves and our thoughts for weeks, which might have been challenging but also encouraged us to resort to our creativity, and to think of what was going to happen next. 

The post-corona era is still full of uncertainty and in every people’s minds. The sanitary crisis hit our economies, and some vulnerable businesses might never recover from it, jeopardising millions of people’s lives. As a consequence, our leaders’ political agendas had to be adapted and reshaped, taking into account all of the new variables linked to the crisis. 

In the last edition of our newsletter, we talked about the European Green Deal proposed by the European Commission and its possible consequences. It goes without saying that the implementation of most of the related programmes has been compromised, as the focus has now been set on the economic recovery, overshadowing the efforts implemented by the EU to tackle climate change.

However, protecting the environment and reducing our carbon footprint aren’t incompatible with consolidating our economy, and some MEPs led by Pascal Canfin (Renew Europe) are calling for a green recovery plan. At the time where this article is being written (July 3rd, 2020), we are expecting the European Council’s proposal for the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), which should exceptionally come with a €750 billion recovery fund composed of grants and loans dedicated to mitigating the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the EU economy. The Green Recovery Alliance proposes to put the European Green Deal at the heart of the recovery plan, putting an emphasis on investing in sustainable companies and projects and accelerating the ecological transition.

The signatories of this informal alliance are composed of a variety of actors: MEPs, NGOs, think tanks, businesses… All of them are committing to invest in the necessary solutions to “revive the economy after the crisis” while still being “aligned with the climate commitments”. 

If you wish to learn more about the alliance and its signatories, here is an article that might be of your interest. Anyway, a green and comprehensive recovery would be a great news for the Fair Trade movement, and a step forward towards an economy that respects the environment and its inhabitants.

 

Our advocacy work

WFTO-Europe is currently working on a public procurement toolkit, to help our members with recommendations on to apply for public calls for tenders for which we have commissioned Alice Sinigaglia, a consultant formerly working with our advocacy office FTAO. The purpose of the toolkit is to make our members better able to access the public procurement market in Europe, and eventually outside of Europe. The toolkit should be finalised by the end of August, and will be featured in our next newsletter. Stay tuned!

  • Textile strategy w/ FTAO (Mikkel)
  • FTAO’s HRDD report launch (info @ https://bit.ly/2zX5MPb) (Mikkel)

WFTO around the World

The Fair Trade International Symposium online panel – 10 & 11 June 2020


On the 10th and the 11th of June, the Fair Trade International Symposium online panel was organised, complementary to the actual event to be held in Mexico, postponed to 2021.  The panelists focused on the following theme: “Fair Trade and resilience in supply chains: insights from the past, perspectives on the future”. During the first day, the discussions were rather about looking at the past and understanding the crisis in context, while the second day highlighted the public policies and future systems to be implemented, as well as the cooperation between researchers and practitioners. You will find the recordings of the two afternoons of discussion both in English and Spanish on FTAO’s Vimeo channel.

 

People’s Mask, Not Just a Face Covering but a Fair Trade Social Solidarity Initiative in Action, by Jerome L. Montemayor (Executive Director of WFTO Asia)

A week after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 Pandemic, WFTO Asia Members were already producing People’s Mask and other Fair Trade Personal Protective Equipment. This was part of WFTO Asia’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. People’s Mask had its humble beginnings with WFTO Asia communicating with members across the region checking on the status of the producers, artisans, farmers, and staff in relation to the early impacts of COVID-19. The spark that started the People’s Mask Initiative came from the members when several members contributed ideas that served as the foundation of this initiative. Tara Projects (India) provided the idea that Fair Trade Enterprises are capable of producing masks, Fair Trees (Georgia) provided the inspiration that there is a market out there, and finally Hong Kong Fair Trade Power (Fair Circle) provided the design idea, the HK Mask Design of Dr. K. Kwong and Sew-on-Studio, which served as the core design of what we now call the People’s Mask. The term “People’s Mask” also came from one of the members, Artisan Hut (Bangladesh/ECOTA). People’s Mask is a face covering designed for non-medical frontliners — essential workers such as the grocery store workers, public transport drivers, government workers, social workers, community development workers, essential private-sector workers, peace and order personnel, trash collectors, food workers, farmers, and artisans. People’s Mask are also intended to serve and help people coming from the marginalized sectors of society. Today, the People’s Mask has reached five continents with a number of the prime movers of People’s Mask working with other Fair Trade Buyers and Stakeholders. A huge percentage of the People’s Mask went to Europe. As of this writing, HDIF has shared the good news that the Armenian Government has granted them special permission to export their People’s Mask. HDIF initially led the pack in terms of reaching as many regions as possible in the early days of People’s Mask. This temporarily stopped when government policies shifted during the initial outbreak of COVID-19. With the easing up of restriction in many Asian countries, more WFTO Asia members that are producing People’s Mask can now support the needs of other regions.A big support was also provided by WFTO Europe to the People’s Mask. WFTO Europe conducted a rapid study on the EU regulations and policies that have a direct and indirect bearing on the People’s Mask. The work of WFTO Europe on the EU regulations and policies provided both the members in Asia and Europe the much-needed guidance, which helped in ensuring the smooth entry of the People’s Mask in Europe given the evolving policy environment in relation to the COVID-19 Pandemic.As we move forward, People’s Mask is often referred to as a ‘movement’. It is the coming together of Fair Trade Enterprises and partners in Asia to respond to the needs of people and society in order to survive and fight off the COVID-19 Pandemic. People’s Mask is a statement and a commitment that Fair Trade is here for the people, especially in these very challenging times. Hence, People’s Mask is a ‘movement’, as Mathew John of Last Forest (India) articulated during the recent Special Meeting of Asia Members, “… more than the production mask, the tremendous energy and the sense of bringing together that Jerome and Mitos [WFTO Asia] did was phenomenal because it did not just remain with me but it sort of infused in many people in the organization, and they pivoted in their thought process of where they were looking at a very bleak future, the energy levels I think went up tremendously, it’s not just the monetary and the numbers game but it’s the sense of urgency and the sense of coming together, the sense of rethinking things, I think that was the very important role that [WFTO Asia] played… what they [WFTO Asia] did in the past three months was phenomenal, we are very grateful..” ##

Eve Bradis tells us a more about Fair Trade Scotland’s perspective: “Fair Trade Scotland is proud to be working with WFTO Network Member Scottish Fair Trade Forum and our  WFTO Partner Villageworks, Cambodia, to bring Face Coverings that maintain authenticity, transparency and equity throughout the whole supply chain. All face coverings display the WFTO Product label which guarantees that the 10 WFTO Principles are adhered to whilst supporting Villageworks with much needed income at this time.


GS training

Our membership is now composed of 106 enterprises, from which 60 are guaranteed, 37 are provisional and 19 are Fair Trade networks. 

We are also glad to welcome 2 new provisional members: Seepje (the Netherlands) and Sira Kura (France).

 

 


Member of the Month

This month we are putting Zimba-Arts in the spotlights: 

Located in Culemborg, in the center of the Netherlands, Zimba-Arts specializes in handmade fair-trade art from Africa, made from recycled sustainable materials.

The enterprise collaborates with artists in Ongata Rongai, on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya, and believes in the potential of these young artists, and supports them towards a sustainable income. The founder encourages focus on education: 10% of the revenue is secured for the school fees of the artists’ children. 

To learn more about this inspiring enterprise, click here


WFTO-Europe’s Fair Train

Take a ride on our Fair Train towards Denmark and discover our 5 exceptional members!


News from the Regions

This quarter has been full of changes: as we are saying goodbye to Anna and Tess as assistants at the WFTO-Europe Secretariat in Brussels, we will be welcoming Giulia on the 20th of July.

Some good news: Anna might have left Europe’s regional office but she will still be around at our Global office as finance and administration coordinator. Congratulations Anna!


News from the Board

Click here to read the minutes of our previous board meetings.


Agenda


News

“Dutch government backs Fair Wear-led partnership for ethical garment industry”, Fair Wear

“Farmers ‘Devastated’ after Nestlé UK drops Fairtrade for KitKat”, Bar talks

“Un emprendedor de 20 años reta a Zara con una aplicación de moda sostenible”, La Información 

“Milking the planet – How Big Dairy is heating up the planet and hollowing rural communities”, Shefali Sharma for IATP

“What makes a product sustainable?”, Jenna Cyprus for Earth911

 

From 7th to 11th October Wfto-Europe participated in the Fair Trade Marathon, organized by Fair Trade Advocacy Office. The event gathered participants from around Europe and representatives of WFTO from all the regions, to discuss and share news, ongoing projects, priorities and advocacy tools. The agenda included also meetings of the Trade Fair Live Fair Consortium as well as interesting workshops dealing with hot topics such as Public Procurement, HRDD, Climate Change, Fair Trade in Eastern Europe and much more.

The topic of Climate Change was recurrently discussed during the week, being a hot topic in the present historical period and deeply intertwined with Fair Trade business model. The workshop focused on the necessity to put environmental concerns at the hearth of the Fair Trade Business model, without endangering social concerns. The importance of mitigation measures and training for the most vulnerable producers was unanimously recognized. Moreover, the discussion touched upon the need for more researches that explores the Environmental footprint of Fair Trade Products. As regards Public Procurement the discussion centered around the strategies to further promote Fair Trade in public procurement in the EU, facing the difficulties in competing with “traders” that offers cheap supplies. The workshop on Fair Trade in Eastern Europe gathered members of Wfto-Europe from Poland and Czech Republic and other representatives from Romania, Greece and Bulgaria and focused on finding common strategies to promote and expand Fair Trade in this area, creating a working group of different active on common projects. Last but not least, the topic of Human Rights Due Diligence animated the discussion of the fourth workshop. The participants agreed on the necessity to support the call for a European HRDD regulation, which levels the playing field for business throughout the member states. Those are the main topics addressed during the week and actively discussed in groups, but we also had the pleasure to listen to the presentations of different studies led by participants from different organizations, dealing with Textile research, Fashion Revolution successful stories and future plans, as well as Living income and Climate Change in Coffee and Cocoa.

The week was full of ideas and enthusiasm and culminated in the Fair Trade Breakfast at the European Parliament on 10th October, hosted by MEP Bernd Lange from the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats and Chair of the International Trade Committee. Around 100 participants attended the Breakfast to discuss how the European Union could promote policies for Fair Trade and sustainable supply chains in the 2019-2024 term. Bernard Lange said “I am very happy to host the first fair trade breakfast of this term in the European Parliament. European trade policies should contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals worldwide and fair trade is an interesting tool to achieve those goals. It also helps to make people in Europe aware that what we consume here has an impact on the environment and the conditions in which goods are produced elsewhere. We as MEPs have the responsibility to make sure that human rights are protected throughout the whole supply-chain of goods that we import.”. For more information, please read the FTAO Press release here.

From 7th to 11th October Wfto-Europe participated in the Fair Trade Marathon, organized by Fair Trade Advocacy Office. The event gathered participants from around Europe and representatives of WFTO from all the regions, to discuss and share news, ongoing projects, priorities and advocacy tools. The agenda included also meetings of the Trade Fair Live Fair Consortium as well as interesting workshops dealing with hot topics such as Public Procurement, HRDD, Climate Change, Fair Trade in Eastern Europe and much more.

The topic of Climate Change was recurrently discussed during the week, being a hot topic in the present historical period and deeply intertwined with Fair Trade business model. The workshop focused on the necessity to put environmental concerns at the hearth of the Fair Trade Business model, without endangering social concerns. The importance of mitigation measures and training for the most vulnerable producers was unanimously recognized. Moreover, the discussion touched upon the need for more researches that explores the Environmental footprint of Fair Trade Products. As regards Public Procurement the discussion centered around the strategies to further promote Fair Trade in public procurement in the EU, facing the difficulties in competing with “traders” that offers cheap supplies. The workshop on Fair Trade in Eastern Europe gathered members of Wfto-Europe from Poland and Czech Republic and other representatives from Romania, Greece and Bulgaria and focused on finding common strategies to promote and expand Fair Trade in this area, creating a working group of different active on common projects. Last but not least, the topic of Human Rights Due Diligence animated the discussion of the fourth workshop. The participants agreed on the necessity to support the call for a European HRDD regulation, which levels the playing field for business throughout the member states. Those are the main topics addressed during the week and actively discussed in groups, but we also had the pleasure to listen to the presentations of different studies led by participants from different organizations, dealing with Textile research, Fashion Revolution successful stories and future plans, as well as Living income and Climate Change in Coffee and Cocoa.

The week was full of ideas and enthusiasm and culminated in the Fair Trade Breakfast at the European Parliament on 10th October, hosted by MEP Bernd Lange from the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats and Chair of the International Trade Committee. Around 100 participants attended the Breakfast to discuss how the European Union could promote policies for Fair Trade and sustainable supply chains in the 2019-2024 term. Bernard Lange said “I am very happy to host the first fair trade breakfast of this term in the European Parliament. European trade policies should contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals worldwide and fair trade is an interesting tool to achieve those goals. It also helps to make people in Europe aware that what we consume here has an impact on the environment and the conditions in which goods are produced elsewhere. We as MEPs have the responsibility to make sure that human rights are protected throughout the whole supply-chain of goods that we import.”. For more information, please read the FTAO Press release here.

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A look back at 2018

In planning ahead for 2019 we, here at WFTO-Europe, have been looking back and reflecting on our activities and achievements in 2018. As the clock has struck 2019, we would like to share some of those reflections with you.

  • For celebrating International Women’s Day in March 2018, we shared stories from our members that relates specifically how Fair Trade empowers women and promotes gender equality. If you did not catch it, you can read the stories in our small booklet available here. Do feel free to re-read the stories, too, if you were already on board back in March.
  • For World Fair Trade Day in May 2018, we asked our members to record a small presentation of themselves, their work, and what Fair Trade means to them. You can watch or re-watch the video that came out of all these recordings here.
    Together with this video, we also promoted the theme: Live Fair, one Fair Trade product at a time. This was both in celebration of the growing number of people willing to pay for ethical and sustainable products like Fair Trade – as well as to push for that number to keep growing. You can (re)visit what we have published for this theme here.
  • In June 2018 we held our Biennial Conference, whose first day was dedicated to a public event on Universalizing the Fair Trade principles for an EU sustainable – and fair – production and consumption agenda. This was co-organised with the Fair Trade Advocacy Office and was attended by members but also Civil Society Organisations outside of our membership, like BEUC-The European Consumer Organisation, Habitat Integrated Pakistan, CONCORD, Friends of the Earth Europe, among others. The following 2 days featured two workshops covering our, at WFTO-Europe, and WFTO’s key research topics for both 2018 and 2019: Living wage, gender equity and domestic Fair Trade.
  • In October 2018, we met with the other members of the Fair Trade Advocacy Network for the Fair Trade Marathon, to discuss and collaborate on defining the way forward. Among key topics raised were the new International Fair Trade Charter, the coming elections for the European Parliament in May 2019, and a study commissioned by our member Commerce Équitable France, which indicates how Fair Trade in combination with organic certification helps coffee farmers improve their average income and limit the surprisingly high externality costs from pollution, etc. of conventional coffee farming. You can find the study in both French, and soon in English, too, here.
  • Finally, we collaborated with several Trade Fair Live Fair partners and others from the Fair Trade movement on a Policy Statement for COP24 in December in Katowice, Poland.

 

Planning ahead for 2019

A key part of the Trade Fair Live Fair project for all project partners will be the elections for the European Parliament to be held in the end of May this year. For this we will be supporting our members on engaging with the candidates for MEP from their countries.

For us at WFTO-Europe specifically, this year will also be full of exciting key moments:

  • First will be the International Women’s Day on 8th March, where we will take part in the promotion of gender equality and the rights of women. In particular we will promote the recent research on the contributions of Fair Trade and Fair Trade enterprises commissioned by WFTO.
  • Then, later in March, we are planning to publish a review of our European network and particular members and how they are contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goal’s through Fair Trade and their mission-led business models.
  • For the World Fair Trade Day on 11th May we will take part in the global celebration together with WFTO, and the other regions, Africa, Asia, Latin America and Pacific Rim.
  • In end-May we expect to publish the research we have commissioned on Living Wages and Fair Payment with insights and recommendations for mainstream companies and policy-makers for adopting or supporting Fair Trade and in particular WFTO’s Fair Payment Policy.
  • Finally, we are inviting our members for a two-days event in June with workshops and advocacy training. Exceptionally, attendance will be free from registration fees this time thanks to funding from the Trade Fair, Live Fair project. The event will conclude with our Annual General Assembly.
  • In September we will take part in the International Fair Trade Summit on the 16th-19th in Lima, Peru. We hope to meet and collaborate with many of our members on this occasion. If you are interested in joining us there, you can find more information here.
  • After this, it will again be time for the October tradition of the Fair Trade Marathon organized by the FTAO in Brussels.

 

Looking forward to working with you in 2019!

WFTO-Europe team

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:

Booklet "Women & Fair Trade"

 

Please, if you like it, share it with your friends, thank you. 

#PressForProgress #GenderEqualityNow #InternationalWomensDay2018 #FairTrade

iwd2018

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.

Yours

WFTO-Europe team

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