About WFTO Europe

We put people and planet first!

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!


 “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.


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!

Member of the Month

Lanka Lamai 


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.


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.

 By Michael Sarcauga, Communications Officer of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) and Francesca Giubilo, Coordinator of WFTO-Europe


The 13th Biennial Conference of WFTO in Milan is packed with interesting workshop topics and exciting speakers, all the more reason to come to Milan in May to celebrate the World Fair Trade Week. From the 24 to 27 May, the WFTO conference will be bustling with discussions and debates on topics like market trends and opportunities for handmade products, climate change and the path forward for small producers, fair prices and fair wages, advocacy and campaigning, solidarity economy, Fair Trade success stories, fair trading the fashion industry, sustainability in the food supply chain and certification, Fair Trade labelling and strategies to use the label, WFTO Guarantee System, internal monitoring system, and lots more about Fair Trade verification.

WFTO invited expert speakers and professional practitioners from various fields in Fair Trade verification, marketing, advocacy and campaigning, as well as producers, marketers and ex/import traders who will share their experiences and success stories. Read the draft programme here and regularly check this space for the latest version.

On behalf of the WFTO Network, the presidents of WFTO Global and WFTO Europe invite the public to witness the biggest international Fair Trade celebration of the year:

“Many organisations from the Fair Trade supply chain will be attending the WFTO Biennial Conference and other events of the World Fair Trade Week. In addition, experts, activists, students and other visitors are also expected to attend the International Fair Trade Symposium, an international Fair Trade Milano City Exhibition, a Fair Trade fashion show, fair cooking events, to name only a few of the activities planned to take place during the week.” – Rudi Dalvai, WFTO President

“Europe and Italy are very proud to host the biggest event ever organised on Fair Trade. Fair Trade Organisations and world shops, academics and practitioners, cooks and volunteers, traditional and Fair Trade fashion brands – all together to show that a sustainable and fair economy is not a dream but something real across the world. What consumers ask – clean products verified against social and environmental criteria – is now available and trade justice is fully coherent with quality products. Do not miss this opportunity, come!” – Giorgio Dal Fiume, WFTO Europe President.


The conference is one of the major international activities to take place in Milan during the World Fair Trade Week event, from 23 to 31 of May where Milan will also host the Fair Trade International Symposium, international trade fair for Fair Trade and ethical products, roundtable discussion on Fair Trade and ethical finance, Fair Trade Fashion show, fair cooking night, and other activities organised by our Italian Fair Trade partners!

During the week, Milan will be declared the Global Capital of Fair Trade. Speaking to the press, Milan Mayor Giuliano Pisapia is excited to be the host of this year’s biggest international Fair Trade event. He said Fair Trade tackles issues like food sustainability, equitable compensation of producers, irresponsible farming, and environmental degradation. “Fair Trade represents a real economic revolution,” the Mayor said.

WFTO and  AGICES (Italian General Assembly of Fair Trade) co-orgnised the World Fair Trade Week in collaboration with CTM Altromercato, Botteghe del Mondo, EquoMercato, Libero Mondo, Altra Qualitá, and Chico Mendes, and with the support of the Municipality of Milan, Fondazione Cariplo and the “Food Smart Cities for Development” project with the European Union. The WFTO Conference is co-organised by WFTO Europe with the support of its members.

Visit the World Fair Trade Week and WFTO websites to learn more, and get the latest news.

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 agent

WFT Day 2015 : 9 May 

Be an Agent for Change‘ is the theme for 2015 World Fair Trade Day celebration.

Download theme rationale and ideas for WFTDay events and products.

The rationale of the theme

Be is an invitation for participation in the day and not a strident demand for attention. It is not an instruction.
The dictionary defines an agent as a person or thing that takes an active role or produces a specified effect – the doer of an action.

Agent can be an individual  – a consumer, a producer, a lobbyist, an event organiser.  An agent can also be a company, a retailer, a community, a town.
Importantly an agent can also be a product – a shawl or a bag of coffee for example – and this should be addressed in the communications as these ‘agents’ can play a critical role in raising awareness of the issues and providing a solution through the product itself.

Agent for and not of change. An important distinction – for means the agent can support change, and throughout their actions encourage change but they are not themselves the change.

Positive change in livelihoods of producers, in attitudes of consumers, in trade policies, in the approach of business and retailers.







Logo BFTF (fond blanc hte définition)

A Belgian Fair Trade platform : stronger together!

The Belgian Fair Trade Federation (BFTF) is a network of fifteen Fair Trade actors in Belgium, mainly active in Wallonia and in Brussels. Some of them are non-governmental, or non-profit organisations with small projects in the South and awareness-raising organisations in the North. Others are small companies which import, transform and/or distribute Fair Trade products. And others are beautiful shops specialised in Fair Trade and organic products. Some of these actors sell food or non-food products exclusively, others have both.

In one word BFTF members all practice different activities. They also all have one common goal: promoting Fair Trade in Belgium. In 2010 this goal led them to gather around one common project: the creation of a platform, BFTF.

Various activities to improve awareness of Fair Trade

BFTF was founded to promote Fair Trade in Belgium but also to give the opportunity to its members to gather and to empower their activities. Over the years BFTF has thus become the interlocutor representing the sector in Belgium. Today we have many different activities going from services to our members to awareness-raising of Belgian citizens.

image smaller

Trainings are organised for our members. We also organise gatherings to simply bring together our members and to foster exchanges about their different practices. Sometimes these gatherings lead to common projects. Last year, for instance, all together we made a small leaflet to illustrate Fair Trade’s qualities, diversity and values. This leaflet was handed out to over 10.000 persons. Through this action, we expected to raise awareness and to invite people to consider the possibility of consuming differently and respectfully for the producers and the environment.

This project leads us to the second part of activity: the promotion of Fair Trade to Belgian citizens through different means: information, communication, awareness-raising… We invite citizens to more awareness about unfair practices and to act and go for Fair Trade.


New Challenges for 2015

Founded in 2009, we will celebrate our fifth anniversary in October. A good moment to launch new challenges. Furthermore, Fair Trade has evolved these last years. In fact we see more and more European fair initiatives. Nowadays, in our countries, as in every other, producers are victims of the existing agricultural model. They also need to be given a fair price for their work and their products. Therefore, in 2015, BFTF will open itself to new members, called the “local fair trade actors”.

As new member of WFTO, we hope we’ll have the opportunity to meet you, to get to know your activity and to imagine possible future collaboration with you!



Name: Belgian Fair Trade Federation
Head Office: Brussels, Belgium
Year of foundation: 2010
Website: www.bftf.be


Fair Monkey

Fair Monkey Logga_CMYKFair Monkey is a cooperative economic association with an aim to secure better living conditions for mainly women producers from small co-operatives in Guatemala, Nepal and South Africa. Established 2006 in Sweden, we import and sell Fair Trade products to about 90 shops in Sweden and in some neighboring countries.  A cooperative economic association is ideal, with its democratic approach to ownership, and it makes perfect sense when cooperating with our artisans and producers, since they often are organized in the same way. The products include a range of beautiful and contemporary jewellery and accessories which are all handmade and purchased directly from our producers and artisans. With this, opportunities are created for these amazing artisans to improve living conditions for themselves and their families with the steady income that the handicraft gives, while they proudly share their craftsmanship with the world. To build common trading conditions and simultaneously increase the producers’ craft-pride and self-esteem is an important part of our work.

Fair Monkey places great emphasis on knowledge about product development and quality assurance, trying to find products with a clear view of Maya culture, design and technology, (the backstrap loom in particular). This is especially important for maintaining traditional knowledge and traditions of craftsmanship, which otherwise could easily disappear when it’s not rsz_sharing_information_with_asociacíon_maya_de_desarrollogenerating any income for the work done. Trade is a great way to spread knowledge about the artisans living conditions and highlight the importance of Fair Trade. Part of Fair Monkeys operations, except for the import and wholesales, is giving lectures about the producer’s situation, and what Fair Trade in reality has meant to them.    




Name: Fair Monkey
Head Office: Laholm, Sweden
Year of foundation: 2006
Website: www.fairmonkey.se