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.

International Fair Trade Towns Conference in
Saarbrücken from the 14th/15th to 17th of September 2017

Stakeholders from around the globe in Saarbrücken
In keeping with the motto “Fair Trade across generations”, stakeholders from numerous countries will come together this September to discuss the latest developments in fair trade as well as their experiences and ideas concerning the Fair Trade Towns Campaign. The conference will be held in the cross-border region QuattroPole and will therefore also be taking place in Luxembourg and in France. As well as workshops for networking purposes on a European level and for enhancing project partnerships in the global South, there will be organised work groups on offer, concerned with the sustainable development goals of the United Nations and with various aspects of fair trade. Further topics will include innovations in social media, city marketing and positive collaboration between Fair Trade towns, schools as universities. All information about the conference and details about signing up can be found on the conference website www.quattrofair.org.

 

Fair Trade-Towns around the world
The Fair Trade Towns Campaign is a unique global movement in 30 countries. Approximately 2000 towns and cities around the world carry the Fair Trade Town title including London, Brussels, Rome, Saarbrücken, San Francisco and Copenhagen. Great Britain is considered the pioneer of the campaign as it is where the movement began in the year 2000 and it has since become a true model for success. In Germany, more than 480 communities carry the Fair Trade Town title. Fair Trade Towns promote fair trade on a community level and are the result of a successful network of individuals from civil society, politics and economy who take a stand for fair trade in their homes.

 

The Capital of Fair Trade

The host city of this year’s event, Saarbrücken, holds the title Capital of Fair Trade 2015. This award is given as part of the competition “Capital of Fair Trade” organised by the Service Agency Communities in One World. This year’s award winners will be selected prior to the International Fair Trade Towns Conference on the 14th of September 2017. As well as recognising the engagement demonstrated by the participating communities, this year’s competition will award 200,000 Euros split across five winning communities. In addition, there will be a further five prizes in the value of 10,000 Euros awarded to selected outstanding individual projects. More details can be found at http://www.faire-hauptstadt.de

 

The conference is organised by the Fairtrade Initiative Saarbrücken (FIS, http://www.faires-saarbruecken.de) and the QuattroFair partner organisations in Luxembourg, Metz and Trier. The conference will take place in cooperation with the International Fair Trade Towns Steering Committee, Fairtrade International and the World Fair Trade Organization.

 

Location:
14th September 2017: Daytime programme in the congress hall in Saarbrücken, Hafenstraße 12 66111 Saarbrücken as well as further locations in Saarbrücken.
Further information: http://www.faire-hauptstadt.de
Press contact: Michael Marwede, michael.marwede@engagement-global.de, Tel. +49 22820717-332
15th September 2017 – 17th September 2017: University of Saarland – Campus Stuhlsatzenhausweg 10, 66123 Saarbrücken. On the university campus and in Saarbrücken (D), Metz (F) and Luxembourg (L) and Trier (D).
Further information: http://www.quattrofair.org
ORGA-Team- PR and Public Relations of the Fairtrade Initiative Saarbrücken:
Diana Rode, d.rode@faires-saarland.de, Mobil: 0176 80218865
Heike Zimmermann, heikemariazimmermann@t-online.de, Mobil: +49 151 15695341

 

You can download the first press release at the following links: English, French, GermanSpanish

And the second at these: English, French, German, Spanish

 

Please get in contact with communication@wfto-europe.org if you have any events you would like to see included!

 

In this Issue:

Feedback on WFTO-Europe AGM

WFTO-E Annual Topic: Activities on Migration by EZA Fairer Handel GmbH

EP Conference: ‘Promoting sustainable value chains by linking SMEs to Fair Trade producers in the Global South’

WFTO-Europe at the EDDs: Linking Fair Trade to the Sustainable Development Goals

Biennial Conference in Delhi Updates

International Fair Trade Towns Conference 2017

Update on WFTO-Europe membership and GS status

News from the Region

News from the Board

Member in the Spotlight

Fair Trade Related News, Publications & Other tools

 

Agenda:

14th-17th September:
International Fair Trade Towns Conference 2017, Saarbrücken, Germany

2nd-3rd October:
Fair Trade Forum, Uppsala, Sweden

9th-13th November:
WFTO Biennial Conference, New Delhi, India

 

Let us know about your events!

 

European FairTrade Shuttle!

 

WFTO Europe @ home

 

Feedback on WFTO-Europe AGM

Board meeting June

Dear WFTO-Europe members,

On behalf of WFTO-Europe Board of Directors and staff, I would like to thank once more the people and members’ organisations who made our first ONLINE Annual General Meeting (AGM) a real success.

As stated in the letter sent to all of you by our President (Giorgio Dal Fiume), “we were glad to see that we do not only reach the needed quorum to validate our AGM, but – much more relevant – we got an attentive participation of the people beyond the display, who raised up several questions and comments. We were delighted to feel a very warm, friendly and trustful atmosphere during the meeting, which is for us the most relevant ingredient to feed the relationship between the WFTO-Europe Board and its members, as well as the most important goal to achieve”.

The minutes of the AGM, which was held on the 21st of June 2017 via GoToMeeting (an online platform) are accessible to all the members in the Internal “members section” of the WFTO-Europe website. (Should you have any problems to log in, please send an email to communication[at]wfto-europe.org)

I also would like to take this opportunity to remind you the Extraordinary AGM will take place in New Delhi on the 12 of November 2017, during the WFTO Biennial Conference. Five new Board members will be appointed at that time. Hence, I do encourage you to register as soon as possible to the Conference in Delhi as well as to send to administration[at]wfto-europe.org your candidature if you are interested in taking over the role of Board member within our organisation.

Please also note that WFTO-Europe Annual Report 2016-2017 is officially on and accessible to everyone.

I wish you a wonderful summer break.

Best regards,

Francesca Giubilo

Regional Coordinator

 

WFTO-E Annual Topic: Activities on Migration by EZA Fairer Handel GmbH

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In the last issue of our newsletter, we shared the results from our survey on how members relate Fair Trade to the Annual Topic of Migration. The results showed that some members already work on the topic. That is why we would like to dedicate this session on our Newsletter to present you their activities, which are great examples on how Fair Trade relates to Migration.

One strong case on this, is the activities of our member EZA Fairer Handel GmbH in Austria. They have been engaged in two main actions on migration: a “Drop Earring Not Bombs” project as well as a Cooperation and Producer Tour with representatives from Fair Trade Lebanon for the World Fair Trade Day (WFTDay).

The Drop Earring Not Bombs” project aims at employing Syrian refugees in Turkey to produce earrings. These are sold as handmade jewellery that tell unique stories and make a meaningful impact on the lives of refugees who do not have the ability to work in Turkey. EZA Fairer Handel GmbH has been supporting the initiative. They purchased an order of 2000 earrings to sell in the Austrian world shops. They also produced communication material to raise awareness about the project.

The Cooperation and Producer Tour with representatives from Fair Trade Lebanon for WFTDay had three aims. Firstly, to inform the general public about the situation concerning refugees in Lebanon. Secondly, to raise awareness about the engagement of FT Lebanon to prevent migration within their country by providing people in the rural area income. This was made possible by growing and processing traditional Lebanese products such as those imported by EZA Fairer Handel GmbH. Furthermore, by training Syrian women on how to process food as an income generating activity especially after their return to Syria. Thirdly, to promote the products made by the cooperative Fourzol (and other FT Lebanon products) as well as the work of the cooperative Fourzol.

The activities to reach these aims focused on inviting representatives to come to Austria for 8 days where EZA Fairer Handel GmbH organized several public events and interviews with the press. EZA Fairer Handel GmbH also promoted the products on FT Lebanon around WFTDay.

The inspirational work of EZA Fairer Handel GmbH shows Migration is another of the many issues that can be addressed with Fair Trade.

 

 

Europe in a nutshell

 

EP Conference: ‘Promoting sustainable value chains by linking SMEs to Fair Trade producers in the Global South’

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On the 10th of May 2017, WFTO-Europe and other actors from our network had the pleasure to attend an event at the European Parliament (EP) organized by the Fair Trade Advocacy Office. The event addressed the potential to link Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to Fair Trade producers in the South for the enhancement of sustainable value chains.

The event was hosted by MEP Bernd Lange, Chair of the EP Committee on International Trade, and MEP Dita Charanzová, Vice-Chair of the EP Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

The first part of the programme consisted of a Workshop “Linking Fair Trade producers to small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): existing initiatives and challenges” presenting different case studies. For example, Ms. Jane Katahwire Mbabazi, Vice President of the Ankole Coffee Producers Cooperative Limited (ACPCU) came all the way from Uganda to present their work and societal impact as a Fair Trade coffee producer. Also WFTO-Europe’s member  Equo Garantito, represented by its General Manager Ms. Eleonora Dal Zotto together with Ms Silvia Fontana, Marketing Manager at GALA Cosmetici, had the chance to present how an Italian SME specialised in natural cosmetics can cooperate with a Fair Trade Organisation.

The second part was an exciting panel discussion and open debate on how the EU can improve its support to partnerships between Fair Trade producers and SMEs. One of the points made was that Fair Trade should not merely be a niche market but that it should be scaled up to be the general market.

The event ended with a Fair Trade cocktail at the European Parliament Salons. This part was opened with speeches from WFTO Chief Executive Natalia Leal and Fair Trade International Chief Executive Officer Dario Soto. Both speakers stressed that Fair Trade is not just a label, it is also a concept. The label is a tool to ensure this.

Download the conference report here.

 

WFTO-Europe at the EDDs: Linking Fair Trade to the Sustainable Development Goals

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In the beginning of June, WFTO-Europe participated in the European Development Days. Here, we shared a stand with Fair Trade Advocacy Office and Fair Trade International promoting Fair Trade as the way to Sustainable Development. Furthermore, we attended sessions together with some of the most important decision makers and advocates in the world: Presidents (from Norway, Ghana, Senegal, Bolivia and other countries), UN and EU representatives, NGO representatives, young leaders, entrepreneurs, CEOs and professors.

The agenda focused greatly on the involvement of the private sector and SMEs to achieve the Sustainable development Goals. Several sessions were on exactly this topic discussing how entrepreneurship in developing countries is one the ways to fight poverty and how sustainable business is the way to fight climate change.

Is was a true inspiration for the WFTO-Europe team to experience this market-based approach to development as it is in strong alignment with the Fair Trade Principles. The Fair Trade movement aims to fight poverty by creating opportunities to disadvantaged producers linking SDG 1 with Fair Trade Principle 1. Therefore, sessions focusing on creating economic development through agriculture were directly linked to our work in the Fair Trade Movement.

Other sessions focused on the power of female entrepreneurs in developing countries and the challenges they face with being women. These women do not only contribute to the achievement of SDG 1 and Fair Trade Principle 1, they also create gender equality and reduce discrimination achieving SDG 5 and Fair Trade Principle 6. At WFTO, we have recognized the huge potential of working women which let to our global campaign on International Women´s Day 2017 shedding lights on the unfair disadvantages women face in the workplace.

The agenda even included sessions specifically focusing on issues in the fashion industry and how to achieve the SDGs through ethical fashion. Sessions included representatives from Vivienne Westwood, Ethical Fashion Initiative, Danish Fashion Institute and Milano Fashion Institute. Here, we learned that ethical fashion is not only a trend, it is a new business model with an annual billion dollar potential that the industry must embrace, not only for profitable reasons but also to achieve sustainable development.

All in all, the European Development Days demonstrated that our “Trade Not Aid” approach is a strong way to create sustainable development emphasizing that the SDGs cannot be done without having everyone on board – we need the private sector as well as citizens.

This is a great confirmation of how important our network is and gives us the motivation to keep working for Sustainable Development through Fair Trade.

 

 

WFTO around the World

 

Biennial Conference in Delhi Updates

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Update 1: Mohammed Islam Design Awards: Call for entries 

Just a quick reminder that WFTO is accepting entries for the 9th Mohammed Islam Design awards. Deadline is 30 October 2017.  You may choose to submit up to one entry for each of the five categories:

  1. Best  new home ware product (including household textiles)
  2. Best new  fashion accessory (which may include jewellery)
  3. Best new  product made of recycled materials
  4. Best new consumer food or beverage packaging
  5. Best new Christmas decoration

Show your amazing products!

Kindly read the instructions first before submitting entries. Read here.
Please use the online form to submit entries, click here.

 

Update 2: Member’s registration fee does not apply to suspended members

Suspended members are not eligible to register for the WFTO Conference in Delhi using the discounted member’s registration rate. For queries on the Guarantee System requirements, contact membership@wfto.com; for queries about the WFTO fee payment, contact administration@wfto.com. For queries on the Delhi conference, please contact delhi2017@wfto.com.

 

Update 3: Hotel accommodation: no more single rooms available

More than 60% of the rooms available at the Crowne Plaza for the conference period (between 9 to 13 November 2017) have already been booked. In addition, the hotel venue has run out of single rooms allocated to the WFTO Conference. There is a waiting list, in case a single room becomes available, but there is no guarantee. If you want to be included in the list, please contact delhi2017@wfto.com.

 

Update 4: WFTO-Europe AGM will take place on the 12th of November in New Delhi.

 

Read more on the conference here.

 

International Fair Trade Towns Conference 2017

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The 11th International Fair Trade Towns Conference will be held on the 14-17th September in Saarbrucken, Germany. There are until now almost 2000 Fair Trade Towns in 31 countries on five continents, a meaningful numbers that continues to grow. This is something to celebrate in September!

With the main site in Germany, the conference will be held in four cities in three European countries: Luxembourg City in Luxemburg, Metz in France as well as Saarbrücken and Trier in Germany. This will be made in corporation with the three national Fair Trade Towns campaigns.

Fair Trade Across Generation

This year, the conference theme will be ‘Fair Trade Across Generations’ emphasizing on how the Fair Trade movement reaches all generations and initiates partnerships on a local, regional and international level. Furthermore, Fair Trade’s commitment to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals is critical for a worthy future for our next generations.

WFTO will be among the panelists to raise awareness of our Guarantee System and label.

Read more about the conference here and register here.

 

The WFTO Guarantee System

 

Update on WFTO-Europe membership and GS status

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Dear members,

We are proud to inform you that right now around 35 Organizations in our network successfully passed through the WFTO Guarantee System while the others are at different steps of the process. At the regional level, WFTO-Europe is processing 5 monitoring applications while we are managing 5 new membership requests.

As agreed in the WFTO-Europe AGM in 2015, WFTO-Europe has finalised and made available to European members the list of FT unverified suppliers so as to foster collaboration and synergy amongst the members. 

News from the Region

WFTO-Europe attended the Belgian Fair Trade Federation’s Business Day together with Fair Trade Advocacy Office and Fair Trade Belgium. Here, Francesca Giubilo presented about the Guarantee System and value of our network.

WFTO-Europe is pleased to welcome its new provisional members: Esgii, Fair-Netz (Netzwerk regionaler Fair-Handelszentren e.V.), Scottish Fair Trade Forum, Mekhada, Ojoba Collective, Dece Clothing, Dassie Decor  and Ulandsforeningen Svalerne.

We are also happy to have many new guaranteed members: Island Spirit, Sackeus, AlchemiA VOF, OXFAM Magasins du Monde, Fair Monkey AB, Amandla, Simbolica, dwp eG, Elecosy and Tilingo Nepra VOF.

 

News from the Board

The last board meeting was held on the 6th of July in Brussels. Please log in here if you want to access all the Board Meetings held by WFTO-Europe.  The next one is planned to take place on 26th of July, via Skype.

 

 

Member in the Spotlight: Les Jardins de Gaïa

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It was in 1994 that Arlette Rohmer set up Les Jardins de Gaïa, guided by her passion for tea, organic farming and biodynamics, and so began a personal adventure filled with wonderful encounters in the four corners of the world.

These encounters, the result of a genuine commitment, have resulted in lasting relationships with producers, who for the most part have become friends and have allowed the Alsace-based company to gradually build up an exceptional range of organic and fair-trade teas and herbal teas.

Les  Jardins de Gaïa is aimed both at tea novices and connoisseurs, with a diversity which is unique in the market, ranging from the classics to the rarest and most precious leaves!

Whether the teas are plain or flavoured, white, green, oolong, black, rooibos or herbal, what they have in common is that they are organic, for the most part fair-trade and increasingly biodynamic.

Jardins de Gaïa are now leaders in the French market for organic and fair-trade teas and herbal teas and are developing numerous projects abroad.

The company’s well-known speciality: original, sparkling and poetic “in-house recipes” created and produced in Alsace – are hand-made at the production site, or by local eSATS (assistance and service centres helping disabled people into work). Because the company works with raw materials which come, for the most part, from faraway countries, one of its primary objectives is to support the local economy and local jobs.

Another sign of its commitment, the “Militant Teas and Rooibos” range is one of its flagship lines and emblematic of the brand. Les Jardins de Gaïa gives a share of the profits from the sale of these products to its favourite charities for which these recipes were created. Whether it’s helping to set up young farmers, providing training courses for the protection of bees, helping to set up micro-enterprises or giving seeds to disadvantaged farmers -every tube or packet sold gives them a bit more support.

At the same time, a partnership committee works at the heart of the company. Every year it works to support various cultural and associative causes, for the benefit of children – or more generally for mankind and the planet, though donations or patronage.

Finally, the Tea House, on the Les Jardins de Gaïa premises, is dedicated to the ancestral art of preparing and drinking tea. At the crossroads between East and West, open to the world and to tea, it was designed to promote contemplation among visitors. There are exhibitions of photos, paintings, ceramics, etc., and traditional Chinese and Japanese tea ceremonies are regularly organised in the tea pavilion.

In this calm and restful place, the visitor has the opportunity to taste delicious blends, some of which are unique, and bring the magic home by exploring the range available in the shop. Truly an exotic and Zen journey in the heart of Alsace!

See their website here.

 

FAIR TRADE RELATED NEWS, PUBLICATIONS AND OTHER TOOLS

General news on Fair Trade:

About/From the Network:

 

 

 

U-landsU-landsforeningen Svalerne Logoforeningen Svalerne in Aarhus was founded in 1973. The national association – The Swallows in Denmark – was founded in 1963. In the first twenty years of our existence the national association send volunteers to Bangladesh and India for helping poor people. Today we support grass root organizations in those countries.

Parallel to this U-landsforeningen Svalerne in Aarhus has been involved with Fair Trade producers in developing countries. One of our founders was volunteer in Bangladesh where she started a handicraft project for women (later handed over to CORR-the Jute Works) – that’s how we got involved in Fair Trade. The Fair Trade Gruppen activity started as one of several workgroups under U-landsforeningen Svalerne in Aarhus. We started in the 70s with importing goods from CORR-The Jute Works in Bangladesh. The foundation is to practice “Fair Trade”. The main part of the import is still from Bangladesh but also from Chile and other countries.

The overshadowing objective is to help in fighting suffering and injustice in the world. We do import and sell mainly handicrafts from developing countries. The import is from producer groups that are active in fighting poverty, suppression and underdevelopment. The trade is on terms that secure the producers a fair pay for their labor. It is the goal to promote the alternative trade with goods from developing countries. Any surplus from this trade is used to promote this form of trading.

Click here to go to their website!

 

The Scottish Fair Trade Forum was established in 2007 by a group of Fair Trade campaigners, Scotland-based non-governmental organisations and civic society organisations and some Fair Trade businesses supported by the then Scottish Executive, to promote the cause of Fair Trade in Scotland and, in particular, help secure Fair Trade Nation Status for Scotland.

The Scottish Fair Trade Forum seeks to work to help make Scotland a nation that is a global leader in challenging global poverty and recognises the dignity and rights of producers through a commitment to fairness in international trading.

Scotland achieved Fair Trade Nation status in February 2013 and was successfully reassessed in March 2017. Scotland was the second nation after Wales to achieve this status. While we have much to celebrate, our work must continue to build on our achievements to embed the values of Fair Trade in all aspects of Scottish society.

As an independent body with membership open to any individual or organisation interested in meaningfully promoting Fair Trade in Scotland, we aim for a membership base that reflects the diversity of Scottish society – an essential part of being a Fair Trade Nation.

Click here to see their website or follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

 

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It is time to bring another member in the spotlight. This time, it falls simultaneously to Fashion Revolution Week as the perfect occasion for us to showcase our member from Denmark, Elvang, who “creates textiles with integrity”:

 

A lot has changed since Lasse and Tina Elvang brought back Peruvian alpaca blankets from their backpacking trip to Peru in 2002. They fell in love with the beauty, softness and luxury of the alpaca textiles that  they found. But they were also overwhelmed by the poverty they experienced around them. They decided to find a unique way to unite a Scandinavian design approach with the pure elegance of the alpaca yarn that would benefit the region in Peru they had visited.

Driven by the knowledge gained from working with alpaca came the passion for creating other home textiles with carefully selected producers using the finest fibres available.

Elvang strive to create designs that stand the test of time always using the most durable yarn qualities that can withstand everyday use. The current collection includes textiles for your kitchen, table and bath while constantly creating a new look in alpaca cushions and throws as well as luxury scarves.

But perhaps what Elvang are most proud of is what have been done for the region of Peru. Elvang has created more than 200 fulltime jobs and educational programmes with their suppliers that have benefited the shepherds, home weavers, knitters and their families. All whilst sustaining an ecological balance and caring for the animals that create the very fibre they take pride in offering to you.

And that’s why Elvang Denmark says: “we create textiles with integrity”.

The aim is to be able to always look the customers in the eyes. Elvang´s clients are very quality conscious and they choose products where design – quality and material all come together. Positive feedback from clients, who have an Elvang product, which they bought 10 years ago and the product still  looks new, is very rewarding.

Today, Elvang operate worldwide, among others on the Scandinavian markets, Germany, France, Holland, The States, Japan and Australia and participate in various trade fairs around Europe. This season they met customers from all over the world at Ambiente in Germany and at Maison & Objet in France. To meet clients and to present new designs is always very exciting for Elvang.

Textiles is Elvang´s universe and they continually extend the product range with focus on products made of only the best possible quality.

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Read more about Elvang on their website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Learn more about why Elvang’s work is so important for society and its relation to Fashion Revolution here.

 

 

In this Issue:

WFTO-Europe next Annual General Meeting – 21st of June online

Fair Trade and migration: Where is the link?

Fashion Revolution Week 2017: Commemorating the Victims of the Rana Plaza Tragedy

World Fair Trade Day 2017: Join our Agents for Change Campaign

Update on WFTO-Europe membership and GS status

News from the Region

News from the Board

Member in the Spotlight

And more!

 

Agenda:

 

27th April:

Re-inventing European NGO networks, Brussels, Belgium

10th May:

European Parliament Conference ‘Promoting sustainable value chains by linking SMEs to Fair Trade producers in the Global South’, Brussels, Belgium

12th May:
WFTO-Europe’s celebration of World Fair Trade Day, Brussels, Belgium

13th May:
World Fair Trade Day, Worldwide

8th – 9th June:
STEM Gender Equality Congress (SGEC), Berlin, Germany

9th – 11th June:
European Solidarity Economy Congress, Athens, Greece

7th – 8th June:

European Development Days, Brussels, Belgium

14th-16th September:

Fair Trade Towns International Conference

9th-13th November :

WFTO Biennial Conference, New Delhi, India

 

Let us know about your events!

 

European FairTrade Shuttle!

 

WFTO Europe @ home

 

WFTO-Europe next Annual General Meeting – 21st of June online

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Dear European members,

As previously communicated to you by email, this is a crucial year for the future governance of WFTO-Europe, since we are going to recruit 4 new board members by the end of the year.

 

Moreover, our General Meeting will be double this year and split into due key moments:

  • 21st of June 2017 (online meeting from 3 to 5 pm; Brussels time). Due to our legal requirements to approve some financial documents (Accounts 2016/Budget 2018,…) in the first 6 months of the year, we are organising for the first time ever an online AGM in June dedicated mainly to the approval of these documents. We will do it via “gotomeeting” platform. You will only need to ensure to have a good connection at that time and to follow our “gotomeeting” instructions to attend the meeting. As you are aware your participation is fundamental to ensure the quorum and consequently the validity of the AGM. Therefore please pencil this date on your diary and free this time to meet us virtually.
  • 13th of November 2017 (Physical meeting, India). During the WFTO Global Conference in Delhi we will have a physical meeting to discuss the implementation of the action plan as well as to elect the 4 new Board of Directors

The main aim of having this double meeting is to enable us to comply with our legal requirements while keeping the meeting in Delhi as the main physical meeting. This last one will be focused on the presentation of the candidates and the final approval of the new Directors, in order to guarantee the secret ballot on the voting procedures as well as to give members more time to think about their eventual candidatures.

As you may be aware, this year 3 out of 7 Board members will end their mandate and 1 will be replaced following his decision to step down. 4 new Directors of the Board will be then elected. Here below a recap of our Board members.

 

Board of Directors Standing for election
Giorgio Dal Fiume (President) End of his 2nd and last mandate
Sophie Tack End of her 2nd and last mandate
Emilie Durochat Still in the Board of Directors
Bertil Högberg Resignation
Marijke Visser End of her 2nd and last mandate
Gabriella D’Amico Still in the Board of Directors
Tadeusz Makulski (Secretary and Treasurer ad interim) Still in the Board of Directors

 

Please find here the official invitation and rules to candidate yourself as Board members. Should you want to have more information about the role of the Directors, please do not hesitate to contact Francesca Giubilo at coordination@wfto-europe.org, or Giorgio Dal Fiume (giorgio.dalfiume@altromercato.it).

Looking forward to hearing from you,

WFTO-Europe staff

 

Fair Trade & Migration: Where is the link?

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This year, WFTO-Europe introduced an Annual Topic for the first time ever. The topic of 2017 was chosen to be “Fair Trade & Migration”. In connection to this, WFTO-Europe conducted a study on WFTO-Europe members’ perception of the topic to assess whether a link exists between these two issues. 20 organizations from the network participated.

Overall, the study showed a common belief that Fair Trade and migration are connected. When asked if Fair Trade has something to deal with migration, 70% of the participants agreed, 30 % partially agreed, and no one disagreed. Participants explained this link with the better economic and social conditions and opportunities in the South provided by Fair Trade, particularly in the rural areas, which discourages migration to the North as well as to the cities in the South. All participants also agreed at certain levels that Fair Trade can prevent economic migration, and it was found that the majority would support WFTO activities on the issue.

Nonetheless, although most participants linked the topic to prevention of migration through the creation of economic opportunities, the study also revealed that other migration-related issues can be solved through Fair Trade, specifically in those cases where people must flee from war. The study shed lights on the work WFTO members currently have revolved around refugees. Some members already work with migrant people and have implemented activities targeting migrants. For example, members hire migrants, target migrant countries, make donations to refugee camps and support organizations or campaigns focusing on the area.

A concrete example is the ARGE Weltläden who launched a 3-year campaign in 2016, focusing on raising awareness on migration issues and the role of Fair Trade. Moreover, EZA Fairer Handel GmbH got into a partnership with a Fair Trade partner from Thailand, Green Net, who donated rice which EZA distributed to refugees in Austria through World Shops. EZA also supported the Drop Earrings Not Bombs project, which initiates a handmade earring production hiring Syrian refugees. EZA took part of the production of the Austrian line and sold their earrings in their World Shops.

These cases show that Fair Trade indeed is linked to the issue of migration. Although Fair Trade ultimate aim is not to solve migration, Fair trade practices, focused on helping those living in the South but also supporting the marginalized people in the North, have strong consequences on migration.

In these critical times, our network’s help is needed more than ever. This emphasizes on the relevance and need for involvement on our Annual Topic, which WFTO-Europe will continue to work on within this year.

 

Europe in a nutshell

 

Fashion Revolution Week 2017: Commemorating the Victims of the Rana Plaza Tragedy

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Yesterday, the 24th of April, is the Fashion Revolution Day which marks the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster. A factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh collapsed and killed 1,138 people due to unsafe production facilities. The factory hosted clothing productions of popular fast fashion brands, and its collapse is a main reference to criticism of the fashion industry.

The fashion industry is one of the most criticized for executing unethical business practices being the second most polluting industry worldwide and with heavy human rights violations in the production stage such as those committed at the tragedy at Rana Plaza. Implementing a sustainable textile supply chain – transparent and traceable, ensuring protection of the people and the planet – remains a challenge due to multiple factors. Among others, our choices to go for fast fashion brands.

As stated in the Fashion Revolution report “Fashion Revolution Fanzine #001 Money Fashion Power”:

“Factories around the world are being pushed to deliver ever-larger quantities of clothing faster and cheaper. As a result, factories routinely make employees work extra hours, often without overtime pay or other benefits in return. The pressure on factories to deliver is so intense that workers are often subjected to intimidation, harassment, coercion, pain and injury and are even restricted from taking short breaks to the toilet. The people who make our clothes cannot be paid fairly through this process. This is the grim reality it takes to deliver our desire for ‘choice’ when we’re out shopping.”

Fashion Revolution is at the forefront of pushing the industry for a switch that eliminates these critical issues. After the disaster in 2013, a revolution was formed when this global movement was founded through a civil society organization based in the UK. The organization advocates on the topic with a yearly Fashion Revolution Week, starting on the Rana Plaza Tragedy anniversary day, as a part of their global “Who Made My Clothes” Campaign. This week highlights the topic of traceability and transparency in the textile supply chain with the involvement of consumers and actors from the industry. Via social media, organizations will ask companies “Who made my clothes?” whilst producers will answer “I made your clothes”.

The campaign sends out a clear message to adopt a responsible consumption and embrace more ethical business practices.

WFTO-Europe together with WFTO is supporting Fashion Revolution to promote the Fair Trade Principles that too often are violated in the textile supply chain and to bring Fair Trade Fashion forward. We encourage the entire network to do the same.

This is our time to show to the fashion industry as well as to public institutions and international bodies that immediate actions must be taken to solve these appalling abuses.

Read the campaign’s official site and join the revolution here.

 

WFTO around the World

 

WFTDay 2017: Join our “Agents for Change” CampaignBannerWFTD

World Fair Trade Day is getting close, and at WFTO-Europe, we are slowly getting ready to celebrate this special day. This year is the third year of WFTO’s Agent For Change Campaign, and once again we are asking people to support our campaign and to form a human chain to symbolize solidarity.

Up to the day and on the day itself, we will support WFTO’s social media campaign promoting World Fair Trade Day with the focus on how everyone can be an agent for change and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. WFTO-Europe will use the occasion to show how Fair Trade is linked with the Sustainable Development goals, and how consumers can be agents for change by choosing Fair Trade products as well as how our members are agents for change.

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WFTO-Europe will focus its activity around this by organizing an event where all Fair Trade actors in Belgium, member of WFTO and not will be invited to celebrate the World Fair Trade Day and to create a human chain. The event will take place in Brussels on the 12th of May, and during the event, we will create materials to share on our social media on the World Fair Trade Day.

To get more outreach, we strongly encourage participation from all of our members 1-2 weeks up to the special day. Please join our social media campaign by sharing our posts and sharing material with us. Make a post explaining why you are an agent for change or how consumers are agents for change when choosing your products. Please do share this with us so we can spread it on our social media. You can also take photos of your organization’s staff forming a human chain as well as photos with the Agents For Change sign. Please share them with us and on your own social media platforms. Remember to use the hashtags #FairTradeDay and #AgentForChange. Find materials and ideas for the message in the campaign brief from WFTO here.

Follow any updates on the event on our event page here.

 

9-13 November 2017: WFTO Global Biennial Conference – pencil it in your diary!

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The 14th WFTO Biennial Conference will take place on the 9th-13th November 2017 in New Delhi, India. This WFTO Conference is a key moment to gather all Fair Trade actors alongside the supply chain and to shape the future of our big network.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Fair Trade, a Path to Sustainable Development”. This occasion will be used to address the topic of the 10 Fair Trade Principles in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals. Speakers include Fair Trade experts from the public and corporate sector who will provide valuable discussion points for the debate on how Fair Trade achieves sustainable development. One confirmed speaker is Nicolette Naumann, Vice-President of Messe Frankfurt/Ambiente.

This year, participants will also have the chance to join a track ‘Marketing and Quality Assurance’ at the 2017 Organic World Congress (OWC) which runs at the same time and place. Here, “Fair Trade meet organic” linking organic to Fair Trade as a way to an environmental friendly production for knowledge sharing, networking and synergy building.

This is a unique opportunity to engage with actors from the industry at a global level and expand knowledge and ideas on how to get Fair Trade at the forefront of trade and ensure sustainable development through trade. It is a chance to learn from the best and be apart of decision making within the Fair Trade movement.

NOTE!: Members that lack means to attend can apply for scholarships from WFTO. Download guidelines here and submit your application through the online form here. The deadline is the 30th of April.

Read more on the conference here.

 

The WFTO Guarantee System

 

Update on WFTO-Europe membership and GS status

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Dear members,

We are proud to inform you that right now around 50 Organizations successfully passed through the WFTO Guarantee System while the others are at different steps of the process. At the regional level, WFTO-Europe is processing 4 monitoring applications while we are managing 4 new membership requests.

As agreed in the WFTO-Europe AGM in 2015, WFTO-Europe has finalised and made available to European members the list of FT unverified suppliers so as to foster collaboration and synergy amongst the members. 

News from the Region

WFTO-Europe is pleased to welcome its new members: Siyabonga and Landelijke Vereniging van Wereldwinkels (DAWS).

On the 21st of April, WFTO-Europe attended the Journée de partenaires organised by Oxfam in Brussels. This was a great and inspiring opportunity to hear the stories from 3 partners from the Mali, India and Paraguay and meet the people who constantly work on a voluntarily basis to make the change happen!

 

 

News from the Board

The last board meeting was held on the 4th of April via Skype. Please log in here if you want to access all the Board Meetings held by WFTO-Europe.  The next one is planned to take place on 28th of April, via Skype.

 

 

Member in the Spotlight: Elvang – Textiles with Integrity

 

logo_grey_textonlyA lot has changed since Lasse and Tina Elvang brought back Peruvian alpaca blankets from their backpacking trip to Peru in 2002. They fell in love with the beauty, softness and luxury of the alpaca textiles that  they found. But they were also overwhelmed by the poverty they experienced around them. They decided to find a unique way to unite a Scandinavian design approach with the pure elegance of the alpaca yarn that would benefit the region in Peru they had visited.

Driven by the knowledge gained from working with alpaca came the passion for creating other home textiles with carefully selected producers using the finest fibres available.

Elvang strive to create designs that stand the test of time always using the most durable yarn qualities that can withstand everyday use. The current collection includes textiles for your kitchen, table and bath while constantly creating a new look in alpaca cushions and throws as well as luxury scarves.

But perhaps what Elvang are most proud of is what have been done for the region of Peru. Elvang has created more than 200 fulltime jobs and educational programmes with their suppliers that have benefited the shepherds, home weavers, knitters and their families. All whilst sustaining an ecological balance and caring for the animals that create the very fibre they take pride in offering to you.

And that’s why Elvang Denmark says: “we create textiles with integrity”.

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The aim is to be able to always look the customers in the eyes. Elvang´s clients are very quality conscious and they choose products where design – quality and material all come together. Positive feedback from clients, who have an Elvang product, which they bought 10 years ago and the product still  looks new, is very rewarding.

Today, Elvang operate worldwide, among others on the Scandinavian markets, Germany, France, Holland, The States, Japan and Australia and participate in various trade fairs around Europe. This season they met customers from all over the world at Ambiente in Germany and at Maison & Objet in France. To meet clients and to present new designs is always very exciting for Elvang.

Textiles is Elvang´s universe and they continually extend the product range with focus on products made of only the best possible quality.

 

FT-RELATED NEWS, PUBLICATIONS AND OTHER TOOLS

About/From the Network:

 

Special Request: Chimps looking for buyers

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These chimps need a home. Due to climate change experienced by producers in Sri Lanka, the production did not meet the buyer’s deadline (a zoo company). Materials from elephant dung did not dry on time for production due to torrential rains.

For interested buyers, please contact Mady Seynhaeve of Elecosy,  a WFTO member based in Kanegem, Belgium. Email: mady@elecosy.com

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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7 March 2017, Culemborg, The Netherlands – The fight for gender equality at workplaces is far from over. The recent reports by UN Women show that women in economic activities continue to suffer various forms of discrimination and unequal treatment. They also highlight that their labour force participation has stagnated[1]. This reality has mobilised the Fair Trade movement to a renewed call to action to fight, harder this time, for the rights of women, especially those engaged in economic activities.

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March, we want to reiterate Fair Trade’s commitment to respect and fulfil women’s rights and advance their aspirations through gender equity, fair payment, non-discrimination, good working conditions and capacity building as declared in the 10 Principles of Fair Trade.

The WFTO network, including its regional office WFTO Europe, together with Oxfam Magasins du Monde embark on a global awareness raising campaign by showcasing success stories of Fair Trade contributing to gender equality at workplaces. When women succeed, communities are safer, more secure, and more prosperous. Over the last years, in the Fair Trade movement, we have seen women inspiring communities and Fair Trade organisations to stand up for women’s empowerment. As a network of almost 400 organisations across the world, today we ask Fair Trade actors to hold our poster and to share their experience via social media. Therefore, do watch, read and spread the message around to raise awareness about women’s economic challenges and support our constant commitment towards gender equality at workplace.

These stories are key examples of how Fair Trade practices contribute to a world where women have the same chances as men at the workplace and in their daily life. Hence, Fair Trade is shown as a keystone in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 5 aims to “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. That means, among others, the need to ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life.

WFTO and all its members are committed to advance this important agenda. We are taking steps to empower women, to fight for their rights and their equal access to economic resources, to address all forms of violence against women and to promote women as key agents for change and drivers of sustainable development.

Note to Editors:
Every year, the World Fair Trade Organization and its members observe the International Women’s Day to raise awareness on gender equality, women empowerment and women’s role in achieving sustainable development. This year, for the first time, WFTO and OXFAM Magasins du Monde (Belgium) collaborate to raise awareness on the issue of gender equality at work and the role of Fair Trade in fostering decent work and equality at workplaces.

To learn more of the campaign, for high resolution images, interviews and other queries, please contact Michael Sarcauga through email michael@wfto.com or give us a call +31.345536487.

 

Download Press Release here.

 

 

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[1] UN Women: Facts and Figures http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/economic-empowerment/facts-and-figures and UN Women: Progress of the World’s Women (2015-2016) http://progress.unwomen.org/en/2015/chapter2/