WFTO-Europe is very happy to present its first biannual external Newsletter, dedicated to all Fair Trade supporters across the world!
You’ll find it here.
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.
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.
As part of the Belgian Fair Trade Week, the World Fair Trade Organization-Europe, together with its partners Belgian Development Agency, Oxfam-Magasins du Monde, Fair Trade Advocacy Office, Belvas, Equo Garantito and Groupe One, have the pleasure to invite you to “Business for a Fair World” World Café.
World Café is a specific discussion format, where people discuss topics in several groups. The main idea is that individuals switch groups periodically which allows them to discuss several topics during a single event. Each of the group is hosted by an expert from the field, in our case a representative of our partners mentioned above, to whom participants can pose questions.
Our “Business for a Fair World” World Café will be held on 11th October 2017 from 17:00 till 19:30 at ULB in Brussels, room H2213.
Besides the World Café itself, which will be the main part of our event, you can also look forward to a general presentation providing basic introduction about Fair Trade and its current role in Belgium, in particular as it seeks the title of Fair Trade nation. The event will close with the opportunity for some informal networking where Fair Trade juice will be served. For more information on program content, please take a look on the detailed agenda below.
The event is free of charge.
Please, register here and mark your interest here.
Are you interested in Fair Trade and want a fruitful professional experience? Join us as a trainee or a volunteer! WFTO-Europe will help you improve your knowledge making sure you get the most out of it. Check our open positions:
Application deadline: 19th of October 2017, 12pm (CEST)
Even a few hours per week (on a regular basis) can make a difference for Fair Trade!
If you are interested in volunteering (working on specific areas such as fundraising, projects or communication), send your CV and a 1-page Cover Letter in English to email@example.com.
Volunteers are welcome at any time !
If you think you have other useful skills for WFTO-Europe, please do not hesitate to contact us via email at administration[at]wfto-europe.org.
Intern in Brussels, January 2017 – July 2017
“I had the pleasure of working for WFTO-Europe as an intern and I had a truly incredible experience in the past 6 months. Working for a small organization granted me the opportunity to contribute to the organization’s performance in many different areas where I could develop my professional skills to a further extent by exploring different fields or work within the organization.
I acquired knowledge about the Fair Trade movement and I attended several EU events where I could gain insight on different topics related to International Development. What I liked the most about this internship was the fact that I had a coach who guided me through the different tasks but who would still ensure I carried out my job autonomously.
I would recommend this internship to anyone who is looking for a challenging job and willing to learn more about business ethics and worldwide issues!”
Intern in Brussels, July 2016 – January 2017
“My experience as an intern at WFTO-Europe was truly rewarding.
Being part of a small team and working together on a day-to-day basis allowed me to explore a variety of different tasks: from managing a network of almost 90 European Fair Trade organizations to developing several communication strategies so as to raise awareness about the Fair Trade Principles.
However, what I liked the most was the approach of this office to its interns: I never felt disregarded by my team and my opinion was valued and always appreciated. The feedback received from my coordinator was extremely constructive and the synergy between the three of us gave me the chance to complete my tasks in autonomy and with enthusiasm.
If what you are looking for is a rewarding but the same time demanding experience in an international environment where you can develop both professionally as well as a person, then I would highly recommend an internship here at WFTO-Europe.
I am definitely going to miss working here!”
Read the testimonials of our previous interns here.
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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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, email@example.com, Mobil: 0176 80218865
Heike Zimmermann, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mobil: +49 151 15695341
Please get in contact with email@example.com if you have any events you would like to see included!
International Fair Trade Towns Conference 2017, Saarbrücken, Germany
Fair Trade Forum, Uppsala, Sweden
WFTO Biennial Conference, New Delhi, India
Let us know about your events!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Show your amazing products!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; for queries about the WFTO fee payment, contact email@example.com. For queries on the Delhi conference, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
Update 4: WFTO-Europe AGM will take place on the 12th of November in New Delhi.
Read more on the conference here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
General news on Fair Trade:
About/From the Network:
U-landsforeningen 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!