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.

 

logo_grey_textonly

 

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.

Tina og Lasse gående (2)

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.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

POSTER3

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.

 

 

Press Release logo 2.jpg

Press Release logo 3

 

Press Release logo 1

 

 

[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/

IWDThe 8th of March 2015 was celebrated asInternational Women’s Day. Fair Trade helps improve the lives of women globally by promoting sustainable livelihoods, development opportunities, and by ensuring those who do the work reap the reward of their efforts. Inspiring change in women’s lives is a driving force in WFTO work.

In order to celebrate this day, WFTO-Europe worked on a three different levels, sharing stories from successful women from some of our European members, participating in a twitter event on the 6th of March and attending an event focused on the promotion of women’s leadership.

Women for change

To illustrate how fair trade helps empower women around the world, WFTO collected several successful stories from the different Regions. We, as a European organization, would like to particularly share with you the point of view of a Fair Trader :

Sophie Tack from Oxfam-Magasins du Monde (Belgium): SophieTack

15 years ago, Sophie started working in Fair Trade. She is currently the director of the Partners-Campaign department of Oxfam-Magasins du monde, a Belgian organization and part of the Oxfam family. “I believe that trade can be a tool for development. But it has to be fair. Fair Trade empowers people.” Sharing a connection with women producers in the southern hemisphere, she said that everyone can be an agent for change. “I work for Oxfam because I believe that change can happen if a global movement is behind it. Overcoming poverty requires active citizenship. “We need to be more outspoken, be a clearer advocate for change. We need to increase our impact and strengthen our ability to influence.” For more stories on how Fair Trade helps women, click here.

Twitter #FairForWomen event

In connection to the International Women’s Day, WFTO-Europe participated on Friday the 6th of March 2015 in #FairForWomen Twitter chat organized by the Scottish Fair Trade Forum and the Young Women´s Movement (YWCA),  in partnership with Oxfam Scotland and the Fairtrade Foundation.

WFTO-Europe contributed to raise awareness to the issue of how Fair Trade helps women and explained why women are critical to sustainable development and much more. We answered to the following questions: How does Fair Trade empower women worldwide? Why are women critical to sustainable development? How can we make our shopping baskets #FairForWomen? What is your favourite story about women and Fair Trade? What #FairForWomen action will you take in 2015?

Promoting Women’s Leadership Project

Photo: CEC European Managers

event on womenIt is common knowledge that women are still under-represented in senior and top managerial positions, but what is the actual state of play in Europe and what has been the speed of change over the last decade? To find some answers to these questions, WFTO-Europe participated in a Launch reception on European Project Report ´Promoting Women´s Leadership´, which took place on the 24th of February 2015.

By combining economic data analysis with a legal, comparative analysis, the project aimed to find actions to increase proportions of women in managerial positions as a means to face challenges of demographic change in the future. The project focused mainly on Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Sweden, the UK and Norway, non-EU member. MEP Anna Hedth as well as Commissioner Sigried Caspar attended the event. Both of them expressed their support to the project and stressed how important the question of gender equality is for Europe´s future.

You can read the report of the project here or visit the project´s website to learn more.

Nepal_EarthquakeAs you surely know, a massive, 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on April 25th. The death toll is estimated at more than 7,000 people. WFTO members and their producers were badly affected.

How can you help?

Fair Trade Group Nepal , WFTO FT network, has established a program to aid in the earthquake disaster relief and provides Fair Trade producers with medical aid, food, shelter, hygiene, and long-term assistance such as housing and employment. They make their maximum to use the support in a most-effective way to aid the victims. Your help can make a difference.

 

Financial assistance can be made into Fair Trade Group Nepal’s account.Account Title:

Fair Trade Group Nepal

Bank Name: Nepal Investment Bank Ltd.

A/C No: 004-05010253611

Address: Pulchowk, Lalitpur, Nepal

SWIFT Code: NIBLNPKTXXX

To learn more on how you can help, visit this page http://bit.ly/1PqGmUO  or contact Fair Trade Group Nepal Chair Chandra Kachhipati at ftgnepal@info.com.np

 

The last 24th of April was the second anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, where 1,133 workers lost their lives and many others were injured. Since this tragic event, the 24th of April has become  an occasion to get  everyone in the fashion value chain together and help to raise awareness of the true cost of fashion, show the world that change is possible, and celebrate all those involved in creating a more sustainable future. Find more about Fashion Revolution here.

fesh rev office

 

WFTO-Europe fully supported the Fashion Revolution Day and its call for action to bring about a systematic change in the textile supply chain. Towards this aim, the entire staff participated in the campaign on the 24th of April, asking brands “who made my clothes” and raising awareness on the importance of a responsible spending.

On the 22nd of April, WFTO-Europe also participated in the conference “Remembering Rana Plaza: the road ahead” hosted by MEP Jean Lambert at the European Parliament.  Here you can find the video recorded by the Greens Party for this occasion.

As mentioned by the FTAO in a recent article, “ 2015 is a crucial year for the development agenda, not only at European level thanks to the European Year for Development, but also because the international community will be jointly defining the future development framework. It is time to act on all these fronts and bring about the political solutions to prevent these tragedies from happening again.”  To read the full article, please visit the FTAO’s website post here.  

 

 

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 

lankalamai-fairtrade

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.

IMG_1899

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