By Eva Marie Wüst Vestergaard

Group Photo Edited and cropped

Today, 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.

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.

 

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

Group Photo Edited and cropped

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.

Agents for Change badge_ digital sharing_2

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!

WFTO-Biennial-Conference-Banner-3

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”.

Tina og Lasse gående (2)

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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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.

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Thanks to these activities, we have a large range of goods from all over the world. Our main selling place is located in Culemborg, together with Barbosa Fair trade. Everybody is very welcome to come to this place, to have a look and buy our products.

We also have a webshop, where you can register and check our products.

 

For more information: www.lankalamai.nl

Email: lankalamai@solcon.nl

 

Name: Lanka Lamai
Head Office: Surhuirsterveen, Netherlands
Year of foundation: 1993
Website: www.lankalamai.nl 

WFTO-Europe welcomes a new Guaranteed member, FairMail (The Netherlands), which has recently successfully completed the WFTO Guarantee System process. Since the implementation of the WFTO Guarantee System in 2013, the number of members transitioning to Guaranteed Fair Trade Organisation status is gradually increasing and by the end of 2015 all WFTO-Europe’s members are expected to become Guaranteed members.

The GS is the first international Fair Trade system that verifies organisations on their compliance with the principles of Fair Trade, and ensures that improvements are consistently carried out over the years through a scheduled monitoring scheme. Read more about the Guarantee System here.

About Fair Mail

FairMail Cards is a Dutch Fair Trade Organization based in Amsterdam, and probably the first organisation selling Fair Trade cards. It was founded in Peru by Janneke Smeulder, aFairMail_001 Dutch sociologist and entrepreneur. When Janneke visited Trujillo, the capital of La Libertad region and the most populous city in the North of Peru, she saw many children in the slums struggling to survive. She decided that they deserved an alternative way of living.

The concept that Janneke developed is simple but effective – train teenagers take pictures and use the images to produce Fair Trade greeting cards. The money earned is used to pay for their education. Today, FairMail is working with teenagers in Peru, India and Morocco. They offer free photography classes to the teenagers. The teenagers get 50% of the profit of the card where the photo is used, and on top of that they also receive medical fund, and advice for their future plans.

“We are very happy that FairMail is now a WFTO guaranteed member and thus allowed to print the label on our fair trade greeting cards with pictures taken by underprivileged teenagers from Peru, India and Morocco,” said Peter den Hond, FairMail’s General Manager.

“With the logo appearing on more than half a million cards sold worldwide each year, we hope to also help increase the visibility and acceptance of this new label. This way not only helping FairMail, but the whole Fair Trade community.”

In less than ten years more than 2 million cards have been sold in 14 countries. 50 young photographers have taken part in the project and earned more than 100.000 euro that they  invested in their education.

FairMail is a recipient of the Dutch Card Award for “most innovative card concept” in 2008,  and the ASN Ethical Bank’s “World Prize against Child Labor” in 2011.