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A look back at 2018
In planning ahead for 2019 we, here at WFTO-Europe, have been looking back and reflecting on our activities and achievements in 2018. As the clock has struck 2019, we would like to share some of those reflections with you.
- For celebrating International Women’s Day in March 2018, we shared stories from our members that relates specifically how Fair Trade empowers women and promotes gender equality. If you did not catch it, you can read the stories in our small booklet available here. Do feel free to re-read the stories, too, if you were already on board back in March.
- For World Fair Trade Day in May 2018, we asked our members to record a small presentation of themselves, their work, and what Fair Trade means to them. You can watch or re-watch the video that came out of all these recordings here.
Together with this video, we also promoted the theme: Live Fair, one Fair Trade product at a time. This was both in celebration of the growing number of people willing to pay for ethical and sustainable products like Fair Trade – as well as to push for that number to keep growing. You can (re)visit what we have published for this theme here.
- In June 2018 we held our Biennial Conference, whose first day was dedicated to a public event on Universalizing the Fair Trade principles for an EU sustainable – and fair – production and consumption agenda. This was co-organised with the Fair Trade Advocacy Office and was attended by members but also Civil Society Organisations outside of our membership, like BEUC-The European Consumer Organisation, Habitat Integrated Pakistan, CONCORD, Friends of the Earth Europe, among others. The following 2 days featured two workshops covering our, at WFTO-Europe, and WFTO’s key research topics for both 2018 and 2019: Living wage, gender equity and domestic Fair Trade.
- In October 2018, we met with the other members of the Fair Trade Advocacy Network for the Fair Trade Marathon, to discuss and collaborate on defining the way forward. Among key topics raised were the new International Fair Trade Charter, the coming elections for the European Parliament in May 2019, and a study commissioned by our member Commerce Équitable France, which indicates how Fair Trade in combination with organic certification helps coffee farmers improve their average income and limit the surprisingly high externality costs from pollution, etc. of conventional coffee farming. You can find the study in both French, and soon in English, too, here.
- Finally, we collaborated with several Trade Fair Live Fair partners and others from the Fair Trade movement on a Policy Statement for COP24 in December in Katowice, Poland.
Planning ahead for 2019
A key part of the Trade Fair Live Fair project for all project partners will be the elections for the European Parliament to be held in the end of May this year. For this we will be supporting our members on engaging with the candidates for MEP from their countries.
For us at WFTO-Europe specifically, this year will also be full of exciting key moments:
- First will be the International Women’s Day on 8th March, where we will take part in the promotion of gender equality and the rights of women. In particular we will promote the recent research on the contributions of Fair Trade and Fair Trade enterprises commissioned by WFTO.
- Then, later in March, we are planning to publish a review of our European network and particular members and how they are contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goal’s through Fair Trade and their mission-led business models.
- For the World Fair Trade Day on 11th May we will take part in the global celebration together with WFTO, and the other regions, Africa, Asia, Latin America and Pacific Rim.
- In end-May we expect to publish the research we have commissioned on Living Wages and Fair Payment with insights and recommendations for mainstream companies and policy-makers for adopting or supporting Fair Trade and in particular WFTO’s Fair Payment Policy.
- Finally, we are inviting our members for a two-days event in June with workshops and advocacy training. Exceptionally, attendance will be free from registration fees this time thanks to funding from the Trade Fair, Live Fair project. The event will conclude with our Annual General Assembly.
- In September we will take part in the International Fair Trade Summit on the 16th-19th in Lima, Peru. We hope to meet and collaborate with many of our members on this occasion. If you are interested in joining us there, you can find more information here.
- After this, it will again be time for the October tradition of the Fair Trade Marathon organized by the FTAO in Brussels.
Looking forward to working with you in 2019!
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.
Discover and discuss fair business practices with experts from the field!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Previous interns’ testimonials
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.