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!

WFTO-Europe team

Today we celebrate International Women’s Day and we are more than happy to share with you our booklet “Women & Fair Trade”.

It is a short publication featuring 6 of our members: SeeMe, Mifuko, Dece Clothing, esgii, Dassie Artisan and Traidcraft Exchange. In the booklet, you will find who they are, what they do and what impact do they have on their female artisans.

Click on the cover and discover more:

Booklet "Women & Fair Trade"


Please, if you like it, share it with your friends, thank you. 

#PressForProgress #GenderEqualityNow #InternationalWomensDay2018 #FairTrade


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.


WFTO-Europe team


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!

Business for a Fair World
Click for a full size

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:

Communication and Membership & Monitoring

Project Management and Fundraising


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 administration@wfto-europe.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

Maria Batista

Intern in Brussels, January 2017 – July 2017

DSC_0897“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!”


Stefano Carulli

Intern in Brussels, July 2016 – January 2017

DSC_0897“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.

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

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

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

The Capital of Fair Trade

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

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

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

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

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