The World Fair Trade Day, which is an initiative of WFTO, is an inclusive worldwide festival of events celebrating Fair Trade as a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty and exploitation, climate change and the economic crises that has the greatest impact on the world’s most vulnerable populations. In the following year 2016, the World Fair Trade Day will be on the 14th of May.
Our overall theme for this day is still ongoing until 2017: ‘Be an Agent for Change’!
Fair Trade is an agent for change. It is a tangible solution to poverty eradication, a good tool for sustainable development, and most of all Fair Trade promotes social justice.
The 2016 WFTDay will additionally focus on human chains, and human chains activities should be part of all WFTDay 2016 events. We will make a video of your human chains of Agents for Change. For reference, please read the WFTDay 2016 Internal Briefing for suggested events and activities!
Our theme and celebration format are very much adaptable to your plans. Whatever theme you may have chosen and whatever activities you are planning, you can always try to integrate our theme and do at least two things during your celebration: (1) Gather your Agents for Change, and (2) Form human chains!
Be sure to start thinking about which activities linked to our general theme ‘Be an agent for change!’ you could do on that day!
Support Fair Trade. Join the celebration. Organise a Fair Trade event in your community.
The 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):
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
It 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.
As 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:
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.
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.
The WFTO Guarantee System (GS) assesses the compliance of Fair Trade Organizations against the WFTO Standard (a set of criteria used to evaluate compliance with the WFTO Fair Trade Principles). Members that have gone through the WFTO Guarantee System will be allowed to use the WFTO Product Label on their products once they have signed a contract with WFTO on how the WFTO Product Label may be used. Note however that this is an organizational label that can go on a product. It does not certify the product, but rather the (Fair Trade) practices of the member organization which produced/sold it.
All trading and non-trading organizations will be authorized to use the WFTO logo (on website, promotional material, etc.) once they have signed a contract with WFTO on how the Logo may be used.
WFTO members with their headquarters in Europe will also be WFTO-Europe members and will be entitled to:
Publicize their membership of WFTO and WFTO-Europe;
Actively participate in all activities of WFTO global and WFTO-Europe;
Stand for nomination for, and if elected serve on, both the Global and the WFTO-Europe Boards of Directors or by invitation be co-opted to serve on Committees;
Serve on Global and Regional (sub)committees;
Attend the Global and the WFTO-Europe Annual General Meetings (AGM), and the business sessions and workshops preceding it, with authority to speak and to put forward recommendations;
Vote in person or by proxy at the Global and the WFTO-Europe Annual General Meetings;
Benefit from the services of and information coming from the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO), in Brussels, which is maintaining a regular surveillance over the European trade and development policies, guaranteeing a permanent communication between Fair Trade actors and political decision-makers and promoting a political attitude in the area of Fair Trade and trade justice (more at http://www.fairtrade-advocacy.org);
Request the promotion of their Fair Trade-related activities, events and projects in WFTO-Europe’s website, Newsletter and social networks;
Access WFTO Global and WFTO-Europe’s intranet (Members Section).
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 positive 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!
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.
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.
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, a 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.
By Michael Sarcauga, Communications Officer of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) and Francesca Giubilo, Coordinator of WFTO-Europe
The 13th Biennial Conference of WFTO in Milanis packed with interesting workshop topics and exciting speakers, all the more reason to come to Milan in May to celebrate the World Fair Trade Week. From the 24 to 27 May, the WFTO conference will be bustling with discussions and debates on topics like market trends and opportunities for handmade products, climate change and the path forward for small producers, fair prices and fair wages, advocacy and campaigning, solidarity economy, Fair Trade success stories, fair trading the fashion industry, sustainability in the food supply chain and certification, Fair Trade labelling and strategies to use the label, WFTO Guarantee System, internal monitoring system, and lots more about Fair Trade verification.
WFTO invited expert speakers and professional practitioners from various fields in Fair Trade verification, marketing, advocacy and campaigning, as well as producers, marketers and ex/import traders who will share their experiences and success stories. Read the draft programme here and regularly check this space for the latest version.
On behalf of the WFTO Network, the presidents of WFTO Global and WFTO Europe invite the public to witness the biggest international Fair Trade celebration of the year:
“Many organisations from the Fair Trade supply chain will be attending the WFTO Biennial Conference and other events of the World Fair Trade Week. In addition, experts, activists, students and other visitors are also expected to attend the International Fair Trade Symposium, an international Fair Trade Milano City Exhibition, a Fair Trade fashion show, fair cooking events, to name only a few of the activities planned to take place during the week.” – Rudi Dalvai, WFTO President
“Europe and Italy are very proud to host the biggest event ever organised on Fair Trade. Fair Trade Organisations and world shops, academics and practitioners, cooks and volunteers, traditional and Fair Trade fashion brands – all together to show that a sustainable and fair economy is not a dream but something real across the world. What consumers ask – clean products verified against social and environmental criteria – is now available and trade justice is fully coherent with quality products. Do not miss this opportunity, come!” – Giorgio Dal Fiume, WFTO Europe President.
The conference is one of the major international activities to take place in Milan during the World Fair Trade Week event, from 23 to 31 of May where Milan will also host the Fair Trade International Symposium, international trade fair for Fair Trade and ethical products, roundtable discussion on Fair Trade and ethical finance, Fair Trade Fashion show, fair cooking night, and other activities organised by our Italian Fair Trade partners!
During the week, Milan will be declared the Global Capital of Fair Trade. Speaking to the press, Milan Mayor Giuliano Pisapia is excited to be the host of this year’s biggest international Fair Trade event. He said Fair Trade tackles issues like food sustainability, equitable compensation of producers, irresponsible farming, and environmental degradation. “Fair Trade represents a real economic revolution,” the Mayor said.
WFTO and AGICES (Italian General Assembly of Fair Trade) co-orgnised the World Fair Trade Week in collaboration with CTM Altromercato, Botteghe del Mondo, EquoMercato, Libero Mondo, Altra Qualitá, and Chico Mendes, and with the support of the Municipality of Milan, Fondazione Cariplo and the “Food Smart Cities for Development” project with the European Union. The WFTO Conference is co-organised by WFTO Europe with the support of its members.
The World Fair Trade Day is an initiative of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) that takes place annually on the second Saturday of May. It is a worldwide festival of events celebrating Fair Trade as a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty, climate change and the economic crisis that has the greatest impact on the world’s most vulnerable populations. A third of the world’s population lives on less than 2 USD a day. The global crisis confirms the need for a fair and sustainable economy locally and globally. Trade must benefit the most vulnerable and deliver sustainable livelihoods by developing opportunities for small and disadvantaged producers. Millions of producers and traders, business and policy-makers, supporting organizations and volunteers have contributed to the substantial growth of Fair Trade.
Fair Trade producers, their organizations, local and international marketing organizations, exporters, importers, wholesalers, retailers, volunteers and citizens celebrate Fair Trade in diverse events worldwide on WFTDay. On the frontlines are women, indigenous peoples, artisans, farmers and workers, who give testimony of the benefit of Fair Trade in their lives, a good reason to go out and celebrate World Fair Trade Day!
WFT Day 2015 : 9 May
‘Be an Agent for Change‘ is the theme for 2015 World Fair Trade Day celebration.
Be is an invitation for participation in the day and not a strident demand for attention. It is not an instruction.
The dictionary defines an agent as a person or thing that takes an active role or produces a specified effect – the doer of an action.
Agent can be an individual – a consumer, a producer, a lobbyist, an event organiser. An agent can also be a company, a retailer, a community, a town.
Importantly an agent can also be a product – a shawl or a bag of coffee for example – and this should be addressed in the communications as these ‘agents’ can play a critical role in raising awareness of the issues and providing a solution through the product itself.
Agent for and not of change. An important distinction – for means the agent can support change, and throughout their actions encourage change but they are not themselves the change.
Positive change in livelihoods of producers, in attitudes of consumers, in trade policies, in the approach of business and retailers.