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.

 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 Milan is 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.

WFTW Wall

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.

Visit the World Fair Trade Week and WFTO websites to learn more, and get the latest news.

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!

 

wftday agent

WFT Day 2015 : 9 May 

Be an Agent for Change‘ is the theme for 2015 World Fair Trade Day celebration.

Download theme rationale and ideas for WFTDay events and products.

The rationale of the theme

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.

 

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WFTDay2013

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Logo BFTF (fond blanc hte définition)

A Belgian Fair Trade platform : stronger together!

The Belgian Fair Trade Federation (BFTF) is a network of fifteen Fair Trade actors in Belgium, mainly active in Wallonia and in Brussels. Some of them are non-governmental, or non-profit organisations with small projects in the South and awareness-raising organisations in the North. Others are small companies which import, transform and/or distribute Fair Trade products. And others are beautiful shops specialised in Fair Trade and organic products. Some of these actors sell food or non-food products exclusively, others have both.

In one word BFTF members all practice different activities. They also all have one common goal: promoting Fair Trade in Belgium. In 2010 this goal led them to gather around one common project: the creation of a platform, BFTF.

Various activities to improve awareness of Fair Trade

BFTF was founded to promote Fair Trade in Belgium but also to give the opportunity to its members to gather and to empower their activities. Over the years BFTF has thus become the interlocutor representing the sector in Belgium. Today we have many different activities going from services to our members to awareness-raising of Belgian citizens.

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Trainings are organised for our members. We also organise gatherings to simply bring together our members and to foster exchanges about their different practices. Sometimes these gatherings lead to common projects. Last year, for instance, all together we made a small leaflet to illustrate Fair Trade’s qualities, diversity and values. This leaflet was handed out to over 10.000 persons. Through this action, we expected to raise awareness and to invite people to consider the possibility of consuming differently and respectfully for the producers and the environment.

This project leads us to the second part of activity: the promotion of Fair Trade to Belgian citizens through different means: information, communication, awareness-raising… We invite citizens to more awareness about unfair practices and to act and go for Fair Trade.

 

New Challenges for 2015

Founded in 2009, we will celebrate our fifth anniversary in October. A good moment to launch new challenges. Furthermore, Fair Trade has evolved these last years. In fact we see more and more European fair initiatives. Nowadays, in our countries, as in every other, producers are victims of the existing agricultural model. They also need to be given a fair price for their work and their products. Therefore, in 2015, BFTF will open itself to new members, called the “local fair trade actors”.

As new member of WFTO, we hope we’ll have the opportunity to meet you, to get to know your activity and to imagine possible future collaboration with you!

 

 

Name: Belgian Fair Trade Federation
Head Office: Brussels, Belgium
Year of foundation: 2010
Website: www.bftf.be

 

Fair Monkey

Fair Monkey Logga_CMYKFair Monkey is a cooperative economic association with an aim to secure better living conditions for mainly women producers from small co-operatives in Guatemala, Nepal and South Africa. Established 2006 in Sweden, we import and sell Fair Trade products to about 90 shops in Sweden and in some neighboring countries.  A cooperative economic association is ideal, with its democratic approach to ownership, and it makes perfect sense when cooperating with our artisans and producers, since they often are organized in the same way. The products include a range of beautiful and contemporary jewellery and accessories which are all handmade and purchased directly from our producers and artisans. With this, opportunities are created for these amazing artisans to improve living conditions for themselves and their families with the steady income that the handicraft gives, while they proudly share their craftsmanship with the world. To build common trading conditions and simultaneously increase the producers’ craft-pride and self-esteem is an important part of our work.

Fair Monkey places great emphasis on knowledge about product development and quality assurance, trying to find products with a clear view of Maya culture, design and technology, (the backstrap loom in particular). This is especially important for maintaining traditional knowledge and traditions of craftsmanship, which otherwise could easily disappear when it’s not rsz_sharing_information_with_asociacíon_maya_de_desarrollogenerating any income for the work done. Trade is a great way to spread knowledge about the artisans living conditions and highlight the importance of Fair Trade. Part of Fair Monkeys operations, except for the import and wholesales, is giving lectures about the producer’s situation, and what Fair Trade in reality has meant to them.    

 

 

 

Name: Fair Monkey
Head Office: Laholm, Sweden
Year of foundation: 2006
Website: www.fairmonkey.se

Fair Monkey

Fair Monkey Logga_CMYKFair Monkey is a cooperative economic association with an aim to secure better living conditions for mainly women producers from small co-operatives in Guatemala, Nepal and South Africa. Established 2006 in Sweden, we import and sell Fair Trade products to about 90 shops in Sweden and in some neighboring countries.  A cooperative economic association is ideal, with its democratic approach to ownership, and it makes perfect sense when cooperating with our artisans and producers, since they often are organized in the same way.

The products include a range of beautiful and contemporary jewellery and accessories which are all handmade and purchased directly from our producers and artisans. With this, opportunities are created for these amazing artisans to improve living conditions for themselves and their families with the steady income that the handicraft gives, while they proudly share their craftsmanship with the world. To build common trading conditions and simultaneously increase the producers’ craft-pride and self-esteem is an important part of our work.

 

Fair Monkey places great emphasis on knowledge about product development and quality assurance, trying to find products with a clear view of Maya culture, design and technology, (the backstrap loom in particular). rsz_sharing_information_with_asociacíon_maya_de_desarrolloThis is especially important for maintaining traditional knowledge and traditions of craftsmanship, which otherwise could easily disappear when it’s not generating any income for the work done. Trade is a great way to spread knowledge about the artisans living conditions and highlight the importance of Fair Trade. Part of Fair Monkeys operations, except for the import and wholesales, is giving lectures about the producer’s situation, and what Fair Trade in reality has meant to them.    

 

 

 

Name: Fair Monkey
Head Office: Laholm, Sweden
Year of foundation: 2006
Website: www.fairmonkey.se

La Maison Afrique FAIRTRADE logoSince its start in 1995, La Maison Afrique, a Fair Trade organization, supports and cooperates with artisans in Madagascar. Raison d’être is summarized in the logo: “Arts & Crafts from Madagascar with respect for nature, people and tradition. FAIR TRADE”.

The materials used are local, natural, or recycled. Production is small scale and environmentally friendly. The goods is shipped by sea from Madagascar to Sweden. The artisans are supported with interest free loans, export management, market information and regular orders within the context of a long term commitment. . The product range includes hats, bags, gifts and interior. Flagship products are the hats with matching bags. They will be exhibited at Formex, Stockholm and Formland, Herning.  La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE photo

During 2014, a new website was created:http://www.la-maison-afrique.se/en/

La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE became a member of WFTO (then IFAT) in 2002 and was one of the founding members of WFTO-Europe.

 

Name: Maison Afrique
Head Office: Vessigebro, Sweden
Year of foundation: 1995
Website: http://www.la-maison-afrique.se/en/

fair-trade-week-milanAll are getting ready for the second World Fair Trade Week, to take place in Milan (Italy), from 23-31 May 2015.

Co-organised by WFTO and AGICES (the Italian General Assembly of Fair Trade Organisations), the 2015 WFTWeek will include several events in its programme. One of the main events is the WFTO 13th Biennial Conference, scheduled for 24-27 May. It will be followed by the Milano Fair City exhibition (an international fair for fair traders and other social economy actors), on 28-31 May. Alongside are being planned the 5th Fair Trade International Symposium, a Fair Trade fashion show, a Fair Trade cooking show, and many other national and local events.

Registration for the WFTO Biennial Conference is now open, until end April 2015. You find more details here. Registrations after 1 March will pay a late fee.

You can also already register for a stand at the international fair Milano Fair City here.  Registration for accomodation during theMilano Fair City is also open here.

For more details and updates on the activities of World Fair Trade Week, visit www.WorldFairTradeWeek.org.

Brussels, 18 November 2014 – Have you ever wondered how come those local apples in season remain more expensive than bananas all year long? Why do poor farmers get poorer just as the international price of their products rise non-stop? Why is environmental damage increasing even as large companies prove they are implementing sustainability programmes? With city dwellers increasing and rural population dwindling, who will produce the food the hungry urbanites will demand?

jkkThe new study opens the door to the answers. “Who’s got the power? Tackling imbalances in agricultural supply chains”, released today in Brussels by the Fair Trade movement[1] reveals how the growing integration –and concentration of power- in the supply chain of agricultural products is having a serious effect not only on producers far away from the supermarket shelves, but all along the supply chain, the environment and onto the choices available to consumers. Unfair trading practices (UTPs)[2] appear, and they are not accidental but structural.

Olivier De Schutter, co-chair of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems and former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, says in the foreword to the study that “the need to improve the governance of food systems, in order to avoid instances of excessive domination by a small number of major agrifood companies, is hardly ever referred to in international summits that seek to provide answers to the challenges of hunger and malnutrition. This report helps to fill that gap”.

The study identifies common patterns of concentration involving the main elements of the supply chain, the one exerting pressure on the other all the way down to the producers. The more these elements are integrated with one another, the stronger is the pressure exerted onto the next link in the supply chain:

  1. Consumers
  2. Retailers (supermarket chains)
  3. Branded products manufacturers
  4. Traders of produce
  5. Processors/Refiners
  6. Producers/Farmers
  7. Input producers (seeds, fertilizers, etc.)

In sheer size, the Consumers (7 billion) and the Producers/Farmers (2.5 billion) are by far the most numerous. However, most of the value share of the transaction (up to 86%) stays with numbers two to five. But trying to present the problem as one between consumers on one side, and farmers and workers on the other, is meaningless. The degradation of the trading and living conditions of farmers and workers, whether inside or outside Europe, creates important risks of unavailability and unaffordability of products for consumers in the midterm, reducing their welfare in the end.

Addressing concretely the global nature of the problem and its consequences, the study emits no less than 16 practical recommendations to policy-makers, businesses and workers all over the world. The European Union has a clear responsibility to prevent and punish UTPs, considering the superior purchase power of its 550 million inhabitants, as well as the numerous trade agreements it has with produce exporting countries. Transactions do not occur in a legal vacuum but national legislation needs to be adapted to counter the power concentration trend, and it is clear that no solution will be found in isolation, which is why the study includes action proposals to all seven links of the supply chain as well as to multilateral instances such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

In order to address and resolve the issues the study recommends actions to adopt a comprehensive strategy based on:

  • A vision of consumer welfare that goes beyond purchasing power and recalls its inherent link with farmers’ and workers’ welfare.
  • Measures to rebalance business power in agricultural chains in the short term, currently the law of the strongest has the upper hand.
  • Mechanisms to enhance transparency in agricultural chains so that stakeholders can better identify the risks of abuse of buyer power and unfair trading practices.
  • A renewed European competition policy framework capable of better regulating such abuses.
  • Enforcement mechanisms to stop Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs) within food supply chains serving the EU market, with authorities able to investigate claims and punish abuses.
  • Initiatives to promote and widely spread fair trading practices in the mid to long run.

*END*

Notes to Editors:

  1. The presentation and debate of the findings of the report is scheduled for 18 November 2014 at 12.30 at the European Parliament, please consult details at: www.fairtrade-advocacy.org
  2. Please find attached and via the following links the Abstract and the Full versions of the study by BASIC (Bureau d’Analyse Sociétale pour une Information Citoyenne) titled “Who’s got the power? Tackling imbalances in agricultural supply chains”, November 2014. Available at www.fairtrade-advocacy.org/power
  3. To book interviews with the authors of the report or the experts from the commissioning organizations, please contact Peter Möhringer at moehringer@fairtrade-advocacy.org, mobile: +32 485 76 23 81).
  4. For background information about the campaigns against UTPs organized by the Fair Trade movement members, please see compilation in PDF attached.
  5. For more information about the organizations commissioning this study, please follow these links: Fairtrade Internationalwww.fairtrade.net; World Fair Trade Organization www.wfto.com; Fair Trade Advocacy Office www.fairtrade-advocacy.org; Traidcraft www.traidcraft.org.uk; Plate-forme pour le Commerce Equitable www.commercequitable.org; Fair Trade Germanywww.fairtrade-deutschland.de

Download materials here:

1.  Download “Press Release Report Who’s Got the Power?
2.  Download “Solutions to tackle imbalances of power in agricultural supply chains speakers and press releases.

[1]The report was commissioned by the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO), Traidcraft, the Plate-forme pour le Commerce Equitable and Fairtrade Deutschland, with the support of the European Commission, the Belgian Development cooperation, the Agence Française de Développement and the region Île-de-France.

[2] Practices that grossly deviate from good commercial conduct, are contrary to good faith and fair dealing and are unilaterally imposed by one trading partner on another.

 

_MG_4828Mifuko means pocket in the Swahili.

Mifuko Ltd. is a Finnish design company, which co-operates with several women self-help group and small artisan workshops in Kenya. Mifuko´s products include jewellery, sandals and bags. Company was founded by Minna Impiö and Mari Martikainen in 2009. Both are graduates of the University of Industrial Art and Design, Helsinki.

Mifuko works on Helsinki-Nairobi-axis. While the designs are done by Finnish artists they are inspired by the colors, textures and vibrancy of Africa.  Every product is designed to utilize traditional craftsmanship and techniques, as well as locally available materials. MIfuko supports talented Kenyan artisans and provides them with regular income. Mifuko wont drive the production scale in cost of the trusted relationship with all the artisans. Beyond giving the designs a Scandinavian twist, we try not to interfere with the creativity and techniques of our chosen artisans. We have close working relationships with all our sub-contractors and actively assist them in developing their businesses. It’s a two street, as we pass on our own knowledge and learn from them about their traditional techniques.

To promote Kenyan artisans Mifuko has founded association called Mifuko Trust.

The need for Mifuko Trust surfaced in Kenya, where local artisans often ask us to assist in the acquisition of various tools, know-how and increasing children’s school fees payment. Mifuko Trust’s aim is to promote the employment of artisans and develop their entrepreneurial skills in Kenya._MG_5609

MIfuko has been awarded with the Finnish Social Enterprise label, this means that Mifuko qualifies in the three requirements: promoting social welfare through its business, using most of the profits to benefit society, and operating transparently. In addition to concentrating on fair treatment of its suppliers, the company maximises its use of recycled materials.

Mifuko has an international retailer network of more than 30 shops on four continents.

Name: Mifuko

Head Office: Helsinki, Finland

Date of foundation: 2009

Website: http://www.mifuko.fi/

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