The Fair Trade movement has always recognised the importance of the environmental impact of humans’ activities. This is stressed in one of the 10 Fair Trade Principles by which WFTO makes sure that its member organisations are following environmental standards in their day to day work.

According to Principle Ten:

Organizations which produce Fair Trade products maximize the use of raw materials from sustainably managed sources in their ranges, buying locally when possible. They use production technologies that seek to reduce energy consumption and where possible use renewable energy technologies that minimize greenhouse gas emissions. They seek to minimize the impact of their waste stream on the environment. Fair Trade agricultural commodity producers minimize their environmental impacts, by using organic or low pesticide use production methods wherever possible.

Buyers and importers of Fair Trade products give priority to buying products made from raw materials that originate from sustainably managed sources, and have the least overall impact on the environment.

All organizations use recycled or easily biodegradable materials for packing to the extent possible, and goods are dispatched by sea wherever possible”.

Environmental issues and the consequences of climate change are, undoubtedly, one of the biggest challenges of our era.

Photo credit: peoplesclimate.org
Peoples Climate March in NYC – Photo credit: Robert van Waarden

The last 19th of August was Earth Overshoot Day, the day when humanity exhausted all the natural resources available for the year, in other words, humanity’s annual demand on the natural world has exceeded what the Earth can renew in a year since the 1970s (WWF).

In the last weeks, climate change has been in the spotlight. People’s Climate March and the UN Climate Summit 2014 caught citizens’ and politicians’ attention on the issue and raised the urgency for a call to action. It was the first time the world has seen such a large mobilisation for this important issue. Climate change is a global problem and regional measures are therefore not enough, what is needed are global solutions and fast actions before irreversible consequence can lead to catastrophic outcomes.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, developing countries are and will remain the most affected by the consequences that Climate Change has on our planet, experiencing, among others, severe droughts in drier areas, and stronger cyclones and unpredictable rains in tropical regions (The Guardian).

The last 10th of September during the seminar “Climate change & the post 2015 development framework: Developing country perspectives” organised by ODI and CDKN different actors participated in the debate. According to Andrew Scott, ODI’s Research Fellow in Climate and Environment, climate change is not only an environmental issue. Climate change and development are intrinsically linked. The actions that we take to address climate change are intimately connected with development processes, and the actions we take to achieve development objectives have impact on the actions we take to reach climate change goals. So far, most of the debate about climate change in the SDGs framework has taken place in Europe and North America. We need an opportunity for the debate to take place in developing countries and to get the perspective of developing countries into the debate.

 “It’s a fundamental injustice that the world’s poorest people are paying for a climate crisis that they didn’t cause” – ODI Executive Director Kevin Watkins on CNBC Africa: http://www.cnbcafrica.com/video/?bctid=3800438928001

Photo credit: Martin Michiels
Peoples Climate March in Brussels – Photo credit: Martin Michiels

Politics is not responding in the way we want and unfortunately people who maintain the power have impact on people who don’t have any. Politicians instead are still obsessed with economic growth, which seems not to be the right solution to the problem. This is why individuals taking responsibility is the first step towards a more sustainable world. Each citizen of the world can really make a difference, not only changing his/her daily habits into more environmentally friendly ones, but also campaigning, participating, and raising the voice to make themselves heard. Don’t wait tomorrow, start being active NOW!

“Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world, is either a madman or an economist.”  (Kenneth Boulding, Economics professor)

The Good Country Index announced at the TED Salon in Berlin, measures how much each of 125 countries contributes to the planet.  With Ireland leading the table it turns out that all top ten countries are nations where a Fair Trade Town campaign is running. Is this a coincidence?

table

On 7 September however, Oudenaarde, Belgium declared as the 154th Fair Trade Town in Flanders making half of all Flemish municipalities a Fair Trade Town and Flanders the global leader for fair trade in terms of the proportion of the population covered. Out of a total of 308 municipalities 154 are now Fair Trade Towns with an additional 74 towns working towards gaining status. In Flanders over 4¼ million inhabitants now live in a Fair Trade Town. Does this make Flanders the Fairest of them all?

Photo credit: The Good Country Index

map

The Flemish campaign added a 6th goal to the original five founding goals which was aimed at promoting local and sustainable consumption.  Congratulations Flanders on this tremendous achievement and well done to all involved!

For further information contact Bruce Crowther the International Fair Trade Towns Ambassador at brucecrowther300@gmail.com

 

ftt

Bruce Crowther

International Fair Trade Towns Ambassador

The FIG Tree, Garstang, UK

 

Photo credit: The FIG tree

 fttAt the time of writing there are 1,535 Fair Trade Towns in 25 countries stretching across all six major continents. They are approaching 600 Fairtrade Towns in the UK, where the movement first started and over 250 in Germany. The Belgian region of Flanders is expected to celebrate 50% of all towns becoming Fair Trade Towns later this year and Switzerland has just launched their own campaign. Fair Trade Towns vary in size from the Scottish island of Fair Isle with a population of just 65 to London with a population of seven million, but the strong emerging campaign in Seoul, Korea will ensure that London’s proud status as the world’s largest Fair Trade City will not remain forever.  It’s hard to believe that all this first took root in the small English market town of Garstang when the residents boldly declared Garstang as the world’s first Fair Trade Town at a Public Meeting in April 2000.ftt

Not only are Fair Trade Towns branching around the world however, but they are also adapting to different cultures, different needs and in doing so becoming more inclusive. The five founding goals developed in the UK were originally aimed at promoting the FAIRTRADE Mark hence the movement in the UK is still named Fairtrade Towns. Although the five goals still remain the central core for all national Fair Trade Town campaigns worldwide they have now been adapted to be inclusive of the wider Fair Trade movement, known as ‘The Big Tent’ approach first introduced at the 6th International Fair Trade Towns conference in Poznan, Poland in 2012.

The International Fair Trade Towns Steering Committee, formed as a result of the Poznan conference developed the International Fair Trade Towns guidelines that state: “National campaigns are free to add to the five goals as they feel is appropriate in their own country, but are strongly recommended not to remove any of the founding goals”. A 6th goal was added in Belgium to support local producers and in Japan they went further by adding criteria aimed at promoting the local economy as well a Fair Trade, emphatically demonstrating that the two can work side by side. In April the WFTO Board nominated Tadeusz Makulski as their representative on the International Steering Committee.

Fair Trade Towns is a grassroots movement that was initially led by campaigners in so called ‘consumer’ countries to promote the sale of Fair Trade products and raise awareness of fair trade. The initiative has also been taken up in ‘producer’ countries such as Ghana, Costa Rica and Brazil however, (although the Steering Committee accept that in reality all countries are both ‘consumer’ and ‘producer’ countries) in order to promote producers and their communities. The Steering Committee encourages Fair Trade Towns to be utilised in this way in order to create the broadest possible base of stakeholders, all of which should feel responsible for the campaign at the national level.

The greatest strength of Fair Trade Towns is that they can and should involve everyone regardless of the work you do, the school your children go to, the church, mosque, synagogue or temple you worship in or what you do in your leisure time. Fair Trade Towns are about YOU so what are YOU waiting for.

For further information contact Bruce Crowther the International Fair Trade Towns Ambassador at brucecrowther300 (at) gmail.com

Bruce Crowther

International Fair Trade Towns Ambassador

The FIG Tree, Garstang, UK

Member of the Month

Oxfam Magasin du Monde

logo-oxfam-magasins-du-mondeOxfam-Magasins du monde is one of the main fair trade organisations in Belgium. It covers the regions of Wallonia and Brussels, while its sister organisation Oxfam-Wereldwinkels is active in Flanders. In 2012, the organisation turnover was equal to €5.8 million and it employed 55 full-time equivalent employees. It works with various fair trade partners in the South: directly with 33 handicraft partners and indirectly with 106 food and 18 cosmetics partners.

The main legitimacy of the organisation comes from its very strong movement of volunteers, more than 4,500, all organised in a democratic way: they manage themselves the world shops, vote for new producers to be added to the list of partners, etc. They also participate to various actions and campaigns on fair trade and economic justice issues.

In the next months, this campaigning work will focus on the coming elections, which in Belgium will take place at regional, federal, and European levels. As part of the larger ‘Vote4FT’ campaign, our main demands to the politicians will be to support fair trade of course, but also to put in place trade policies protective of human and workers’ rights. For Oxfam-Magasins du monde, it is clear that tragic events such as the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh are linked with economic pressures, forcing people to risk their lives in hope for a better future. In this context, sante-oxfampoliticians have a key role to play: putting in place an international trade framework, for example on base of fair trade, so that trade is better regulated and meets its societal goals (decent work, but also right to food, etc.). Beside the use of different tools (Vote4FT manifesto, articles, partners’ testimonies, campaign video, etc.), one major highlight of the campaign will be a public debate with EU Belgian candidates on March 4th in Brussels.

Name: Oxfam-Magasins du monde
Head Office: Wavre, Belgium
Date of foundation: 1976
Website: http://www.oxfammagasinsdumonde.be/

 

 

fairtrees_logo_green_eng


Every year, when people traditionally dance around their Christmas trees it is likely that few, if any, consider the fact that their Christmas tree probably originated in Georgia. The vast majority of seeds used for growing Christmas trees in Europe are sourced from Georgia, where both quality and production quantity are considerably higher.

coneDANGEROUS WORKING CONDITIONS
For decades, the cone pickers have been working at the risk of their lives. Harvesting of seeds in Georgia is carried out by hand and under primitive conditions. The Georgian cone pickers climb up into 30 m tall fir trees in order to reach the cones, which they then pluck and throw to the ground. The cone pickers work entirely without safety equipment, which means that occupational injuries – and fatal accidents – come with the territory of being a cone picker. Fair Trees® wants to improve working conditions for the Georgian cone pickers.

A BETTER LIFE THROUGH FAIR TRADE
Fair Trees® insists that all workers take a course on safety and that they use secure climbing equipment. The cone pickers are provided with labour insurance that covers the costs of occupational injuries as well as standard medical care. Furthermore, Fair Trees supports various social initiatives ensuring education and development in the cone picker community.

 

Websites: www.fairtrees.co.uk – www.fairtrees.de – www.fairtrees.dk –
www.fairtrees.at – www.fairtreesfund.com

 

Award winning Fair Trade fashion brands, Pachacuti and People Tree, will launch their first collections containing the WFTO Product Label. Both organizations, committed to meet the Fair Trade standards throughout their supply chain, are delighted to inaugurate the WFTO Product Label. First of its kind, the WFTO Product Label allows now consumers to detect Fair Trade businesses that hold a 100% commitment to Fair Trade in their activities. People Tree and Pachacuti follow and promote the WFTO’s core Principles of Fair Trade, covering fair wages, working conditions, transparency, capacity building, environmental best practice and gender equality. Fair practices are becoming increasingly important as people are getting more and more interested as well as informed about the ethics of supply chains.

 

people tree Product LabelPeople Tree, started already 20 years ago in Japan and has been pioneering a Fair Trade and organic cotton supply chain ever since its creation. The organization is very pleased to be among the first to launch the WFTO Product Label on their upcoming 2014 spring summer collection. This advancement is crucial as Safia Minney (MBE Founder and CEO of People Tree – UK and Japan) belives that “since the Rana Plaza tragedy, consumers want to know what to look for to be sure producers are treated well”.

 

 

pachacuti Product Label

Since becoming the world’s first Fair Trade Certified Organisation by the WFTO, Pachacuti has continued to work towards pushing standards higher and improving traceability and transparency within their supply chain. The organization is delighted to be among the first companies worldwide to use the WFTO Product Label on their new collection of Panama hats and beach bags, launched at the London Fashion Week. Carry Somers (Founder and Managing Director at Pachacuti) expressed her deep satisfaction of this new upgrade: “This label is an exciting development and I am sure that it will develop into a widely-recognised mark which will become a guarantee of the highest social and environmental standards.”

 

 

Rudi Dalvai (President of the World Fair Trade Organization) expressed his deep gratitude as well: “World Fair Trade Organisation is delighted that People Tree and Pachacuti will launch the new global Fair Trade product label at London Fashion Week. I’m Italian and love fashion, but I love good ethics too! People Tree and Pachacuti are skillfully combining both aspects.”

 

picture hat 1

 

View the original press release : pachacuti press release

For PR enquires or more information please contact:

People Tree  
Mia Hadrill
People Tree
5 Huguenot Place, 17a Heneage Street
London, E1 5LN
Email: mia.hadrill@peopletree.co.uk
Tel: 020 7042 8935
Pachacuti
Carry Somers
Pachacuti Ltd
19 Dig Street, Ashbourne
Derbyshire DE6 1GF, UK
Email: carry@panamas.co,uk
Tel: 07545135015

Ferrara 2010 (1)
Tuttaunaltracosa is the annual Fair Trade caravan that leads workshops, Fair Trade centrals, craftsmen from the southern hemisphere and volunteers from all over Italy to an happening, every year in a new town.
From the first edition in 1994, Tuttaunaltracosa has toured a great deal of big Italian cities (Milan, Genoa, Modena, Ferrara, Lecce, Naples, Reggio Emilia and many more). 40,000 visitors in three days, over 100 exhibitors from all over Italy and promotion of local solidary economies, exhibitions, conferences. Since 2007 the national fair of fair trade is under the high patronage of the President of the Republic.
Energy will be the key word for the 2013 edition of Tuttaunaltracosa. Clean energy, because the production and supply chains of fair trade are always trying to ensure maximum respect for the environment. Young and vital energy, thanks to the daily commitment of thousands of volunteers throughout Italy. But above all, energy that moves the minds, that circulates thoughts, gives oxygen to the ideas and broadens horizons: the most intense among all energies, which again Tuttaunaltracosa wants to turn on in all those who want to visit the spaces and the initiatives of the fair.
 
The appointment for everyone, then, is from October 4th to October 6th in Ferrara (Piazza Ariostea), near Reggio Emilia, from 9 am until late at night. Free entry. Reggio Emilia 2011 (1)
At Tuttaunaltracosa you can also meet the young people from Tuttounaltrocampo, the international work camp that is an apprenticeship group in a fair, a laboratory of ideas and friendships.
It is inspired from the former principles of Fair Trade and aims to share the vision of today and above all the projects of the future in an environment without national borders. Young people from all over the world coming for more than ten days to discuss Fair Trade, sustainable development, environmental politics and to meet the producers that will be present at Tuttaunaltracosa.

 

During the 2013 Belgian Fair Trade Week (Semaine du Commerce Équitable), taking place during October (02-12) in Brussels, the CTB (Trade for Development Centre) will be supporting the activities of several actors engage in or promoting Fair Trade.

WFTO-Europe is one of the participants to this annual event, with a project called Un monde équitable, une personne à la fois. The main goal of WFTO-Europe’s activities is education and the promotion of Fair Trade and its principles, seeking to raise public awareness in general, but also giving an opportunity to people interested in Fair Trade to express their individual support.

Hence, WFTO-Europe’s project Un monde équitable, une personne à la fois invites us each to see public support for Fair Trade values as something that can be built step by step, one person at a time. Photos of individuals holding the Fair Trade speech bubble ‘I support Fair Trade’ will be available in different languages. The final goal is to use these photos to build a world map of people supporting Fair Trade.

 

Our main objectives are to:

1)  Inform the public about Fair Trade and the European movement that supports it;

2)  Give visibility to the positive impacts of Fair Trade on Global Development;

3)  Invite the public to get involved in discussions concerning Fair Trade;

4)  Give visibility to the general public support towards Fair Trade principles and values.

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