In this Issue:
- WFTO-Europe AGM
- World Fair Trade Day 2014
- FTT in Latin America
- Fashion Revolution Day 2014
- Members’ section: Created Gifts closing down
- VOTE4FT: Manifesto launch, campaign evolutions and testimonial from Niels Jongerius
– 4th of April: The launch of the Fair Trade Manifesto
– 24th of April: Fashion Revolution Day
– 9-10th of May: The European Youth Event, Strasbourg
– 10th of May: World Fair Trade Day 2014: “Fair Trade People”.
– 22-25th of May: European Parliament Election 2014
– 12-14 June: Annual General Meeting (Mennorode center,Elspeet)
Let us know about your events!
WFTO-Europe Annual General Meeting 2014
All details regarding registration can be found on the AGM section in the members’ area.
Close to the time, we will be sending you all the documents that will be analysed and discussed during our conference and AGM. The official Notice for the AGM will be sent in few weeks as well.
Looking forward to meeting you all!
For further information about the AGM, please login here and visit the institutional information section in members’ area.
World Fair Trade Day 2014
As the World Fair Trade is approaching, we wanted to share a few tools that could be of assistance in order to plan and organise your event(s).
1) The 10-step event guide
These steps can assist you in preparing an event for the WFTD. Here are the 10 topics covered in the WFTO event guide:
- Suppliers and Products
- Your experience
- Plan your next WFTDay event Click here
2) Sample events you can organize
WFTO has a list of sample events that may be useful. Here is a few of them:
- Fair Trade Products Fair
- Fair Trade Coffee/Tea Breaks
- Fair Trade Cooking Competition
- Fair Trade University Lectures
- Face Painting Click here.
3) Worldwide Calendar of WFTDay Events
WFTO has created a public calendar where member can list their events. Make sure that your event is listed among all the other to gain more visibility and publicity for your activities.
Fair Trade Towns in Latin America
(by Marco Coscione, Coordinadora Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Pequeños Productores de Comercio Justo [CLAC])
The English town of Garstang declared itself in 2000 as the first “Fair Trade Town” in the world; since then the movement has rapidly grown, totaling to 1431 cities at the beginning of 2014. The five criteria to become a “Fair Trade Town” state that the main goal is to advocate both public institutions and civil society for support for Fair Trade. Cities could represent the ideal interaction between citizens and authorities. In them citizens, as responsible consumers, can develop active advocacy work and reach consistent results. From Latin America and the Caribbean we are following this development as well as the potential of new collaborations at the local level with great interest.
Latin America is home to two important Fair Trade Towns: Pérez Zeledón in Costa Rica and Alfenas in Brazil. They represent remarkable efforts of bringing also to our continent the ideas of ??the movement. However both consumers’ awareness and the interest of our cities for these issues are still in the beginning. We have yet to achieve the necessary momentum to build relationships of concrete support for Fair Trade.
Given the importance that the Fair Trade Towns are getting within Europe, we consider it very important for the European Union to support this movement, in order to continue close relationships between Fair Trade organizations and local authorities. This would also allow us on an international level to aim for more direct cooperation between the existing Fair Trade Towns in the North and our towns and villages in the South.
- Developing twinning programs between the Northern Fair Trade Towns and Latin American and Caribbean towns and villages whose population directly depends on Fair Trade relations
- Establishing exchanges with European cities involved and committed to Fair Trade, in order to learn how to better advocate the decision-making processes of public institutions in the cities of Latin America and the Caribbean
- Building direct relations between Southern producer organizations and Northern Fair Trade Towns.
- This would all help to increase the presence of Fair Trade Towns in our territory.
To this extent we believe that the European Union´s international cooperation policies, as well as the ones directed at European regions and cities, should work to strengthen the Fair Trade Towns movement and help to create new direct links with communities and people of the South.
For more information contact:
Fundraising and Advocacy Coordinator
Coordinadora Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Pequeños Productores de Comercio Justomarco.firstname.lastname@example.org
Fashion Revolution Day 2014
On April 24th 2013, 1133 people were killed when the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Many more were injured. Today, people are still suffering as a direct result of our fashion supply chain.
One year later, on the 24th of April, people around the world – from designers and icons, to high street shops and high couture, from cotton farmers and factory workers, to campaigners, academics, the media and any individual who cares about what they wear – will unite under the Fashion Revolutions Day’s slogan “enough is enough”.
To commemorate the Rana Plaza disaster, people around the world will start by remembering its victims and raising awareness of the fashion industry’s biggest challenges. But because fashion is also a positive force too, the objective will be also to celebrate and spread excitement about the power fashion has to make big changes happen fast.
All this will come together under a plan with the aim to ask one simple question: Who Made your Clothers? People are invited to ask everyone who’s part of Fashion Revolution Day to help by wearing an item of clothing inside out, photographing it and then sharing it with the hashtag #insideout.
That way, everyone – wherever they are, whoever they are and whatever they’re wearing – can show their support for better connections and transparency across the fashion supply chain.
Founder of Fashion Revolution, Carry Somers says “Fashion Revolution Day has gathered incredible momentum on a global scale. We have over 50 countries around the world who will be participating in the day and I believe this represents a really exciting opportunity to reconnect fashion-lovers with the people who made their clothes”
So get ready for this year’s Fashion Revolution Day and do not hesitate to photograph your clothes, whether ethical or not. This day is about change, not self-image.
Created Gifts closing down
After nearly forty years of pioneering sales of fairly traded products, Tearfund will this year celebrate the successes of Created Gifts as they start a two-year process to bring the business to a close.
Created, which started as Tearcraft in 1975, was one of the UK’s first enterprises trading in fairly traded products and has sold jewellery, gifts, cards and homewares to thousands of customers in the UK.
Created’s successes in making fairly traded products popular has led to significant increase in customer demand, now met by a range of retailers, and Tearfund will wind down the business over the next three years.
‘We know that our trading has helped thousands of artisans in poor communities around the world, through a pro-poor business financially breaking even to make sure that we are sustainable,’ said Matthew Frost, Tearfund Chief Executive.
‘Over the time we have been in business we have seen consumer awareness grow and now fair trade goods are available on every high street. We’re very proud of the part we have played in making that happen.
‘However, when we forecast the next few years, we conclude that sustainable trading is no longer possible for us. Increasing product costs, tough retailing conditions in the UK and the growing number of sources of fair trade products mean that we are finding that our own business will not remain viable and so we have taken the strategic decision to close the business and celebrate all we have achieved.’
Trading will continue during the next two years, and the many volunteers who sell Created products will take part in a number of celebrations to mark the successes of the last forty years of trading.
The launch of the Manifesto and a campaign update
On the 4th of April 2014 the public launch of the Fair Trade manifesto will take place in the European Parliament (EP). During this last Fair Trade event, candidates who wish to endorse the manifesto have the opportunity to sign the document. The objective of the manifesto is to create support for Fair Trade and Trade Justice and will serve as a basis for cooperation with the elected Members of the European Parliament 2014-2019.
In the run up to the upcoming elections, Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) has already met with several candidates to ensure their support for Fair Trade. The Fair Trade manifesto has already been endorsed by a dozen of candidates from seven countries including Belgium, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, the UK. Seven of them explain their support in short videos that can be seen here. The campaign is truly cross-party and has already found support in almost all of the main European political families in the Parliament: the European People’s Party, the Party of European Socialists, the European Green Party and the Party of the European Left.
All Fair Trade organisations involved in the Vote4FT campaign will continue to carry out activities to broaden the support of Fair Trade in the next European Parliament. In Belgium for example, Oxfam Magasins du monde together with the FTAO organised a debate with francophone Belgian candidates from the main political families. Other events will soon take place in France and Austria.
(text by FTAO)
Niels Jongerius – European United Left – Nordic Green Left, The Netherlands.
This month, we bring you Niels Jongerius from the European Left—Nordic Green Left, Netherlands:
” It is very good that for the first time in many year the voters can now decide on what kind of trade policy they support. “
News from the Board
The Board minutes from the 10th of February are now online. In order to access them, please follow this link.
The next Board meeting will be held 14-15th of April in Paris.
Login here to access the Board minutes.
Member of the Month
From humanitarian to successful business project
BHcrafts is the title of the project which unites creative, humanitarian, business and psychotherapeutic characteristics in a highly balanced and outstandingly successful manner.It is the project of production of handmade clothing and decorative items, which involves women from Bosnia and Herzegovina.Non governmental humanitarian organization Norwegian People’s Aid has started this project in 1995. In the beginning, the project has had prominently humanitarian character, and today, it has developed into a successful and export-oriented business, which is still successfully developing. The result of that development is the enterprise BHcrafts, which is in charge of promoting and selling Bosnian handicrafts in country and abroad.
The way one humanitarian idea developed into a successful business project
BHcrafts is, in every respect, outstanding and successful project. Women, among whom are many of those whose husbands, children, brothers and fathers were killed in the last war, are enabled to integrate into normal way of life again, in the best possible way by means of creativity and personal engagement. All relevant researches has proved that it is the best and the most effective way to confront the war traumas and to eliminate their consequences. Within our program women of different ethnic background from both of the B&H entities were given a chance to forget their difficult past, through a lot of work, care and subtle socialization.
Synthesis of skill and natural materials
Clothing and program for household, made in the BHcrafts, elicit undivided enthusiasm. The leading world media have written about attractiveness and quality of our handicraft products. Each product is unique, hand-made in traditional techniques of knitting, crocheting and weaving, which have made BHcrafts products recognizable and appreciated. These products, regardless of whether they are clothing items, table cloths or carpets, cannot be the subject of mass production. The products are handmade, with devotion and persistence, without the use of machines. Most of the products are made of chemically untreated wool and cotton, in the process which obeys the strict ecological standards.
Ecology, business, self-consciousness
The products of the BHcrafts are made with use of domestic raw materials, thus supporting the economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is the ecologically conscientious project, which does not pollute the environment in not a single stage of production (paper bags, cardboard boxes, looms for weaving). The project promotes Bosnia and Herzegovina in an attractive and original manner by export of the high-quality products. Our products are mixture of traditional and modern achievements of design, which is the combination that ensures a successful existence at the demanding world market.
Social responsibility and fair trade
Bhcrafts is the first recognized, and awarded, social entrepreneurship from Balkans (The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in 2002), as well as the first certified fair trade producer, and still the only one in BiH ( International Fair Trade Association – IFAT in 2009) and the winner, in the category “URBAN& REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT”, of Sustainable Entrepreneurship Award – SEA, in 2013. As the pioneer in both categories, BHcrafts has kept promoting Fair Trade principles and Socially Responsible Business ever since then.
Head Office: Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Year of Foundation: 1995
FT-RELATED NEWS, PUBLICATIONS & OTHER TOOLS
- The FTAO’s Internal Advocacy Bulletin for March 2014 (login required) includes articles regarding policy issues (Final decisions on European Year for Development 2015, European Commission proposes new organic rules: A Fortress Europe in Organic Agriculture?) and FTAO news (BIG news for Vote4FairTrade to be published on 4 April 2014, Tomorrow: Winners of the European Fair Cotton Procurement Award will be announced)
- Fairtrade Foundation’s report Britain’s Bruising Banana Wars investigates why cheap bananas threaten farmers’ futures
- The Human Rights Watch report Whose Development? documents on how relocated families in Sierra Leone have lost their livelihoods due to government enforced relocations.
- William Easterly’s new book The Tyranny of Experts observes that only a new model of development—one predicated on respect for the individual rights of people in developing countries will be capable of ending global poverty once and for all.
- How sustainable is your smart phone? Guardians interactive map shows the social and environmental cost behind the raw materials in our smartphones.
- State of Sustainability Initiatives (SSI) Review 2014 examines the impact of “eco-labels analysing market trends across 16 of the most important standard initiatives.
- Fair World Project presents Free Trade Vs. Fair Trade video portrays how free trade is harmful for the global south and how Fair Trade provides an alternative solution.
This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of WFTO-Europe and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.