In this Issue:

  • WFTO-Europe AGM
  • WFTDay 2014
  • Fair Trade Town Conference in Kumamoto
  • News from Latin America
  • Vote4FT: press release and testimonial from Filip Kaczmarek European People’s Party (Poland)

And more…!


9th of May: Europe Day

10th of May: World Fair Trade Day 2014: “Fair Trade People”

22nd-25th of May: European Parliament Elections

25th of May: Africa Day

12th-14th of June: Annual General Meeting (Mennorode Center Elspeet)

Let us know about your events!



Main Articles

AGM: postponement of the early registration fee


The WFTO-Europe Conference and AGM will take place in Elspeet (Netherlands) from 12th to 14th of June 2014. It will be a key moment to meet each other, coordinate our Fair Trade activities and take key decsions.

This year will be even more important! The 2014 Conference and AGM will be the first 3-days meeting where – as consequences of the decision taken in the 2011 WFTO Global AGM – all European member of WFTO-Global (that are now automatically WFTO-Europe members) are asked to participate. This is why we would like to count on the presence and active participation of as many European WFTO members as possible. This is also why WFTO-Europe Board and staff worked hard to make this conference as affordable as possible, and we have succeeded in making the ‘conference only costs’ exactly the same of 2012, and less expensive than previous ones.

In the current period of economic and social hardship for so many Fair Trade Organizations, this Conference and AGM will be crucial to share experiences, to reflect on and continue building our common future as a family of Fair Trade Organizations, and to strengthen our networking activities.

 The Conference and AGM will have – in addition to the mandatory decision that the AGM will have to take

(2013 account and Report, 2014 Budget, 2014/15 Working Plan…) – 5 main topics, to be debated among participants, in order to give to the WFTO-Europe and Global our vision, inputs, proposals:

  • The implementation of the new WFTO Certification System
  • Advocacy-FTAO: concrete activities, future scenario, Southern prospective
  • Domestic Fair Trade
  • Application of WFTO standards for retailers
  • Role for National Platforms.

But of course we will discuss about others important issues, as “Fair Trade Towns”, “Fair Price-Fair Wages”, future Fair Trade’s scenarios… We will be supported on this task by some relevant guests: the WFTO Global

President and Ce (Rudi Dalvai and Natàlia Leal); the WFTO-Asia President (Mr. Chitra Bahadur), the Fair Trade Advocacy Office Executive Director (Sergi Corbàlan), an expert on Sustainable and Social issues as the Mennorode Director (Mr. Gert Eigenbrood).



WFTO-Europe’s Fair Trade picnic

UntitledThe 2014 WFTDay is approaching! The World Fair Trade Day is a global celebration that brings thousands of people together worldwide around one unique aim: to raise awareness about Fair Trade. This year we dedicate the theme ‘Fair Trade People’ to all consumers and producers of Fair Trade, those people who play a big role in Fair Trade. That day, many events will take place all around the world in order for everyone to show its support to the Fair Trade movement.

For this occasion and to celebrate people of Fair Trade properly the WFTO- Europe team would like to invite you to its Fair Trade picnic that will take place on May 10 2014 in Brussels.

Everyone is welcomed, come with your friends and family and get the opportunity to share some Fair Trade homemade dishes. Feel free to bring any type of Fair Trade products.

We have also organized some special activities for all our Fair Trade supporters that will be present that day such as a team puzzle competition!

Do not hesitate to join the WFTO-Europe team on May 10!



Fair Trade Town conference in Kumamoto

FTTThe International Fair Trade Town Conference has been this year, for the first time, held outside Europe, in Kumamoto, the first Fair Trade Town in Japan and whole Asia. Kumamoto joined the movement in 2011 and celebrated with cities across all continents 1,000 Fair Trade Towns worldwide. Now, there are exactly 1,482 Fair Trade Towns in 24 countries on the six major continents.

The different objectives of the 8th conference were:

1-      To strengthen the international Fair Trade Towns network: this objective has been successfully reached as a total of 300 participants attended the conference, including 57 from outside Japan. As the majority of the Fair Trade Towns are located in Europe, many people were worried that holding this conference in Asia would have an impact on the number of participants. The movement that started in 2000 in a small English town is now spreading all around the world from Latin America, to Asia including Africa!

2-      To stimulate the burgeoning Fair Trade and fair Trade Towns movements in Japan, the second largest economy in the world: even if Kumamoto is so far the only Fair Trade Town in Japan, the movement is now growing and other strong campaigns are being held in the country and in Asia.

3-      To promote Fair Trade and Fair Trade Towns movements in Asia, the international growth centre: several representatives from South Korean took the floor to announce their project to make Seoul the World’s biggest Fair Trade City. Even if this movement is pretty new in Asia, there are already campaigns going on in South Korea and Taiwan.

4-      To develop and strengthen the North-South Fair Trade link and solidarity: following the example of Pocos de Caldas in Brazil, the first Fair Trade Town in South America in a country that contains producers and consumers, other countries in the South are now showing an interest in developing links Fair Trade Towns in the North.

This conference was a success in achieving all the four initial objectives. To read the full report of the 8th International Fair Trade Town Conference click here.


Europe Day

europe_day_2003_enOn the 9th of May 2014 celebrate peace and Unity in Europe during the Europe Day. This date marks the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration. Back in 1950, the former French Minister Robert Schuman held a historical speech in Paris in which he announced his wish of a new form of political cooperation in Europe that would make unthinkable wars between all the nations sharing the continent.

His ambition was to create an European institution that would gather together and manage the coal and steel production. One year later, a treaty has been signed and the Schuman proposal is now considered as the birth certificate of what we call today the European Union

The Europe Day is the occasion of different activities and festivities in order to unify Europe and its citizens. On that day, many European Institutions open their doors to visitors, what about going and have a look?


News from the regions


Testimonials from South America

Picture2This month we bring you two testimonials from the behalf of WFTO-Latin America. To find out how Fair Trade has affected the lives of Herminia and Casilda.

Herminia learned karanday handicraft from her parents when she was 7 years old; her entire family had been working on this.
In 2006, she began working with Estación A, where she and other artisans were trained, improved production, increased sales, and not only learnt about Fair Trade, but started working according to its principles. In 2007 they started their own committee and now they are already 14 members.
Herminia says that she has a very good relationship with Estación A, “it helped me in channeling trade and we received many trainings; we learned a lot in the workshops.”
Casilda Rios is a ñanduti handicraft from Itauguá. At the age of 10, her mother and grandmother taught her to weave ñanduti; for her, the job not only dignifies the person, but the artisan as it maintains the culture and tradition.
It has been over a year since Casilda started working with Estación A; she states that the support provided by the organisation consists in the direct participation of her products at events, training opportunities, and the fair price artisans receive for their work.
Casilda can work from home, where she coordinates her work alongside other committee artisans. She says that the artisan exhibition is a good opportunity “because we have been working together in cooperation and solidarity to produce the crafts that go to the fair.”
Casilda sees Fair Trade very positively as it values properly her work and as the organisation does not use her necessity to reduce prices. She says that they particularly appreciate receiving the fair price and it motivates them to work harder.


New press release

Untitled1One month left before the EP Elections, therefore we dedicate this whole section to the Vote4FT Campaign. You will find in this newsletter the recent FTAO press release about the third candidate who has endorsed the Fair Trade Manifesto and the last testimonial, Filip Kaczmarek from the European People’s Party.


Another leading candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission has endorsed the Fair Trade manifesto. Meeting with the FTAO team, Jean-Claude Juncker, candidate for the European People’s Party, stated his support for the Vote for Fair Trade Manifesto, thereby joining Ska Keller and Martin Schulz, who had done so earlier this month.

The Fair Trade movement launched in 2013 the Vote for Fair Trade (Vote4FT) campaign, with the financial assistance of the European Commission, with the objective to create a dialogue between EU citizens, Fair Trade producers and EU decision-makers on the policies that the EU should put in place to support Fair Trade. A key document in this campaign is the Vote4FT Manifesto, which lays down the main five demands to the European Union for the 2014-2019 term.

Jean-Claude Juncker, candidate for the European People’s Party, now joined Martin Schulz, common candidate for the Party of European Socialists and Ska Keller, co-candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission for the European Green Party, who had already endorsed the five Fair Trade movement demands earlier this month. The Manifesto has also been signed by key candidates to the European Parliament elections from various European political families in the Parliament, including the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and the Party of the European Left. Ten of these candidates, across countries and parties, seized the opportunity to explain why they support Fair Trade in a short video that is available online.

Sergi Corbalán, Executive Director of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office, stated “We welcome the support to the Vote for Fair Trade manifesto by three lead European Commission Presidency candidates, reflecting the growing support to Fair Trade by EU citizens. The times of free trade fundamentalism are over. The Commission badly needs a new leadership that puts in place a European strategy for Fair Trade”.

The Fair Trade movement is composed of 2.5 million producers and workers from 70 countries, 24 labelling initiatives, over 500 specialised Fair Trade importers, 4,000 World Shops and more than 100,000 volunteers. On the run up to the European Parliament elections taking place from 20 to 25 May, the Fair Trade movement will be engaging candidates running for the European elections in more than 20 EU Member States, asking them to endorse the 5 demands in the manifesto and making the results available on the campaign website.



Testimonial: Filip Kaczmarek, European People’s Party

The run for the EP elections goes on, as the decisive date approaches, new candidates have joined the Fair Trade movement. Here is our last testimonial from Filip Kaczmarek from the European People’s Party.

“I support Fair Trade because it is a righteous concept which has helped may people around the world”


 News from the Board

The Board minutes from the 18th of March are now online. In order to access them, please follow login here

 The next Board meeting will be held on the 12 of May, via Skype




  • The FTAO’s Internal Advocacy Bulletin for May 2014 (login required) includes articles regarding policy issues (European Parliament issues note on Fair Trade, Survey: Fairtrade most recognized quality label in EU, Initiatives fight for better conditions in the textile industry), FTAO news (Vote4FT: briefing paper on relevance of EU policies for margimilised producers and workers released) and more.
  • A poignant web documentary about the Rana Plaza disaster and the global garment industry
  • Read the recent Fashion Revolution Day press release
  • James Rodriguez, an independent photographer who focuses on social justice issues, particularly those human rights abuses, negative effects of globalization.

EU flagThis 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.

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