In this Issue:
- 2014 WFTO-Europe’s Conference & AGM: Steps forward
- WFTO-Europe’s activity in the Vote4FT campaign
- Shared Interest and Oikocredit: at the heart of a research
- Fair Share: learning by developing
- News from the regions: Asia and Africa
- Vote4FairTrade: testimonial
- Member of the month
– 6 July: International Day of Cooperatives
– 11 July: World Population Day
– 9 August: Day of Indigenous People
– 7 September: 154th Flanders Fair Trade Town celebration
– 1-11 October: Fair Trade Week
– 11-14 February: BIOFACH
Let us know about your events!
WFTO-Europe Conference and AGM: steps forward
From the 12th to the 14th of June, WFTO-Europe held its Annual General Assembly and Biennial Conference in Mennorode, a conference centre located in Elspeet, a small town in the Netherlands, and renowned for its commitment to sustainable development. The whole conference took place in a very positive atmosphere. A total of 26 participants attended the conference including 20 member organizations. WFTO-Europe welcomed two special guests: Sergi Corbalán from the Fair Trade Advocacy Office and Chitra Bahadur KC from WFTO Asia as well as two representatives from WFTO Global: Chief Executive Natália Leal and President Rudi Dalvai, whose extremely interesting participation deepened the topics presented in the programme.
It has been a key moment for WFTO-Europe and its members to coordinate their activities and take key decisions regarding the future of Fair Trade in general and more specifically of WFTO-Europe and Global. During those three intensive days, various topics have been discussed and debated. The Conference started with the official welcoming speech from WFTO-Europe to go then through a session led by Natália Leal and Rudi Dalvai on the WFTO Global topics and ended up with a remarkable presentation of Gert Eigenbrood, director of Mennorode on the environmental policy of the centre. The following day, WFTO-Europe Board members led different sessions on several topics, namely on Advocacy, the Fair Trade Towns Campaign, Domestic Fair Trade, the WFTO Guarantee system, the role of national platforms and the application of WFTO standards for retailers. The last morning session on the third day was instead focused on “Fair Price and Fair Wages”, aimed at sharing experiences amongst European members on this topic with also the contribution of Elsbeth Fabels and Frans Pasma from DAWS. The Conference was then followed by the Annual General Assembly, where legal documents were approved and further discussions on the way ahead of WFTO-Europe took place.
WFTO-Europe would like to thank all the attendees who made this event possible and for the positive feedback we received afterwards.
General outcome of the Conference is the image of a stronger network, able to convey in clear messages to be brought to Global for further discussions and to give everyone food for thought for next year AGM and Global Conference that will take place in Milan. This meeting was just a starting point. Next steps include an intensive work to be sure that all these discussions keep going on. The great atmosphere of the meeting showed that WFTO-Europe and its members are on the right path. Further progress needs to be made but WFTO-Europe remains confident on the fact that all together they can make them possible.
Last week WFTO-Europe circulated to all its members the conference report including a detailed description of all the sessions, in order to allow also those of you who couldn’t join the conference to be aware of everything discussed. This report also contains the main decisions and conclusions that have been made and that will be brought to Global for further discussions.
Please note that the Conference report as well as the draft minutes of the 2014 AGM, some pictures and the PowerPoint presentations have been also uploaded on the WFTO-Europe website in the Member’s section. Please log in here to access these documents.
For your information, an article on WFTO-Europe Conference and AGM was also published in the Fair Trade Advocacy Office’s newsletter, reaching roughly 5.000 people!
Looking forward to meeting you all next year in Milan, from 23rd to 27th May 2015.
WFTO-Europe’s activity in Vote4Ft
In the framework of the Vote 4 Fair Trade campaign, WFTO-Europe organized, during its biennial conference, a session on advocacy led by Sergi Corbalán from the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) and Chitra Bahadur KC, President of WFTO-Asia. We would like to thank both of them for their very fruitful contribution to the WFTO-Europe’s Conference, giving all the participants the opportunity to compare Northern and Southern advocacy perspectives. In sum, both of them were asked to present the different aspects of advocacy in the North and in the South, their respective tools and priorities for the upcoming years in order to see how advocacy activities can be better coordinated across the regions. FTAO stressed the need of working in the future in 2 main areas: promotion of Fair Trade, through the European strategy for Fair Trade and trade justice, through the power in supply chain campaign. The success of the Vote4FT campaign was highlighted as an example of good joint actions and campaigns. After a quick overview of the campaign, it was explained how a better coordination between North and South is crucial for further projects. Despite the differences between the two approaches in terms of advocacy, some conclusions were reached:
- The relevance of WFTO-Global to be back to FTAO.
- The need to have a country basis approach for advocacy strategies.
- The importance of joining forces to work on specific issues, such as: Guarantee System, Fair Trade Towns campaigns, WFTDay.
- The introduction of an advocacy session in all Regional Conferences, to strengthen the discussion on this topic across the world.
Shared Interest and Oikocredit, at the heart of a research
Two WFTO-Europe’s members, Shared Interest and Oikocredit are this month at the heart of a research led by the Initiative for Smallholder Finance on the Agricultural Lending Sector. Both of those member organizations are part of the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF) with five other social lenders; an alliance that focuses on creating a thriving, sustainable and transparent financial market to serve the financing needs of small and growing agricultural businesses in low- and middle-income countries worldwide. The council’s mission is to:
- Facilitate market entry and increase lending to agricultural businesses in the missing middle.
- Focus the agriculture finance sector on reaching and supporting the livelihoods of the world’s 450 million small-scale farmers.
- Promote responsible lending principles, including social, environmental and corporate governance standards, among all financial institutions serving this market.
The CSAF members which disbursed $362 million to small and growing agricultural businesses in 2013 are thinking to go further to increase their lending and impact by for example offering new financial products to their current clients or expanding into non-core geographies and commodities. Read the full research here
Fair Share: learning by developing
New digital media for sustainable and beneficial business
The Fair Share project is an initiative launched with the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme (European Commission). Six organizations have joined forces with the objective to develop an e-learning programme for Fair Trade entrepreneurs across Europe.
The aim is to support Fair Trade initiatives by providing fair trade entrepreneurs with a tailor-made training programme that meets their needs in terms of capacity building on various dimensions: the identity, the social and economic component and the organizational and governance structure.
The Fair Share project works in successive steps to design the training programme and make it relevant to fair trade entrepreneurs’ needs and expectations. The 6 partners are currently mapping, with the help of WFTO Europe and of the European Fair Trade Organizations who filled in two questionnaires, the existing training systems dedicated to fair trade and/or social entrepreneurs, and the training needs and expectations.
The second step will consist in the development of the training content and of an innovative and interactive e-learning environment, which will be tested in real-life conditions and then disseminated.
For those who haven’t filled out the questionnaires yet but are interested in taking part to this project, questionnaires are still available for a few days at this links:
For further information www.fairshareproject.eu (coming soon)
News from the regions
WFTO-Asia has a new director
Recently the WFTO-Asia office experienced important changes. A new director, Christine Gent, was appointed and the WFTO’s Asian branch inaugurated its new office in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Christine Gent has been working in Fair Trade for a long time, she started her journey designing toys for WFTO member Traidcraft and has always been an active member in the Fair Trade movement.
WFTO-Asia is the only WFTO regional office where both buyers and producers are represented, as explained by the President of WFTO-Asia, Chitra Bahadur KC, who kindly attended the WFTO-Europe Conference and AGM in the Netherlands. His presence to the meeting has been extremely worthwhile, giving the attendees the opportunity to receive a Southern perspective and deepen each conference’s topics.
Read more about WFTO Asia.
WFTO-Africa’s Conference and AGM
The 2014 WFTO-Africa Conference and AGM will take place the 7th and 8th of November in Nairobi, Kenya.
The AGM will immediately be followed by Origin Africa Expo Buyers, an event which aims to capture the spirit, style and innovation of modern Africa. Origin Africa 2014 will feature: a trade expo reflecting the fibre to fashion supply chain, B2B meetings and activities to allow buyers, manufacturers, suppliers and investors to meet and negotiate, various conferences and seminars with a focus on trade, investments and business, and a designer showcase to show the capacities and opportunities for local, regional or international buyers to establish contacts with African designers and industries.
Read more about WFTO Africa.
News from the office
In one week the office will be welcoming its new intern, Jack Grounds!
News from the Board
WFTO-Europe thanks Malcolm Curtis and Julie Stoll for the work they have done as board members in the past years and welcomes Emilie Durochat as a new Board member.
The minutes of the board meeting that took place the 12 of May via Skype have been approved. Login here to access the Board minutes.
The next Board meeting will be held the 15th of July, via Skype.
Shah Abdus Salam, Development Wheel, Bangladesh
The European Parliament Elections are now passed but the Vote4FairTrade campaign goes on. 118 candidates who have endorsed the manifesto have been elected.
Watch this testimonial of a producer from Bangladesh speaking to European decision makers.
Member of the Month
Associazione Botteghe del Monde
The Worldshops Association has been acting in Italy since 1991 and is a network of 70 cooperatives and associations running about 200 worldshops. It is a point of reference for all the Italian worldshops, helping them to be not just shops, but cultural and political organizations.
Among its most relevant activities there are the organization and promotion of Tuttaunaltracosa, the Italian Fair Trade Fair, and Tuttounaltrocampo, an international youth education camp. Moreover, the Worldshops Association organizes Summer School on different fair trade topics, provides logistic services and facilities for members, fundraising and project management services (in collaboration with members and local partners). It also performs lobbying actions in Italian national and regional political councils, organizes seminars and meetings in collaboration with schools, universities and local authorities, takes part at national events/fairs on sustainable development, promotes awareness and boycott campaigns in national content (free water, clean clothes campaign, arms control) and promotes international campaigns for the World Fair Trade Day.
Through Facebook, twitter and its newsletter services, the Wordshops Association manages a fair trade community with thousands of friends sharing interests, thoughts and initiatives.
Tuttounaltrocampo is a unique experiment, an international work camp, an apprenticeship group in a fair, a laboratory of ideas and friendships. It’s inspired from the original principles of Fair Trade and aims to share the vision of today and the projects of the future in an environment without national borders.
Tuttaunaltracosa is the fair trade caravan that every year leads workshops, fair trade centrals, craftsmen from the southern hemisphere and volunteers from all over Italy to an happening in a new town.
From the first edition in 1994, Tuttaunaltracosa has toured many Italian cities (Milan, Genoa, Modena, Ferrara, Lecce, Naples, Reggio Emilia, Arezzo and so on). In the last years, it had averaged 40,000 visitors in three days, over 100 exhibitors from all over Italy. Since 2007 the national fair of fair trade is under the High Patronage of the Italian President of the Republic.
This year marks the the 20th anniversary of Tuttaunaltracosa! We’re going to celebrate this special edition in Ferrara between October 3rd and October 5th, in partnership with the “Internazionale” festival of journalism. Waiting for you too!
Follow us on Facebook page “ass. Botteghe del mondo Italia” and visit our websites
Name: Associazione Botteghe del Mondo
Head office: Reggio Emilia
Year of foundation: 1991
FT-RELATED NEWS, PUBLICATIONS & OTHER TOOLS
- The FTAO’s Internal Advocacy Bulletin for July 2014 (login required) includes articles regarding policy issues (Council Conclusions on the role of Private Sector in Development underline the need of promoting ´fair and ethical trade´, is an EU social label for textiles coming?), FTAO news (European Parliament elections are over: what´s next? The FTAO joins the European Citizens’ Initiative against TTIP and CETA) and more!
- Interesting interactive article on the impact of hydraulic fracturing on the environment
- The Food Navigator reports how agricultural productivity is important to reduce massively global malnutrition
- Small farmers are losing lands which increases world hunger reports the Inter Press Service
- A dozen of the world biggest confectioners have signed up to the World Cocoa Foundation’s CocoaAction
- A new protocol has been adopted to eliminate contemporary forms of slavery
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.