In this Issue:

  • 2015  World Fair Trade Week
  • 2015 WFTDay theme is “Be an Agent for Change”
  • Who´s got the power? New study confirms imbalances in agricultural supply chains
  • Training on the Guarantee System
  • Updates on the 2014 WFTO Africa & Middle East Conference
  • Vote4FairTrade
  • Member of the month

And More..!



-10 December: International Human Right’s Day

– 20 December: International Human Solidarity Day

-23-24 January: Fair Trade Federation Retailer Symposium

– 11–14 February: BIOFACH

-20 February: World Day of Social Justice

-23 February—8 March: Fairtrade Fortnight 2015

-4-5 July – Fair Trade Towns Conference

and more!


Let us know about your events!



Main Articles


2015 World Fair Trade Week


Dear members and friends in Fair Trade,

Time is running very fast towards the world’s most important Fair Trade event of the next 2 years: the already announced WORLD FAIR TRADE WEEK (2015 WFTW). This event, organized by WFTO and Agices (the Italian Fair Trade national platform) will be held in Milan (Italy) from 23rd to 31st May 2015, in parallel to the Milan 2015 World EXPO. The main aim is to promote WFTO and Fair Trade as well as to convey the Fair Trade Organization identity and message at international level.

This is the official logo of this global event, while the “2015 WFTW Manifesto” is enclosed with this letter. For any further information please have a look at thefair-trade-week-milan


The 2015 WFTW Program will include:

  • The 13th WFTO Global Biennial Conference/AGM
  • The Fair Trade Fashion Show
  • The “Fair Cooking” events
  • The Mohammed Islam Design Award
  • Public meetings and conferences
  • The World Fair Trade Exhibition
  • The Fair Trade International Symposium.



In addition to the WFTO Biennial Conference and AGM, WFTO-Europe wants to draw your attention to the 2 last events, whose impact will strongly depend on the participation of the Fair Trade Organizations. WFTO-Europe invites you to seriously consider being part of it, to promote directly your organization, to invest in business and academic contacts and to contribute to the success of the 2015 WFTW.


WFTO GLOBAL CONFERENCE/AGM (24th – 27th May 2015)

Please bear in mind that registrations are open until end February 2015, or until end of April 2015 with a late fee registration (please refer to Global for any further information).

WORLD FAIR TRADE EXHIBITION (28th – 31st May 2015)

milan-fair-cityThe first World Fair Trade Fair will be held in the prestigious location of the “Fabbrica del Vapore” (Steam Factory). 200 exhibitors are expected from all over the world, from Fair Trade food and crafts to the so-called “domestic Fair Trade”, from international cooperation to the solidarity economy, with the possibility not only of buying products and living direct experiences with Fair Trade’s producers. The first day will be dedicated to operators, practitioners, journalists in a “B2B way”; from Friday to Sunday the Fair will be open to the public (entrance free). The organizers expect to welcome about 50.000 visitors.
Why do not be there? We do think that European FTOs should also be part of this event. All information regarding rules, participation and organization details are in:


FTS-2015Critically Developing the Fair Trade Movement: Trade justice in food, fashion and craft
Following the previous Fair Trade International Symposiums (FTIS – Montreal 2002 and 2006, Montpellier 2008, Liverpool 2012), the FTIS International Steering Committee – led by the Milan Politecnico University – is now organizing the 5th event in Milan. The main aim is to facilitate a close working relationship between researchers, policy makers and practitioners. The FTIS 2015 will be dedicated to the theme “Critically Developing the Fair Trade Movement: Trade justice in food, fashion and craft”, in connection with the themes of the Milan EXPO 2015.

The 6 broad themes of the FTIS 2015 will be:

1. Critical Perspectives on Fair Trade Governance and Certification Approaches
2. What Changes Do Fair Trade Practices Bring About in Production and Trade?
3. What is the Relationship between Consumers and Fair Trade Practices?
4. Fair Trade Business, Networks, Organizations and Places
5. The Role of Appropriate Technology in the Fair Trade Movement and in agriculture innovation with particular focus on climate change mitigation and adaptation measures
6. Cross Cutting Theme: Methodological Innovations and Approaches.

The FTIS program will be based on presentations of research and original documentations, presented by speakers and panelists, selected among those that will be proposed – answering to a “CALL FOR PAPER” – by academics, researchers, practitioners.
WFTO Europe recommends its members to use this event as an opportunity to contact academics, researchers and institutions. Please spread the voice about the 2015 FTIS event, and propose documents and/or speakers to it. You will find all information regarding the CALL FOR PAPERS, and procedures (deadline to submit an extended abstract is the 15 January 2015) in the second document enclosed with this letter or here:

Dear friends, we do think that these events are a great opportunity to strengthen the Fair Trade movement and organizations, especially in this not so easy time. We, as European actors, should play an important role to contribute and to spread the 2015 WFTW contents and message. Please send us yours feedbacks, suggestions, critics about it!

On behalf of WFTO Europe Board:
Giorgio Dal Fiume


“2015 WFTW Manifesto”

FTIS 2015 Milan Call for papers


2015 WFTDay Theme is “Be an  Agent for Change”

WFTO_global_rgbDear members,

The theme for the 2015 WFTDay has been decided and it will be  “Be and agent for change.” This theme will allow WFTO, members, non-members and many other actors in the Fair Trade movement to make use of it in many different ways, due to its broad character. The “agent” theme will give member’s the possibility to define their own change and commitment standards. The theme will remain constant for the coming three years, regularly changing the messaging and activities related to it.

Here’s the rationale of the theme: Be is an invitation for participation in the day and not an instruction. Agent can refer to any individual – a consumer, a producer, a lobbyist, and event organizer as well as, a company, a retailer, a community, a town, etc. The word for means that agents themselves are not the change, but rather that they are the forces that support and encourage change. Change refers to the positive change that can be exerted on the livelihoods of producers, in attitudes of consumers and in trade policies, making “change” both understandable and actionable.

WFTO encourages members to start planning events using the theme. More information will follow about the 2015 World Fair Trade Day celebration. Please regularly check its website and emails for updates.


Who’ s got the power? New study confirms imbalances in agricultural supply chains

The last 18th of November 2014 WFTO-Europe was present at the launch of the report on Power in Supply Chains at the European Parliament, with subsequent debate on how the European Union can address imbalances of power in agricultural supply chains. The report, commissioned by the Fair Trade Advocacy Office, the French Fair Trade Platform, and Traidcraft, highlights the repercussions of power concentration in agricultural supply chains on producers in the global South and presents solutions for the European Union to tackle these in order to ensure efficient operation of the Single Market and fair competition in the market.

Click here in order to read the press release.

Download the abstract here.

Download the full report here.

CommerceEquitabletraidcraftftao logo



Training Session on the Guarantee System


Lesson #1: introduction to the GS training session through the newsletter, steps and general overview

Dear members,

After some doubts and concerns raised by some of you during the last months, and the outcome of the survey on communication, we are happy to announce that we are going to start a training session on the new WFTO Guarantee System within the upcoming issues of our newsletter.

We hope that this will help clarify some of your doubts and that you will take some time to train yourself on this important new system which WFTO is extremely proud of.

The newsletter training on the Guarantee System will last eight months (starting from now) and will be organised as follows:wfto_label_dropshadow_small

1. #33 (Dec 2014) Introduction to the GS training programme on the newsletter, steps and general overview

2. #34 (Jan 2015) Type of membership

3. #35 (Feb 2015) Profile form + FAQ

4. #36 (Mar 2015) SAR +  FAQ

5. #37 (Apr 2015)  Peer visit + FAQ

6. #38 (May 2015) Audit Visit + FAQ

7. #39 (Jun 2015) Risk assessment

8. #40 (Jul 2015) Fair Trade Accountability watch

As you can see from above, at the end of some articles, you will find a specific session dedicated to the most frequently asked questions (FAQ). For this reason, we strongly encourage you to send in advance any question or doubt that you might have, so that we can try to address them in the specific issue dedicated to the topic. We would like to specify that this initiative has been implemented for YOU, and this programme is then subjected to updates and changes according to YOUR specific needs. Please write to if you have any suggestion on how to improve this training or if you think to need further instruction in a specific area.

A brief recap of the GS

WFTO decided at its AGM in Mombasa in 2011 to develop a new Fair Trade system, which could be certified, to guarantee the Fair Trade credentials of members. It was decided on a two steps approach, to develop the system and establish it as WFTO’s membership and monitoring system, before taking the second step to certify the system.

From the outset it was clear that this must be a closed system, available to WFTO members only, and also that it must be mandatory for all members, whether or not they wish to use the WFTO Product  Label on their products. Membership of WFTO will guarantee an organisation’s compliance with Fair Trade Principles, and thus all members are equally responsible for the reputation of our Guarantee System. By the same token WFTO’s Guarantee System needs to be rigorous enough to rid itself of members who are not complying with its Principles.

The system is based on a three-level monitoring system whereby members are required to fulfil the following monitoring procedures:

1. Self- Assessment: every 2 years

2. Monitoring audit by an approved WFTO-auditor every 2-6 years depending on the risk category

3. Peer visits by peers nominated by the FTO: every 2-6 years depending on the risk category.

Additionally, WFTO has developed the WFTO Fair Trade Accountability Watch, which is an online social accountability system that allows all members as well as concerned stakeholders or the public to raise alerts about a WFTO member’s compliance with the WFTO Standard (more on this in the following issue).

Please take note of the next training session you might be interested into and stay tuned!


1. Am I going to be a certified organization?

No, the Guarantee System is not a product certification system, but an assurance mechanism that Fair Trade is implemented in the supply chain and practices of the organisation.

2. I cannot find the forms on your website.

The new profile and SAR forms can be found in the WFTO website, under the Members Only section (you need to login in order to access it). Go to the Guarantee System section on the right hand side of the page. The forms are part of the Handbook, in Chapter 11 (11.1.1b and c).

3. Is the Handbook available in other languages?

In special cases, we can provide translations for some small parts, however it is currently not possible to have the whole annex in other languages. English version is always binding even if translations become available.

4. Can I fill in the SAR in other languages?

Unfortunately we don’t have enough resources to screen SAR in different languages. The SAR form must be filled in English.

5. When will I be able to use the label?

Only, full members of WFTO who have undergone the Guarantee System monitoring process (SAR+Audit for this first cycle), have been approved according to the WFTO Standard, and have signed a labelling agreement with WFTO, can use the WFTO Product Label.

6. How long does the whole process take?

It mainly depends on how accurately you will fill in your SAR. Normally, the approval of the SAR + Audit visit should take approximately six months.


News from the Regions


Updates on the 2014 WFTO Africa & Middle East Conference

1477539_1423915467840233_1274425074_aAfrican members of WFTO elected a new chair and new members of the board, and renamed their region during their recent regional conference in Arusha, Tanzania, last 12 and 13 November. Rain Morgan of Turqle Trading (South Africa) was elected as the new WFTO Africa Chair, and the region is now called WFTO Africa and the Middle East. Replacing the outgoing board members are Sabine Huester (Kiboko Leisure Wear, Kenya), Mbah Chrispus (Bamenda Handicraft Cooperative Society), Jim Kenyanya (Smolart Self Help, Kenya), and Sara Nakisanze (Easy Afric Designs, Uganda).WFTO Africa Confernece1

Rain Morgan is the first woman to sit as chair of the African region. She said: “The mission for the incoming board is to move WFTO Africa & Middle East closer to our global family – to contribute more to the global Fair Trading conversations – both inside WFTO and in the broader Fair Trading community and to make our voices as African and Middle Eastern Fair Traders heard.

“We have to make some concerted efforts to create support networks for ourselves, amongst ourselves – we have tremendous resources of knowledge and experience – we need to start sharing to build our own strong foundations – we need to speak to each other and for each other – we are one family in Africa and the Middle East.”

Rain added that members who attended the conference were proud to see positive changes and success stories become possible since a rescue mission for COFTA (Cooperation for Fair Trade in Africa) was first launched 4 years ago.

“It was exciting to see how African members are trying to learn from each other, build synergies and strengthen their regional network. There were a lot of new ideas. The Arusha Community Fair was also a positive experience and members benefited from the visit of an expert on product development and advice on stand presentation,” said Natália Leal, Chief Executive of the WFTO Global Office.

The organisation’s name change from WFTO Africa to WFTO Africa & Middle East Middle Eastern allows countries like Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and Palestine to officially join the regional network.

The conference and AGM resulted in successful, productive and informative meetings. Congratulations WFTO Africa and the Middle East!

By Natalia Báez


News from the Board

The minutes of the last Board meetings held in Brussels, the 8th and 9th of October 2014, are now available on the  website. Login here in order to Access the Board minutes.

The next face to face meeting will be held in Paris 28th & 29th of January 2015.


News from the Office

Picture1Wfto-Europe thanks all of you for your commitment to Fair Trade and wishes to do even more in the next year.




Vote4FairTrade: Testimonials


Testimonial: Esther Mwanyama, Kenya

Southern producer, Esther Mwanyama from Kenya speaking to European decision makers. “Members of the European Parliament should be ambassadors of what Fair Trade is all about”.

Fair Trade producer: Esther Mwanyama, Kenya from Fair Trade Advocacy Office on Vimeo.




Member of the Month


La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE AB

La Maison Afrique FAIRTRADE logo

Since its start in 1995, La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE, a non-profit Fair Trade organization, supports and cooperates with artisans in Madagascar. Its 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 are 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.

During 2014, a new website was created: Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE photo

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



  • The FTAO’s Internal Advocacy Bulletin for November 2014 (login required) includes articles regarding policy issues (Who’s got the power? New study confirms that it is not the producers), FTAO news (Minutes of EU Fair Trade Advocacy Meeting) and more!
  • Event it Up – Time to end extreme inequality, new report from Oxfam about the growing inequality which characterises the world today.
  • Climate Change Action Now – Fairtrade producers will be in Lima (COP 20), urging governments to provide more support to smallholder farmers in fighting the effects of climate change on their livelihood.
  • EU tax havens drain money from developing nations – article from EU Observer
  • New proposed EC Regulation on Organic Farming—Positon Paper form FTAO
  • Rhize Catalyst Fellowship 2015—fellowship for movement-builders around the world

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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