WFTO-Europe staff currently include:
Francesca Giubilo, WFTO-Europe Coordinator
My name is Francesca Giubilo and from October 2013 I am the Coordinator of the Brussels office of this great Fair Trade network. In addition to my academic background in Political Science and International Relations, I had the opportunity to learn more about cooperation and development issues thanks to my professional experience in Europe and particularly in Africa. Starting from a volunteer experience in Kenya for a small NGO, I then followed my passion and curiosity for the region by working in Johannesburg and in a Northern rural area of Benin for one year. While the former was linked to the elaboration of a macroeconomic analysis of an emerging market, the latter was focused on design, elaboration and implementation of development projects in collaboration of local people, such as a group of women entrepreneurs.
Once back in Europe I mainly worked on humanitarian issues with Medecins Sans frontieres and Medecins du Monde. By doing that, I always wanted to tackle the roots of the unfairness and injustice I used to deal with on a daily basis. In this sense working at the European network on debt and development (Eurodad) was very inspiring to help me connect the dots and go in-depth in analysing where aid money goes and what a smart procurement is.
Fair Trade was then the logical consequence. I am flattered to join this huge network and I am excited to take part in this fight towards a fair and better world, where all people no matter where they are and who they are can live in dignity. I know that big changes cannot come overnight but I am convinced that little by little all together we can make it!
Mikkel Kofod Nørgård, Junior Project Officer
My name is Mikkel Kofod Nørgård, I am from Denmark and since September, 2018, I am WFTO-Europe’s Junior Project Officer. I am mainly responsible for managing the Trade Fair Live Fair project funded by the European Commission from September 2017-September 2020, as well as for developing and implementing our fund-raising strategy. Should you, as a member of our network, have any questions or requests concerning this project, do not hesitate to contact me. Similarly, I am always interested in hearing about your needs and difficulties as a Fair Trade organisation, since I firmly believe our fund-raising activities should focus on meeting the needs and building capacities for our members.
Concerning my background, I have a bachelor’s degree in Japan Studies, and a Master’s in International Studies from University of Aarhus in Denmark. Throughout my studies of international relations, Asia, and international political economy, I have focused particularly on inequality on both national and international level. It is clear to me that poverty and the stark gap in state of development between many countries are structural problems born from a highly flawed world economy and trade system. Therefore, I was extremely happy for the opportunity to intern here at WFTO-Europe in the Autumn of 2016, where I learned about an existing and feasible alternative model: Fair Trade. Particularly, I am very keen on Fair Trade’s commitment to constant improvement, empowerment of the marginalised, and striving for decent and transparent working conditions and fair payment for workers and producers. While Fair Trade is naturally most urgent for many communities in the global South, the strengths of this alternative model for world trade can and should benefit everyone across the world. This will be my approach to working here at WFTO-Europe.
Theresa Güldenring, Communication & Outreach Assistant
My name is Theresa Güldenring, I am from Germany and I am very happy about having joined WFTO-Europe in January as the new Communication and Outreach Assistant.
I hold a bachelor degree in Multilingual Communication that I completed in Cologne, Germany, and Edinburgh, Scotland, with a focus on cultural studies and media studies. After my Bachelor I decided to focus on development policies and traveled to Uganda for a month to visit an aid project for orphans. This experience really showed me the importance of self-help and capacity building for marginalised groups. After returning to Germany, I completed internships in in the fields of development policy education and public relations in two NGOs and then worked as a project officer for integration and migration at Caritas. To gain additional insights in politics from a scientific point of view, in 2018 I started another bachelor course through distance learning in Political Sciences and Sociology.
The concept of Fair Trade has caught my interest quite a while ago when I started to reflect on my own consumption behaviour – especially when it came to textile, fashion and finding alternatives to the exploitative ways of fast fashion industry. I see a great potential for the Fair Trade movement to gain more political and social importance and I am convinced that it can contribute to a more globally fair world in which everyone is aware of his or her own global responsibility.
Paloma Jimenez, Project Management and Fundraising Assistant
My name is Paloma Jimenez, I am from Spain and I’m part of the team as Project Management and Fundraising Assistant since February 2019.
Regarding my academic background, I have a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and also a Master’s in CSR and Sustainability. Nowadays, I am a student of International Development Studies at the International University Grenoble Alpes, and, as part of the program, I had the grand opportunity to become part of this amazing professional environment in WFTOE.
According to my previous professional experience, I have always been involved in networking processes to promote Development, in order to give a voice to those organizations who are daily working for a fairer and more equitable world. Institutions as UNHCR Spain, “Coordinadora Valenciana de ONGD” or “Solidad Internacional” are some of them.
Even though there are an endless list of reasons why I´m really interested in Fair Trade as an essential tool for a sustainable and fair future for us and our planet, nowadays I trust on it more than even; Since I had the opportunity to know at first hand the effect of it in the rural area of Atitlan, in Guatemala country. During that time, I was working on reporting some projects and indigenous community initiatives. In this way, I realized how much societies should learn from the consequences of the mainstream market and which is more important, what a huge power we have to make the difference as citizens.