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.
Federica Pastore, Communication & Outreach Assistant
My name is Federica Pastore, I recently jumped on board of WFTO-Europe as new Communication and Outreach Assistant. I will be really happy to spread the news concerning Fair Trade for the next few months, trying to engage new and current members in this big network.
I hold a Bachelor`s degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures from the University of Bologna. During this time I had the opportunity to study for one year in Dublin, where I researched a lot about language issues relating to immigration, identity, and social integration. I then decided to enroll in a Master`s degree in International Cooperation, Human Rights and Cultural Heritage Preservation, in order to deepen my knowledge in human rights and fostering also a sensibility for cultural heritage, in all its form, as a means of expressing identity and empowering communities. I got some hands-on experience during a Summer School in India, which allowed me to visit many different social enterprises, NGOs and associations supporting local producers and artisans. This was useful to understand how bottom-up initiatives in those areas can lead rural development and help people gaining recognition, improving socio-economically while safeguarding traditions. I also worked as an intern in Berlin, with two start-ups dealing with social entrepreneurship for refugees’ integration, and there I got to know many social initiatives and projects born in response to “refugees` crisis”, whose innovative approach really struck my attention.
Even though they were very different experiences, I think both India and Berlin lead me to Fair Trade, as they gave me the opportunity to understand how human creativity can lead to unbelievable solutions to deal with the most complex issues and how bottom-up initiatives, social entreprises and alternative business models can really play a central role in empowering, developing and innovating our society.