A look back at 2018
In planning ahead for 2019 we, here at WFTO-Europe, have been looking back and reflecting on our activities and achievements in 2018. As the clock has struck 2019, we would like to share some of those reflections with you.
- For celebrating International Women’s Day in March 2018, we shared stories from our members that relates specifically how Fair Trade empowers women and promotes gender equality. If you did not catch it, you can read the stories in our small booklet available here. Do feel free to re-read the stories, too, if you were already on board back in March.
- For World Fair Trade Day in May 2018, we asked our members to record a small presentation of themselves, their work, and what Fair Trade means to them. You can watch or re-watch the video that came out of all these recordings here.
Together with this video, we also promoted the theme: Live Fair, one Fair Trade product at a time. This was both in celebration of the growing number of people willing to pay for ethical and sustainable products like Fair Trade – as well as to push for that number to keep growing. You can (re)visit what we have published for this theme here.
- In June 2018 we held our Biennial Conference, whose first day was dedicated to a public event on Universalizing the Fair Trade principles for an EU sustainable – and fair – production and consumption agenda. This was co-organised with the Fair Trade Advocacy Office and was attended by members but also Civil Society Organisations outside of our membership, like BEUC-The European Consumer Organisation, Habitat Integrated Pakistan, CONCORD, Friends of the Earth Europe, among others. The following 2 days featured two workshops covering our, at WFTO-Europe, and WFTO’s key research topics for both 2018 and 2019: Living wage, gender equity and domestic Fair Trade.
- In October 2018, we met with the other members of the Fair Trade Advocacy Network for the Fair Trade Marathon, to discuss and collaborate on defining the way forward. Among key topics raised were the new International Fair Trade Charter, the coming elections for the European Parliament in May 2019, and a study commissioned by our member Commerce Équitable France, which indicates how Fair Trade in combination with organic certification helps coffee farmers improve their average income and limit the surprisingly high externality costs from pollution, etc. of conventional coffee farming. You can find the study in both French, and soon in English, too, here.
- Finally, we collaborated with several Trade Fair Live Fair partners and others from the Fair Trade movement on a Policy Statement for COP24 in December in Katowice, Poland.
Planning ahead for 2019
A key part of the Trade Fair Live Fair project for all project partners will be the elections for the European Parliament to be held in the end of May this year. For this we will be supporting our members on engaging with the candidates for MEP from their countries.
For us at WFTO-Europe specifically, this year will also be full of exciting key moments:
- First will be the International Women’s Day on 8th March, where we will take part in the promotion of gender equality and the rights of women. In particular we will promote the recent research on the contributions of Fair Trade and Fair Trade enterprises commissioned by WFTO.
- Then, later in March, we are planning to publish a review of our European network and particular members and how they are contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goal’s through Fair Trade and their mission-led business models.
- For the World Fair Trade Day on 11th May we will take part in the global celebration together with WFTO, and the other regions, Africa, Asia, Latin America and Pacific Rim.
- In end-May we expect to publish the research we have commissioned on Living Wages and Fair Payment with insights and recommendations for mainstream companies and policy-makers for adopting or supporting Fair Trade and in particular WFTO’s Fair Payment Policy.
- Finally, we are inviting our members for a two-days event in June with workshops and advocacy training. Exceptionally, attendance will be free from registration fees this time thanks to funding from the Trade Fair, Live Fair project. The event will conclude with our Annual General Assembly.
- In September we will take part in the International Fair Trade Summit on the 16th-19th in Lima, Peru. We hope to meet and collaborate with many of our members on this occasion. If you are interested in joining us there, you can find more information here.
- After this, it will again be time for the October tradition of the Fair Trade Marathon organized by the FTAO in Brussels.
Looking forward to working with you in 2019!