For the last three years, WFTO-Europe’s main activities have been to raise awareness on the contributions of Fair Trade to the SDGs as part of the Trade Fair, Live Fair project (TFLF), funded by the European Commission through the DEAR fund.
Though many of the final activities had to be cancelled or postponed due to Covid-19, we managed to get good results, especially our two practical toolkits on Circular Economy Practices and how to engage in Public Procurement as a social, ethical or Fair Trade enterprise are particularly insightful. Thanks to an extension of four months granted by the EC, and a quick adaptation to online activities, we achieved results that will continue to be useful and valuable over the next years for our membership, for our work and for spreading a deeper understanding of the value of Fair Trade for societies at home and marginalised communities across the world.
The TFLF project enabled us to progress significantly on a range of topics, not least on the relevance of Fair Trade as part of the solutions to the Climate Crisis, and the increasing need to universalise the Fair Trade Principles. Overall, this progress points ever more clearly to the fact that we need to transform the global economy altogether to see significant and lasting change for the better. Fortunately, with the conclusion of this project it is our impression that European citizens and EU policy-makers increasingly understand that it is an obligation to Build Back Fairer on top of the double crisis of Covid-19 and the climate.
The year of 2020 was definitely not easy for the most of us, but looking back carefully to all our accomplishments this year, we showed the world how we stood up for gender and climate justice, for human rights and fair fashion. We stood together in solidarity for those who the global economy leaves behind. Together, WFTO Europe and their members got stronger through solidarity campaigns, and in 2021 we will raise our voice even higher. Let’s remember some of them:
Women’s Day: A week to highlight the hard work of billions of women worldwide, portraying our members, talking about their thoughts, their inspirations, and their efforts to always achieve more on gender equality issues, through the Humans of Fair Trade campaign.
World Fair Trade Day: In our Members Review 2020, 7 incredible Fair Trade Enterprises Dece, gebana, MYOMY do goods, GEPA – The Fair Trade Company, Elvang Denmark, Shared Interest Society and Ojoba Collective tell their inspiring stories giving better insights on the ways how Fair Trade enterprises deal with environmental challenges
Human Rights Day: On December 10th, we stood up for Human Rights of those who make our clothes. Garments are the second highest at-risk product category for modern slavery, and we demonstrated how Human Rights Due Diligence Lesgislation can help improving the transparency in the garment supply chains and end forced labour.
Paris Agreement Statement: The Fair Trade movement joined together in one voice and released a statement calling the Parties of the UNFCCC to act on their commitments under the Paris Agreement. We urge them to prioritise fair trading practices in the global supply chains as indispensable for climate justice.
Build Back Fairer: The Covid-19 pandemic emerged even clearer the environmental and social injustices that people suffer everyday all around the globe, especially small producers and workers. We cannot return to ‘business as usual’ after the pandemic. Thus, as a civil society alliance, we signed a statement with government recommendations and calling for the transformation of the economy and trade system towards a just and sustainable recovery.
Practical toolkits: With the support of our members and independent consultants we could release the Circular Economy and the Public Procurement toolkits to support Fair Trade and social enterprises on their path towards a more sustainable and greener practices. They are availabe on our website and the Circular Economy toolkit was translated to French and Spanish. We hope you can make good use of it! Thank you all for your support in their creation.
WFTO-Europe contributed to a working paper on the value of Sustainable and Inclusive Business Models (SIBMs) for Building Back Better, together with CONCORD-Europe, ICA and the FTAO. Thanks to consultancy work paid for by the FTAO, CONCORD-Europe and ICA, this has now evolved into a report on the EU’s support for SIBMs and recommendation for further supporting them to facilitate sustainable development in EU partner countries. The report was launched on December 1st with support from WFTO-Europe. We want EU and Member States’ decision-makers to understand the potential of sustainable and inclusive business models and to take action, by promoting a more enabling environment for current and future businesses, providing targeted political and financial support.
The European Commission has opened a public consultation on a new law that could require companies in the EU to make sure that the products and services we consume are not harming people or the environment around the world. It could put an end to bad practices like forced labor, deforestation, union busting, land grabbing, toxic waste dumping, unchecked CO2 emissions and biodiversity destruction.
Together with over 100 organisations, we are launching a campaign to make sure this new law is fit to #HoldBizAccountable – This is your chance to tell the EU law you want a strong law that really works for people and planet! This public consultation will be open until 8 February – sign here to raise your voice!
In 2009, Just Trading Scotland was born with the passion to educate producers and consumers, through the fair purchasing and sale of delicious food products from the developing world. We are glad to announce that they are now a WFTO guaranteed member! Clikc to see their impactful video on joining the Team.
JTS buys and sells Fair Trade products online, giving small hold farmers and producers from developing countries a sustainable income. The wellbeing of producers and protecting the planet is at the core of their mission. Find out more about their trading practices online: buy high quality foods from a fair trader who is guaranteed to make a difference: https://www.jts.co.uk/shop/
Want to get to know our Polish members? Take a ride on the Fair Train and discover more about Polish Fair Trade Association (PFTA) and Szczypta Świata (Pizca del Mundo).
are a strategic focus for WFTO-Europe this year. In the coming six months, we will research ways for our members to work with Northern Producers and for better including such enterprises in the membership. A working group composed of WFTO-Europe members will be set up for the research, so please do get in touch if you wish to be part of this or wish to follow its work and the research. Your input and feedback is extremely valuable for this work, so please express your interest via firstname.lastname@example.org
Fair, Accessible, Sustainable and Short Food Chains for the EU (FASS-Food EU)
is a project for scaling up socially and environmentally sustainable food chains in Europe. The research is conducted together with the University of Antwerp and the FTAO and is starting this month. It features some Northern Producers within our membership and includes Rikolto, a Belgian organisation working with small scale farmers across the world. The project will research the business models of the different producers covered, how they enable sustainability in food production through high social and environmental standards and how they can be scaled up and replicated elsewhere to make food systems in Europe (and, hopefully, the world) more sustainable.
project funded by the Équité programme, will kick-off in February and focus on supporting small producers in West Africa with Fair Trade practices, product quality and market access to Europe and the Levant. WFTO-Africa & Middle East are the leaders of the project and WFTO-Europe along with Fair Trade Lebanon are partnering organizations. If your enterprise is working with producers in West Africa or potentially interested in products from such producers, please do reach out to us via email@example.com and we will keep you in the loop of the project.
Motivational Statement – Mikkel Kofod Nørgård, Regional Coordinator
WFTO-Europe begins 2021 with a new Regional Coordinator. I, Mikkel Kofod Nørgård, have replaced Francesca Giubilo since October last year, when she got a new position at the VOICE network of humanitarian aid NGOs. Some of you know me already from the past two years where I have been Project Officer and managing our EC DEAR project, Trade Fair, Live Fair. Many of you I have yet to meet and get to know, and I am excited to be in this new role and to represent each of you to the best of my abilities. It will be difficult to live up to the achievements of Francesca over the last seven years, but I am giving it my best to build further on what she has created. Most of all, I feel incredibly privileged to be part of a network of enterprises that continue to be pioneers of doing business fair and sustainably and to the benefit of marginalised people across the world. WFTO-Europe begins this year with two projects, which I believe symbolise well our resolutions: One researching Northern Producers and their role in sustainable food production in Europe, and one supporting small producers in West Africa with capacity building and market access. As we continue to explore the Universalisation of the Fair Trade Principles and what it means in Europe, we keep at heart our core commitment to marginalised communities across the world. I strongly believe this makes up an ideal synergy to achieve our core objective: Promoting mission-led business models as the key component of the new economy we need to build once the current pandemic crisis subsides. I am happy to see that this vision of ours resonates increasingly well with many other, major NGOs and Civil Society actors amongst our partners – exemplified in the working paper on Rebuilding Better with Sustainable and Inclusive Business Models and the related report Mind Our Business – and even within the European Commission. In my view it confirms that the WFTO membership is blazing the trail towards business of the future that is good for people and planet, and contributing to this trend will be my strongest dedication as Regional Coordinator.
Please never hesitate to reach out to me with input, requests or suggestions for collaboration towards our common aims: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more articles from other organisations about Fair Trade and good practices!
Companies have a responsibility to build a better world post-COVID: https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/blog/companies-have-a-responsibility-to-build-a-better-world-post-covid/?mc_cid=2f176ffaa8&mc_eid=6269837f06
Organic banana grower/distributor introduces new Fair Trade label: https://www.freshplaza.com/article/9286331/organic-banana-grower-distributor-introduces-new-fair-trade-label/
The Garment Worker Crisis In Bangladesh Proves A ‘Buy Less, Buy Better’ Approach Is The Only Way Forward: https://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/article/bangladesh-garment-workers-coronavirus-crisis?fbclid=IwAR00nLfwHyk_n9PeGCSKaiTFr7P1rSfz-cH1B0UNJJsX4s8-vJ65BwKL35M
ILO – Empowering Workers and Building Partnerships for a Sustainable Garment Industry: https://betterwork.org/eu-betterwork-partnership-event/