In this Issue:
26th April 2019:
Slow Fashion Day & Night by Oxfam-Magasins du monde, Brussels
11th May 2019:
World Fair Trade Day 2019
23th-26th May 2019:
European Parliament Elections
6th-7th June 2019:
WFTO-Europe Connect & Act Members’ Meeting
18th-19th June 2019:
European Development Days, Brussels
16th-19th September 2019:
The International Fair Trade Summit, Lima, Peru
7th-11th October 2019:
Fair Trade Marathon, including the Fair Trade Breakfast at the European Parliament on 10th October
18th-20th October 2019:
International Fair Trade Towns Conference 2019
Let us know about your events!
WFTO-Europe @ home
Our Connect & Act Members’ Meeting in Brussels on 6 and 7 June is coming closer and we are happy to see that we received good registration responses. In total, 57 people will attend the two-days meeting representing 33 members’ organisations. With 12 out of our 18 members’ countries represented, we are looking forward to an internationally diversified meeting. Click here to download a list with all the organisations registered for the event.
On 6th June in the morning, as part of the “Connect & Act” members’ meeting, WFTO-Europe in collaboration with FTAO will host a public event, which seeks to highlight the link and interconnection between Social Justice and Environmental Justice, and the unique contribution of mission-led businesses in achieving these two. Crucially, we wish to demonstrate that one cannot be achieved without the other, and that WFTO member Fair Trade enterprises have an ability that could prove key in promoting solutions to both issues. We are inviting CSO’s, NGO’s and enterprises from the environment and organic movements, the Social & Solidarity Economy enterprises, and like-minded organisations to join us in this endeavour. More info here.
On the 6th afternoon and on the 7th morning we are organising several trainings and workshops on the Internal Monitoring System, domestic Fair Trade, retail models and their evolution as well as the Fair payment policy. We are aware of the challenges that several importers organisations are facing nowadays and we would really like to use this opportunity to exchange and overcome jointly some of these challenges.
The 7th afternoon will be dedicated to the Annual General Meeting including a session to collect your expectations and needs on WFTO-Europe in preparation of the new strategic plan, which should be presented and approved in 2020.
To already get a sneak peak, you can find an updated programme with all the sessions for the two days here.
Fashion Revolution Week is in full swing and Fair Trade actors all across the globe take part to stand up for better working conditions in the garment industry. Take action in this Fashion Revolution Week by asking brands #WhoMadeMyClothes.
The week falls on 24 April which marks the anniversary of the tragedy of Rana Plaza that cost the lives of over 1,100 people. Together with Fashion Revolution and other actors we campaign for a fashion industry in which catastrophes like these never happen again. We aim for a fashion sector that conserves and restores our environment and gives people, especially women, a voice. An industry where fair and safe working conditions are the standard, not an exception.
As prevailing as the issues in the mainstream fashion industry might still be, counter movements against fast fashion are on the rise. And they should be celebrated! This is why our member Oxfam-Magasins du monde together with Fashion Revolution and La Tricoterie is dedicating a whole day to the slow fashion movement. This Friday, on 26th April, they invite everyone in and around Brussels to join their “Slow Fashion Day & Night” celebrating the very many alternatives to an exploitive fashion industry. A festive day and evening awaits you to understand the drawbacks of the current textile sector and to propose alternatives. Visitors can discover concrete ways to “dress slowly” and meet the actors of ethical fashion. One of the sessions will be moderated by WFTO-Europe regional coordinator Francesca Giubilo. She will be leading through a debate on how local authorities, especially those awarded the Fair Trade Towns title, can be encouraged to promote sustainable public procurement even further, especially when it comes to textile. Those and other exciting topics: This Friday, 26th April from 11 am on, at La Tricoterie in Brussels. More info here.
Oxfam-Magasins du monde is only one of many actors who show that slow fashion is in vogue. Over the past weeks other members have organised different activities to highlight the alternatives to the mainstream fashion industry.
RIVESTITI-TERRA EQUA is a festival focused on Fair Trade and sustainable fashion. It took part in Bologna on 13 and 14 April and was initiated by different Fair Trade actors in Italy. Several expositions, fashion shows, conferences and food tasting, musical shows, films, and much more were organised to inform people about how to transform the fashion industry. This year’s edition had two main focusses: the role of consumers to promote a sustainable economy and the connection between the fashion industry and climate. You can find the program of the event here, read about who participated, and find further information on issues discussed and participants.
Events like these seem to have an impact – not only within the Fair Trade sector, but also on consumers. In March, our Spanish member Coordinadora Estatal de Comercio Justo launched a European survey on the attitudes of consumers regarding sustainability and transparency of supply chains in the fashion industry. The study reflects on how most of the questioned citizens claim more transparency and accountability from clothing brands in terms of their environmental and social impact. The survey was conducted together with Fashion Revolution in five different countries (Spain, France, Germany, and UK). Read about the findings (in Spanish) here.
Got inspired to wear more Fair fashion? Check out WFTO’s brand new Fair Trade Fashion Catalogue which gives you an insight into the wonderful product range of fashionable WFTO members around the world.
How are WFTO-Europe members in other countries doing? What are the facets of Fair Trade in Germany, Finland, Belgium and co.? What’s new with the members in your home country? Our new blog “The European Fair Train” will take you on a journey through these and other exciting topics. In each blog post we will introduce one of our member countries along the European continent.
The first journey takes us to the motherland of Fair Trade in Europe: the United Kingdom. Make sure to jump on and enjoy the ride!
Europe in a nutshell
The EP elections campaign as part of the Trade Fair Live Fair project has kicked off and is currently taking place for the European Parliamentary elections on 23-26 May this year, when citizens elect new Members to the EP (MEPs). The Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) is leading a pan-European campaign focused on the sustainable consumption and production (SCP) agenda, titled The Fair Times. The campaign has been developed in partnership with four other European Civil Society Organisations: IFOAM-EU, CIDSE, RIPESS and ECOLISE.
The Fair Times is the name of a fabricated newspaper, drafted in 2024, the end of the next EP term. It aims to inspire candidates to take action if elected in support of SCP. It also offers flexibility for supporters of the campaign to address topics that are most important to them: from climate change to organic agriculture, circular economy or gender equality. Topics covered within this special edition paper include agroecology, ethical fashion, Fair Trade, sustainable supply chains, the social and solidarity economy and more.
World Fair Trade Day (WFTD), which falls on Saturday 11th May in 2019, offers a great opportunity for various actors across the Fair Trade movement to promote the campaign, the issues it is highlighting and its aims. It’s possible to be part of the campaign in numerous ways, with different levels of commitment. You can invite MEP candidates to any WFTD events you have planned, arrange a meeting to discuss important topics highlighted in the newspaper or promote the campaign across your communications channels.
You will find a guide on how to support The Fair Times campaign here. You can read the newspaper and keep track of the campaign’s progress at thefairtimes.eu. Here you will also find other campaign material, as well as space for sharing “stories” from the campaign from each member country. This way, all participants are able to learn from each other and support each others’ capacities, while increasing the outreach of their efforts in influencing future MEP’s to support Fair Trade.
Reach out to us here at WFTO-Europe if you wish to share your stories or have any requests for support for the campaign. We are keen on helping you contribute to the campaign and to engaging MEP candidates to support our movement as part of the next European Parliament.
The Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) has recently launched its new report “From local to EU level: Scaling Up Fair Trade in Europe”. The report aims at providing European Union policy makers with recommendations on how they can further help Local Authorities (LAs) to achieve sustainable development through local Fair Trade initiatives.
The research identified the current challenges that LAs face to promote Fair Trade at a local level, such as a lack of networking or funding opportunities and of Fair Trade supplies. However, the report also presents successful solutions to cope with these obstacles from national to local level.
These promising practices, together with EU policy recommendations, have been divided in four main areas: Public Procurement, Development Cooperation, Trade and Fair Trade specific initiatives. Seven countries and nine cities were involved in the research and as a result proved that there is a rich variety of alternatives to become social innovators through Fair Trade.
The full report can be read here.
On 9 April, EU ministers have approved a new law, known as the Unfair Trading Practices Directive, to tackle unfair trading practices in agricultural supply chains. This new directive aims to support suppliers of agricultural products to get a fairer deal from trading relationships.
The law is a major success for the Fair Trade movement. For several years, Fair Trade Advocacy Office, together with IFOAM, Oxfam and other actors had been advocating for a new law calling on the EU to ensure that the most vulnerable actors in the supply chain have access to a complaint mechanism and allow complaints against all companies importing food into the EU.
Read about the impact this will have on the “people behind the barcodes” in an article by Marissa Ryan of the Oxfam EU Advocacy Office. Or click here to read a clear and straightforward analysis on the directive by Tom Wills, Policy Adviser at Traidcraft Exchange.
WFTO around the World
World Fair Trade Day 2019 is around the corner and this year, we celebrate solutions for people and planet. The focus of our World Fair Trade Day activities will lie on the innovative aspects of Fair Trade products and enterprises.
No matter if it is innovation in product development, innovation that creates economic opportunities, that saves the planet or innovation that empowers women – there are many reasons to celebrate World Fair Trade Day together with us! Keep posted on our webpage and social media channels to find out what our European office has planned for the campaign. Or visit WFTO’s celebration page to download their celebration guide and visual templates and find out how #FairTradeInnovates.
Please do not forget to also register your event (big or small) on WFTO’s activities map so people can join in and we can really let this celebration echo more and more across the world.
WFTO invites you to join the 15th World Fair Trade Summit from 16-19 September, in El Pueblo Resort and Convention Centre, Lima, Peru.
Receive over €100 discount by registering for the Lima Summit before 31st May. Register here.
The WFTO Summit is the largest global gathering of organisations representing the Fair Trade supply chain, from producers to exporters, importers, wholesalers and retailers. It is the only international event that brings those diverse groups of dedicated Fair Traders and the broader movement in one place.
Practical market-oriented sessions will be organised with experts on trade fairs, social media, online marketing and new market channels. There will be also sessions to discuss the big ideas around Fair Trade, including circular economy, impact investing and the future of ethical consumption. Find the draft programme here.
This year, an entire track for food and farming awaits you throughout the summit. Maggie’s Organics, Coop Coffees, Fair World Project and Dr. Bronner’s are helping to shape this agenda.
And there is more good news: The NEW Mohammed Islam Design Award is open! Roll up your sleeves and turn on your creative mind, because your innovative ideas are in demand. The WFTO Design Award was introduced at the 2001 Arusha Global Conference to commemorate the life of the late Md Islam, tragically killed in a road accident in Ghana. Mohammed Islam was an Oxfam Bridge Project Officer who believed that good, innovative design and the production of high quality products was the key to marketing success. We want to share this believe and so WFTO is calling on your innovative submissions. In a first round a jury, consisting of various WFTO members, will select the top 5 ideas. Those top 5 will take their samples to the Lima Summit, where they will meet with the jury and receive feedback before the final winner and runner-up is decided. The products will be presented throughout the summit. The award ceremony is on the 18th of September, where the jury will announce the winner of the competition. There is an amazing prize waiting for the lucky winner… Read more.
Gender is not an “add-on” for your business culture. In order for full gender equality to be achieved, we need to make gender a cross-cutting topic. Fair Trade enterprises already show us a glimpse of a future in which men and women can enjoy equal rights. However, many obstacles still need to be tackled and implementing gender as an interdisciplinary topic can be challenging – even for Fair Trade companies.
The WFTO gender policy, last revised in 2016, sets out strategies for the successful implementation of Fair Trade Principle 6, and provides guidelines for gender-sensitive employment approaches. We have taken up some of the most important aspects of the gender policy and put them in a new Fact Sheet on Gender, together with some concrete recommendations for our members and other Fair Trade actors in Europe on how you can implement a more gender-focused approach in your enterprise. The fact sheet can be downloaded here.
It can be a rocky road from the idea of promoting gender equity to real action points that place gender as an everyday issue. However, research shows that Fair Trade enterprises are already pioneering in this field. New reports published by the World Fair Trade Organization find that a woman working for a Fair Trade Organisation is four times more likely to achieve leadership positions or join a board than a woman working for a conventional business. The reports also give concrete examples of how other WFTO members work towards gender equity. Fair Trade enterprises have gender equality and women’s economic empowerment at the heart of what they do, believing that we will never achieve sustainable development if women’s full potential is not realized.
This is why, on 8 March of this year we celebrated International Women’s Day 2019 by showcasing women in leadership positions of Fair Trade enterprises. We decided to put into the spotlight women leaders within Fair Trade who lead by example and show that Fair Trade promotes gender equality in the workplace. Stephanie Brookes and Gabriella D’Amico, both board members of WFTO-Europe, as well as our regional coordinator Francesca Giubilo shared their opinions in a lively video that explains how Fair Trade advocates for gender equality and supports women to gain leading positions. The video was shared in our social media as well as on our website and received great response on all the different channels. Taking into account all our communication channels, our video reached over 21,600 people. Re-watch it here.
The WFTO Guarantee System
At present our network counts 105 members in total, among which 74 have been granted Guaranteed Status. 3 members were terminated. At the regional level we are currently processing 3 new membership requests.
For 2019, we are pleased to have welcomed 7 new provisional members, including our first Greek member, which means that our network is now represented in 18 European countries. Also, we congratulate MYOMY do goods for having become our new Guaranteed Member!
In March, WFTO-Europe staff had the honor to join a farewell drink for British MEP Linda McAvan, chair of the EU Parliament’s working group on Fair Trade. Together with the FTAO, other Fair Trade actors, and MEPs we thanked Mrs. McAvan for her work and her strong commitment to Fair Trade over the past years.
Please log in here to access all minutes from the Board Meetings held by WFTO-Europe. The last one took place on 11 February and the next Board meeting will be on 30 April via Skype. The next physical meeting will be on 5 June in Brussels.
Fair Trade Scotland was set up in 2006 as a WFTO importer to support WFTO producers gain market access for their products. It was clear, having owned a Fair Trade shop, that consumers were confused with the plethora of labels flooding the market and it made sense to us to focus on WFTO producers who adhere to the 10 WFTO Principles through their membership.
The success of the Fairtrade Mark in the UK has further confused Fair Trade supporters and we felt it was crucial to highlight the WFTO Guaranteed Fair Trade product label.
A timely meeting with Tania Pramschufer, who runs social action events company Hand Up Events and is the creator and developer of World Fair Trade Tartan, gave us the opportunity we needed to work alongside her to spread the Fair Trade message in a new way. Following registration of the WFTO Fair Trade Tartan – with The Scottish Register of Tartans – Tania has gifted the pattern to WFTO GS producers to produce exclusive products to the global market using the GS product label. We have formed an exclusive partnership with Villageworks, Cambodia, to produce a small range of Tartan accessories, to celebrate Scotland’s Fair Trade Nation status.
As women-led WFTO GS member businesses we are proud to offer consumers a product that adheres to the 10 WFTO Principles from producer to importer and that promotes Scotland’s Fair Trade Nation status. The WFTO Fair Trade Tartan was officially launched in Edinburgh on World Fair Trade Day 2017.
In March 2018, during Fairtrade Fortnight, we formed a partnership with Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union, Malawi, to import their coffee, which is grown, roasted and packaged in Malawi, launching the FIRST 500 venture. This is the first value added coffee to carry both the Fairtrade Mark and the WFTO GS label – the only two 3rd party audited Fair Trade systems.
“Our partner will bring a lot of benefits to our farmers as value addition is done right here in Mzuzu, Malawi, and we will export to Scotland, Fairtrade Mzuzu Roast and Ground Coffee” Bernard Kaunda, CEO. We have a short video that explains our project and its advantages.
As a mission led business we believe it is essential that the importer acts as the ‘watchdog’ in the supply chain, ensuring a completely fair distribution of the added value, giving consumers the confidence that their purchase contributes to sustainable economic development through Fair Trade.