WFTO Europe at home

WFTO-Europe’s Annual General Meeting

International Women’s Day 2021

What do we talk about when talking about northern producers?

Return of the windship?



 Europe in a nutshell

The UK Presidency at the G7 for Free and Fair Trade

French Climate Law includes Fair Trade

Portuguese Presidency  – Social Economy





Our members

Member of the month

Membership update

WFTO-Europe’s Fair Train –  France





WFTO Around the World

Fair Trade for Climate Justice – Principle 10 Amendment


News from the Regions



WFTO Europe at home


WFTO Europe’s Annual General Meeting

Once again, due to the current restrictions given by the government, it is impossible to physically gather in order to hold this Annual General Meeting. Therefore, we will hold it online like the past year, on the 17 of June 2021 from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm (CET)/9:30 am to 12:30 pm (GMT). A workshop on climate change is currently being organized and we are greatly encouraging you all to participate! It is very important that as many of you join to have your voice heard in our activities. Last but not least, we also encourage interested members to present candidates for the Board election as there are still empty seats.


International Women’s Day 2021

On the Monday 8 of March 2021, we celebrated International Women’s Day. As it is a celebration that highly matters to us, WFTO-Europe highlighted women in Fair Trade by producing two videos that you can find on our different social media channels. 

The videos consisted in the answers of these questions :

  • present your organization
  • what would you like every woman to hear? 
  • what do women bring to Fair Trade? 


Our videos featured EZA Fairer Handel, Zotter Schokoladen Manufaktur and Fair Trade Shop Innsbruck from Austria, BHCrafts from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Just Trading Scotland from the United Kingdom, Fair Moms from France, and Mifuko from Finland. The participation of our members in these videos permitted to have different insights on the places of women in Fair Trade organizations. 


During the week leading to IWD, WFTO-Europe also participated to WFTO Global’s Campaign of #WomenOfFairTrade that #ChooseToChallenge by posting on our Instagram page everyday a member that contributes to women’s empowerment, each in different manners. Fair Trade enterprises represent greater equity between workers and therefore greater equality between genders, and they contribute to women’s path towards equality. 


What do we talk about when talking about northern producers?

 This topic concerns every one of us.

You source all your products from the South and are not involved in any activities in Europe? Well, what about the processing, the administration, the sales? There might be a possibility to extend your mission of supporting disadvantaged people to the North. And no, we are not talking about replacing any of your activities in the south. We are talking about additional value creation.

But first, let’s go back to the beginning. In 2017, the resolution on northern producers was approved by the AGM in Delhi. It was agreed that producers in any country can become a WFTO producer if they adhere to the following criteria:

 You can find more information in the Factsheet on Northern Producers within WFTO.

Who is it important to?

When products such as coffee and chocolate are processed in the North anyway, why not get some help from a social workplace, supporting the activities of disadvantaged people in our society? Or support great local initiatives, for example, products made by refugees, by including their products to complement your southern products.  

We also know that FT products are not always exclusively sourced from the South, as certain ingredients only grow in the North. At the beginning of the supply chain and reliant on big corporations to bring their products to the market, farmers in the North face similar issues to farmers in the South. So why not make sure that also the farmers in Europe get the support, and the fair income they deserve, just like in the South?

Northern FT is about following our mission anywhere we operate. We need to ask ourselves if it is still fitting to divide the world in south and north, rich and poor, equal and unequal. Maybe it’s time to look at the world as a whole. Where rich and poor live next to each other in every country and where equality can be found in the South and where inequality can be found in the North. Did you know that the World Economic Forum ranks Nicaragua and Rwanda in the top 10 countries closest to achieving gender equality, both ranking higher than Germany?

It’s time to address inequalities in any country, no matter where it is located, because yes, there are also inequalities in our home country. 

What do you think about northern producers? What are aspects that are important to consider? How can the concept be best implemented by WFTO members?

Would you like to be involved in leading this topic? Please let us know!
WFTO-Europe is setting up a working group of 5-7 members who will meet once a month to shape the implementation of northern FT.


Return of the windship?

   Last year we published a toolkit on Circular Economy practices with practical recommendations that should make it easier for you as members to improve the sustainability of your business as a whole. 

   One of the recommendations were to ship products with windships. Does it mean going back to the 18th century? Far from it – there now exists several high-tech options where ships combine wind and engines in order to keep the same tight schedules while saving between 30-70% of emissions. The International Windship Association (IWSA) gathers shipping companies that offer different levels of sustainable shipping, ranging from those that offer fully predictable shipping with good emissions savings to those that offer zero-emissions shipping which then take longer and are slightly less predictable (depending on the weather) – and everything in between. 

   If you would like us at WFTO-Europe to explore further with IWSA on connecting their members, please let us know via We believe there is potential for that this would make it easier for you to find ways to cut emissions on your shipping which is likely to have increased focus in the update of Principle 10.    


Europe in a nutshell


The UK Presidency at the G7 for Free and Fair Trade

This year, the UK is stepping up as president of the G7 and host of the COP26 to lead the change for more effective, modern and green trade. The UK calls for an end to « pernicious » trade practices:  as UK International Trade secretary Liz Truss said, « people cannot believe in free trade if it is not fair ». Faith in free enterprises has failed, and it needs to be restored, for that to happen, it needs to be fairer. The UK pushes for the reform of the World Trade Organization to make it fit to challenge unfair trading practices as well as ensuring that trade tackles climate change. 


Following the latest G7 Trade Ministers’ Meeting, a Chair’s statement by the G7 countries at the inaugural G7 Trade Track was shared. The G7 Trade Track has the bold purpose of making the case of free and fair trade globally heard. G7 Trade Ministers will use this year’s G7 to advance the agenda of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference and provide vital political momentum to the World Trade Organization reform debate. Trade Ministers will explore reforms that can change the WTO as a forum for negotiations, recognising the positive role that the plurilateral initiatives have played in engaging a broad spectrum of WTO members. G7 Trade Ministers also acknowledge that important work on transparency, special and differential treatment, and dispute settlement needs to be undertaken in the WTO. Trade ministers recognized 2021 will be a crucial year to drive international efforts to address climate change, and protect the planet and people.  


French Climate Law Includes Fair Trade

Following the recommendations given by Commerce Equitable France, the latest french climate law included in its article 66 Fair Trade. The law was adopted on the 21st of March 2021 by a Special Commission of the French National Assembly. With this article, the law gives more content to the definition of Fair Trade. It recognizes Fair Trade as a solution to face the challenge concerning food and agriculture. The article precises that fair trade is valorizing production modes more respectful of the environment, such as agroecology. Fair trade permits for these different production modes to be more sustainable.  Article 66 represents an indisputable advance for the sector in that it officially recognizes fair trade as an accelerator of ecological and social transition in production and consumption patterns. In this same article, the obligation to use a label for all companies claiming to be fair trade also makes it possible to strengthen the visibility of the sector and to better inform consumers in line with the proposal of the citizens’ convention for the climate. 


Portuguese Presidency – Social Economy 

At present, Portugal has the presidency of the Council of the European Union. The president rotates every 6 months, so on 30 June Slowenia will take over. The Council is the EU institution that represents the member states’ governments. Here the ministers from each EU country meet to adopt laws and coordinate policies. The presidency chairs meetings where it ensures that discussions are conducted properly and that procedures are correctly applied furthermore it acts as a mediator when member states have conflicting arguments. 

One of the priorities of the Portuguese Presidency is to strengthen the European social model. One action point is to organise the Porto Social Summit, in May, to give political momentum to the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and the respective Action Plan. Discussion will involve topics including adequate minimum wage, gender equality, combating discrimination, poverty and social exclusion and specific protection for more vulnerable groups. The Action Plan draws on a large-scale public consultation where everyone could submit feedback until last November. If you want to have your say too, make sure to check the Consultation website of the European Commission, currently there are over 2000 open consultations waiting for your input! And do not forget to have a look at the Social Economy Europe (SEE) website for more information.


Our Members 


Member of the month : Fair Monkey

This month, we are putting Fair Monkey in the spotlight !

Fair Monkey is an economic association with an aim to secure better living conditions for mainly women producers from small co-operatives in Guatemala, Nepal, South Africa, Chile and India. Established 2006 in Laholm, Sweden, we import and sell Fair Trade products to shops in Sweden and to neighboring countries.

The products include a range of beautiful and contemporary jewelry and accessories which are all handmade and purchased directly from our producers and artisans. With this, opportunities are created for these amazing artisans to improve living conditions for themselves and their families with the steady income that the handicraft gives, while they proudly share their craftsmanship with the world. To build common trading conditions and simultaneously increase the producers’ craft-pride and self-esteem is an important part of our work.

Fair Monkey places great emphasis on knowledge about product development and quality assurance, trying to find products with a clear view of culture, design and technology, (the backstrap loom for example). This is especially important for maintaining traditional knowledge and traditions of craftsmanship, which otherwise could easily disappear when it’s not generating any income for the work done. Trade is a great way to spread knowledge about the artisans living conditions and highlight the importance of Fair Trade. Part of Fair Monkeys operations, except for the import and wholesales, is giving lectures about the producer’s situation, and what Fair Trade in reality has meant to them. 


Membership Update


Currently, WFTO-Europe has 110 members from which 58 are guaranteed, across 18 countries. We are also glad to welcome a new provisional member from Greece : Greenland Co-Farming, and a new provisional member from Norway, our first member from that country : Indo naturals. 


WFTO Europe’s Fair Train – France 


Do you want to get to know our 13 members from France? Come aboard the European FairTrade Shuttle to learn more about our french members!


WFTO Around the World 


Fair Trade for Climate Justice – Principle 10 Amendment 

Are you a visionary?

It’s a clear yes from the WFTO-Europe side.

Whether it is producing paper out of elephant poop, creating one of the most tender-melting fruit chocolates – all natural, being featured in the National Geographic Catalogue or providing jobs for people in extreme poverty, all these very ambitious targets have been reached by you!

You are geniuses in dealing with difficult environments, stakeholders and obstacles of any kind, turning your ideas into reality and fighting for your beliefs. 

 WFTO and you as our members have always put planet first, as Principle 10 – Respect for the Environment – clearly states. The climate crisis is still ongoing and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change predicts further extreme weather events like heat waves, droughts and floods, also in Europe. The work we all have done is of utmost importance, nevertheless it is time to step up the game, therefore WFTO is amending Principle 10!


The author of sustainability newsletter The Green Fix, Cass Hebron, who previously worked for the FTAO rightfully claims: “Fair Trade has a big role to play in sustainable consumption by setting a baseline for environmental and labour rights standards. It’s important for organisations in the Fair Trade movement not to compromise the planet for profit.”

You are already leaders in running sustainable organizations for instance by fostering reinvestment in communities and the environment, the circular economy, and ending the “constant growth” mentality. Therefore, there is no one more suitable to speak up for climate justice. You have the knowhow, the determination, the motivation and the power. Let’s reach out to your local politicians, customers, partners and strangers. Imagine if each of us wrote to our mayor about our concerns for our planet today – we could reach over 100 political leaders in a single day! I will do that today and I hope many of you will join me. You don’t need to be a climate expert – you just need to care.

We highly advise you to have a look at The Green Fix, a blog and newsletter sharing information and free practical resources for anyone interested in helping fight the climate crisis and build a greener world.


News from the Regions 


As part of this year’s World Fair Trade Day campaign, the Global Office has been reaching out to the members for submitting a dance video, to keep spirits up in these challenging times. As we are all distanced from each other, this is an opportunity to gather and to have fun! 




World Fair Trade Day 2021 


Let’s celebrate the World Fair Trade Day on 8 May 2021 together!

Together with the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) we are organising social media campaigns to help raise awareness for the importance of Fair Trade and to set a sign that we care.

Participating is fun, easy and effective.


Don’t we all have that one shop, even thinking about going there after work sparks our excitement. When actually inside the premises we are simply all smiles because we truly believe that the products we see and touch have been produced in a respectful manner for people and planet. An extra plus, the staff is incredibly charming. Lucky you if your favorite store sells groceries, however, Anna, WFTO’s Finance and Administration Coordinator, is demonstrating the social distancing alternative. 


The Fair Trade Movement is solidly united, therefore you as Fair Trade Actors can get great pleasure out of supporting fellow peers. So let’s:


  1. Print/open it on a big screen the Build Back Fairer poster
  2. take a picture in front of your favourite Fair Trade local shop
  3. post it on social media using #FairTradeLocal


Want to Meet Wladimir Klitschko? Join the European Social Economy Summit Mannheim 


For the email/advertiser: Who said fighting cannot be beneficial? All depends on what you are fighting for. Read here how Wladimir Klitschko fights for the Social Economy

You would like to be in the front row when topics such as digitalisation of the Social Economy, (social) innovation, cross-country and cross-sectoral collaboration are discussed? Then join the digital conference: The European Social Economy Summit (#EUSES). It is jointly organized by the European Commission and the City of Mannheim. The #EUSES is a conference which aims at strengthening the social economy in Europe and harness its contribution to economic development, social inclusion as well as green and digital transitions, especially for rebuilding the economy and society. The Summit provides an opportunity to bring all stakeholders active in the social economy together. The honorary committee is composed of many outstanding personalities including Anna Fasano, president of Banca Etica, Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Wladimir Klitschko, founder of Method Creator KLITSCHKO Ventures. 


Check out the interesting, digital events leading up to the Summit. (


And register for free for the Summit on 26-27 May here. (