In this Issue:

Be ready to register to the 2016 WFTO-E Biennial Conference and AGM!
EU Trade Strategy – What’s new?
1st European Forum on Social and Solidarity Economy
Promoting the WFTO Product Label: Fair Trade City Uppsala
Two events not to miss: Ambiente & World Social Forum
World Fair Trade Day 2016
Update on WFTO-Europe membership and GS status
Member of the Month: Barbosa

And more!


Let us know about your events!


 European FairTrade Shuttle!

WFTO Europe @ home

Be ready to register to the 2016 WFTO-E Biennial Conference and AGM!

_DSC0427 (2)

Dear members,

As we have already communicated to you from November 2015, the next WFTO-Europe Biennial Conference and AGM will take place from the 2nd to the 4th of June 2016 in Wuppertal, Germany.

The time is approaching and next week we will officially open the registration to book your place for this biennial event.

The timeframe of the Conference will be the same as the previous years:

  • from the 2nd of June (around 2pm) to the 4th (lunch time): WFTO-Europe Biennial Conference
  • 4th of June (afternoon): WFTO-Europe Annual General Meeting (AGM – for only members)

Participants will be invited to arrive in the morning of the 2nd of June (Thursday) and to leave on the 5th of June in the morning (Sunday). Thanks to the great support of GEPA in the organisation of this Conference, we will have the opportunity to spend one day (Friday the 3rd of June) at GEPA’s office and to see concretely how this huge FTO works and manages its business.

Based on a clear request made by the WFTO-Europe World shops and Retailers Committee a special meeting will also take place in the morning on the 2nd of June and for those interested in attending this session, there will be the opportunity to arrive the day before (the 1st of June).

This year more than ever your participation is extremely important. Therefore, please do check your email regularly and do not forget to register as soon as possible from next week on to get the early registration fees.

Considering the growth of our membership in 2015, the Conference will be an exciting opportunity to get to know better each other and do networking. For the first time the programme will also include free time for you to self-organize side events and trigger new discussions.

Looking forward to meeting you all!

WFTO-Europe staff

Europe in a nutshell

EU Trade Strategy – What’s new? 

Fair Trade Advocacy Office’s intervention at the hearing at the European Economic and Social Committee on the new “Trade for All” Communication of European Commission 

Abstract: The European Economic and Social Committee on the 18th January 2016 held a public hearing with the Civil Society in the in view of the preparation of the EESC opinion on the European Commission Communication “Trade for All – Towards a more responsible trade and investment policy“.

Article by Fair Trade Advocacy Office


  • Ruta Zarnauskaite, DG TRADE, EC
  • Jonhatan Peel, EESC


  • Ms Luisa Santos, Businesseurope
  • Ms Liina Carr, ETUC
  • Mr Arnaud Petit, COPACOGECA
  • Mr Ralph Kamphöner, Eurocommerce
  • Mr Zoltan Massay-Kosubek, European Public Health Alliance
  • Ms Gaelle Dusepulchre, FIDH / International Federation for Human Rights
  • Ms Alice Sinigaglia, Fair Trade Advocacy Office

The hearing was an opportunity for the European Economic and Social Committee to take up the considerations of the Civil Society in the view of its opinion on the Communication.

In this sense the comments were diversified on the basis of the sector in which the speakers are operating. However, some common points came out as, the need of a more comprehensive analysis for Africa’s development (Peel and Petit), almost never cited in the Communication, the attention towards human rights cited as “values” and not “rights” and in particular the violations of human and labour rights in Corea (Carr and Dusepulchre). Another thorny issue addressed was the one of transparency of FTAs negotiations, many underlined the lack of transparency in the EU-Japan negotiations (Carr and the audience). Finally has been pointed out, by Jonhatan Peel, that no reference is made to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Alice held a presentation on the paragraph of the Communication related to Fair and Equitable Trade. After having presented the work of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office she addressed the overall structure of the provisions of the Communication, highlighting the positive aspects, but also pointing out at some shadows and weak points of the text.

Positive aspects include: Addressing Fair and Ethical Trade more systematically, promoting it and the creation of market data collectors of Fair and Ethical Trade products, developing awareness raising activities and possibly launch an “EU City for Fair and Ethical Trade” award.

But also

  • The attention towards supply chains (CSR initiatives and due diligence across the production chain, International principles on responsible supply chain management exc..)
  • Increased transparency of the trade and investment policy

While weak aspects consist in:

Promoting responsible supply chain management

  • Global supply chains vs local production
  • Imbalances of power in the supply chain
  • Textile supply chain: cotton farmers are the often-forgotten actors in the fashion and textile supply chains

Promoting sustainable development through trade

  • Link between trade and gender
  • The cultural, environmental and human rights dimension of agriculture
  • The potential social and environmental cost of liberalisation
  • The impact of EU trade on third countries

1st European Forum on Social and Solidarity Economy

“The term social and solidarity economy (SSE) is increasingly being used to refer to a broad range of organizations that are distinguished from conventional for-profit enterprise, entrepreneurship and informal economy by two core features. First, they have explicit economic AND social (and often environmental) objectives. Second, they involve varying forms of co-operative, associative and solidarity relations.  They include, for example, cooperatives, mutual associations, NGOs engaged in income generating activities, women’s self-help groups, community forestry and other organizations, associations of informal sector workers, social enterprise and fair trade organizations and networks.” (Peter Utting, UNRISD Deputy Director via Oxfamblogs)

The concept of the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) is especially meaningful for WFTO, since it is believed to promote fairer relations of players within the production process and to bring change to the current way of distributing goods. Furthermore, it triggers to encourage responsible consumption patterns. As an opposing approach to the dominant economic model in place, “the SSE understands the economy not as a goal but as a tool to achieve personal and community welfare and development.” (GUE/NGL:

The First European Forum of Social and Solidarity Economy (EFSSE), organized by the European Parliamentary group ‘The European United Left / Nordic Confederation Group’ (GUE / NGL), was held yesterday, 28th of January at the European Parliament in Brussels and was attended by 220/250 people and guests, including Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).

It aimed at promoting an exchange of experiences among the different actors within the SSE in Europe. Illustrating the potential of this alternative economic concept and political implications were a major focus of the forum.

We will keep you informed about the results of the forum and the developments of the SSE in Europe.

WFTO around the World

Promoting the WFTO Product Label: Fair Trade City Uppsala

The Fair Trade Towns Campaign has over 1100 participants by now. One of them is the Swedish city of Uppsala.

Uppsala is the 4th biggest city in Sweden with just over 200 000 inhabitants. Since 2006 the debate about Uppsala becoming a Fair Trade City was ongoing and came to an end just last year 2015. That was when the political majority changed and the major input and work from the civil society finally showed success – Fair Trade City Uppsala was born! On the World Fair Trade Day (WFTDay) 2015 they got the diploma in the presence of Bruce Crowther from the Fair Tarde Towns Campaign.

To mark that they became Fair Trade City, they took on to be hosts of the annual Swedish Fair Trade Forum, held in October 2015.

Remarkable: Uppsala has the biggest Fair Trade Shop in Sweden!

Within their ‘Uppsala Fair Trade City’ brochure they included the WFTO Product Label and therewith illustrate a good example of a way to promote it. The Label which will be launched this February at the Ambiente fair in Germany. (For more information about that, please see the article above.)

Uppsala Fair Trade City Brochure
Uppsala Fair Trade City Brochure

The main message is build on a Swedish expression “REKO” that may translate to just or good. Since it also contains the letters EKO it relates to the growing focus on organic as they call it “ekologiska” products in Sweden and use the short form EKO.

The lower green part gives 5 tips for a more REKO day:

  1. Look out for the Fairtrade symbol,
  2. Ask for Fairtrade-labeled products in shops and cafés,
  3. Avoid all-inclusive tourist establishments and learn more about sustainable travel,
  4. Buy clothes responsible. Find out about production and recycle,
  5. Find more establishments with a sustainability perspective where you can be a consumer with a conscious.

On the right hand side, it tells about the concept of Fairtrade City and provides a short information about Fairtrade, showing the two labels to look out for. One of them: the WFTO Product Label.

We are excited and looking forward that its appearance and recognition will increase in the near future – Watch out for it!

Two Events not to miss: Ambiente & World Social Forum 

Ambiente in Frankfurt, Germany – LAUNCH OF THE WFTO PRODUCT LABEL!!!

The Ambiente fair is the largest trade fair in Germany. In this year 2016, it will take place on the 12th-16th of February in Frankfurt am Main.

For the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) it is especially exciting this time. Why? Because WFTO will have its WFTO Product Label Global Launching at the Ambiente Trade Show!

From Frankfurt to the rest of the globe, WFTO and its members in more than 70 countries – WFTO-Europe comprising 15 of them – will present the Fair Trade Label for organisations to the public. This milestone in the Fair Trade movement will be communicated through the press, social media, websites, and other activities.

A credible Fair Trade label must have a good system backing the claim of the label

The WFTO has developed its own Guarantee System (GS), which was approved by WFTO members during the 2013 WFTO Annual General Meeting in Rio de Janeiro. It ensures that all WFTO members adhere to the organization’s Principles as expressed in the WFTO Standard.

The system is based on a three-level monitoring system, comprised of a Self-Assessment, Peer Visit and Monitoring Audit. Additionally, WFTO has developed the WFTO Fair Trade Accountability Watch, which is an online social accountability system that allows all members as well as concerned stakeholders or the public to raise alerts about a WFTO member’s compliance with the WFTO Standard.

The major aspects in the development of the GS were credibility, sustainability and robustness of the system.

The Guarantee System is not a product certification system, but an assurance mechanism that Fair Trade is implemented in the supply chain and practices of the organization as a whole.

Only those trading member Organizations who have successfully gone through this system, and therewith reached Guaranteed Fair Trade Organization member status, are entitled to use the WFTO Product Label.

The WFTO Product Label – a new Symbol of Fair Trade assurance!

The WFTO Product Label is an organizational label that guarantees the organization’s Fair Trade practices. It is licensed by WFTO to its members by signing a labelling contract.

It is a unique Fair Trade label that represents organisational best practices in applying the 10 Principles of Fair Trade, which are verified and regularly monitored through the WFTO Guarantee System.

The WFTO Product Label can be used by Guaranteed members on any type of product – including handicrafts, food and others – on wholesale and retail packaging and for promotional purposes.

Be sure not to miss this important moment in WFTO’s history and for the whole Fair Trade Movement, we would be happy if you come to celebrate it with us!

World Social Forum 2016 in Montreal, Canada

We would also like to inform you about the World Social Forum 2016, which will take place from the 9th to the 14th of August in Montreal, Canada.

Since its first realization in 2001, the World Social Form is still the largest gathering of civil society to find solutions to the problems of our time.

Together with the Fair World Project, the Canadian Fair Trade Network and CoopCoffees, the World Fair Trade Organization has established a letter asking dedicated fair traders to sign onto a joint collaboration to bring authentic Fair Trade by committed fair brands to the World Social Forum.

WFTO is working on having a large presence there to showcase what committed Fair Trade brands are doing to over 80,000 expected attendees from around the world. The letter asks leaders and committed fair traders to participate by showing support and enthusiasm for the united vision of dedicated Fair Trade by endorsing the request that dedicated Fair Trade becomes one of the selected themes.

We are now looking for endorsement of our vision by signing this letter.

Do not miss the chance to participate in this big event!

World Fair Trade Day 2016

The World Fair Trade Day, which is an initiative of WFTO, is an inclusive worldwide festival of events celebrating Fair Trade as a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty, exploitation, climate change and the economic crises that has the greatest impact on the world’s most vulnerable populations. This year the World Fair Trade Day will be on the 14th of May 2016.

Our overall theme for this day is still ongoing until 2017: ‘Be an Agent for Change’!

Fair Trade is an agent for change. It is a tangible solution to poverty eradication, a good tool for sustainable development, and most of all Fair Trade promotes social justice.

The 2016 WFTDay will additionally focus on human chains. This means that human chain activities should be part of all WFTDay 2016 events. Please read the WFTDay 2016 Internal Briefing for suggested events and activities!

Download theme rationale and ideas for WFTDay events and products.

Do you already have plans for WFTDay in May 2016? 

Whatever theme you may have chosen and whatever activities you are planning on, you can always try to integrate the theme of “human chains” and do at least two things during your celebration: (1) Gather your Agents for Change, and (2) Form human chains!

Don’t miss the change to be a part of this day – ‘Be an agent for change!’

Support Fair Trade. Join the celebration. Organise a Fair Trade event in your community.

The WFTO Guarantee System

Update on WFTO-Europe membership and GS status


Dear friends,

We closed the previous year 2015 with a total number of 80 WFTO-Europe members!

In the last quarter of 2015 we had a strong increase in membership and this upwards going trend is ongoing. We can already welcome a new member in this new year 2016, leading us to a new total of 81 members across 15 European countries.

We are especially proud of the 11 Organizations which successfully passed through the WFTO Guarantee System and therewith reached the GUARANTEED member status. Also, among our Fair Trade Networks and Fair Trade Support Organizations, 18 are already REGISTERED.

Almost all of our Fair Trade Organizations (FTOs) accomplished the 1st stage within the GS – the Self-Assessment – and are following up to have a Peer Visit and/or Monitoring Audit.

We wish you good luck for the next stage and are very excited to see all of you passing through the Guarantee System in the near future!

News from the Region

WFTO-Europe is pleased to welcome its new members: Fair-Band, Terrethic, CMC Malongo, GLOBO Fair Trade Partner and The Twinning Company!

Thanks a lot to those of you who already sent us a short description in English about your organisation. You can now have access to it, clicking on the members’ name. If you want to change/add something, please do not hesitate to send an email to:

We would like to say Goodbye to our recent interns Cristina Fediuc and Christine Adelmann for their work and motivation throughout the last 6 month. At the same time, we Welcome our new Project Management and Fundraising intern Marije de Graaf!

News from the Board

The minutes of the last Board meeting held on the 14-15th of October 2015 in Brussels and the 15th of December 2015 via Skype are now available on the website. Login here in order to Access the Board minutes.

The latest meeting took place last week, 21-22nd of January 2016 in Paris. The next meeting will take place on the 9th of March 2016 via Skype.

Member of the Month: 

Barbosa Fair Trade 


To inspire and to be inspired, this is a key for success in the world of Fair Trade.

Barbosa Fair Trade started in 2001 with a primary focus on Brazil and gradually grew via local Fair Trade fairs to become a recognized Fair Distributor, active in the Dutch, Belgium, French and German fair trade markets.  At present, Barbosa Fair Trade is well established and “Barbosa” runs her own independent fair trade center in Culemborg, the Netherlands, which is open during regular working hours. Barbosa has established partnerships in 5 different Latin American countries: Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Chili. Recently, initiatives were started to establish new contacts in Columbia as well.

The initial focus on the producers has never vanished and personal contact with merely every producer is still regarded as a prerequisite to create a sustainable partnership. Some producers have even been invited to visit the Dutch Fair Trade shops in order to learn more about trends, quality requirements, logistics and opportunities to develop new products.

Investing in the Latin American producers has been the bases for the tremendous growth over the last years. An average annual growth rate of 25% has been accomplished as a result of product diversification and further professionalization of the entire supply chain. Therefore, it is not surprising that Barbosa is a WFTO member, and since 2015 also a Guaranteed Member.

Barbosa Fair Trade Team

The core of the organization is build-up fully by volunteers and the fair trade center is run by 5 highly motivated people which are trained by Barbosa. The values within the entire supply chain are based on trust, respect, transparency and the will to develop both business-wise and personally.

The last visit in December 2015 to 14 Peruvian producers, all a member of WFTO, was a typical example of these values. One of the producers was not on the required level regarding the quality of the products yet. With the help of Barbosa the producer is now able to improve its production techniques and to innovate in product design and manufacturing . During 2016 the producer will receive a full monthly salary. This payment is not depending on the amount of goods produced. In this way he can fully focus on his new challenge. The producer was inspired to develop himself further as a craftsman. On the other hand the fair trade shops, their customers, Barbosa co-workers and other volunteers were inspired, because fair trade can really make a difference in people their lives.

Name: Barbosa Fair Trade
Head Office: Heerhugowaard, Netherlands
Year of foundation:  2001


  • The FTAO’s Internal Advocacy Bulletin for December 2015 & January 2016 (login required) includes articles  on ‘Policy Issues’, FTAO News and more! (Make Fruit Fair! training’s, Cotton Forum 2016,…)
  • Guidebook „The Development of a Globally Fair Region“ from the Austrian NGO Südwind NÖ for NGOs, politicians, FairTrade Organisations, enterprises, parishes,… with hints and practical measures about how to develop a region to a globally fair one. Click here for the German version.
  • IFAD Press Release 18.12.15: UN agency to promote profitable rural smallholder enterprises in Paraguay
  • IFAD Press Release 22.12.15: UN agency to provide $38 million to develop rural employment and income opportunities in Nepal

This pEU_flag_yellow_lowublication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of WFTO-Europe and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.


Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.