In this Issue:
International Women’s Day 2017
Fair Trade Nation Campaign
Fair Trade Movement renews commitment to work with the EU to implement UN 2030 Agenda
Update on WFTO-Europe membership and GS status
News from the Region
News from the Board
Member in the Spotlight
- 31 January – (Concord): ‘Information Session on MFF – for members only – online webinar;
- 8 February – ‘How can we engage school-children in Global Development Issues?’, London;
- 21 February – ‘Strategies for Development Education Policies – lessons from Spain’, London;
- 26 February 12:00am – 03 March 2017 12:00am – Fairtrade Fortnight, London;
- 26 February – ‘Social & Solidarity Economy Speakers’, London & South East;
- 28 March – ‘Global Goals, Local Action – EAUC Conference 2017’, Lancaster, UK.
Let us know about your events!
European FairTrade Shuttle!
WFTO Europe @ home
International Women’s Day 2017
In the framework of this year’s International Women’s Day, WFTO-Europe is working on an effective communication strategy in collaboration with WFTO Global and Oxfam Magasins du Monde. We would like to share successful stories about women whose independence and individuality have been regained through working in association with the Fair Trade Movement. The plan is to ask our members to get in touch – or alternatively to put us in contact – with some of their producers so that they could share their stories with us. The message would therefore be clear and straightforward: our audience would thus be able to see the existing link between Fair Trade and women-empowerment through a ‘direct’ contact with these producers and their stories. In fact, our shared goal is to raise awareness about the topic of Gender inequality in the Global South (and not only) and at the same time showcase how Fair Trade practices can help achieve women-empowerment at the workplace.
For this reason, we would like to ask our members to get in touch with us if you have a successful story to share. It is also worth mentioning that we would like to include case-studies concerning both the European market and the Global South more in general. Therefore, if you feel like sharing with us how your internal policies have benefited European women, then please feel free to drop a message. You can reach us at this email address (communication[at]wfto-europe.org) or alternatively you can call us at the number +32 2640 6386.
This is a great opportunity to help reduce the gender gap at the workplace, while at the same time putting your organization in the spotlight, so don’t miss it!
Europe in a nutshell
Fair Trade Nation Campaign
As you might have heard, Scotland was awarded Fair Trade Nation Status in February 2016. While on the one hand this represents a huge step forward towards the creation of a society whose values are based on the Fair Trade Principles, on the other it is important to understand what a Fair Trade Nation is. In short, what are the criteria for obtaining the awaited Fair Trade Nation Status?
To answer this question, we’ll briefly analyse the criteria put in place by one of the first Fair Trade Nations, namely Scotland. The criteria met by Scotland take into account several governmental and non-governmental bodies and also include some ‘desirable objectives’ for the programme, as reported by the Scottish Fair Trade Forum.
For instance, 100% of local authority areas must have active Fair Trade groups working towards Fairtrade status, 100% of cities must obtain Fair Trade status and 55% of local authority areas should have Fairtrade status with a 10% increase in the following years.
In addition, the Parliament must provide an annual statement of opinion in support of Fair Trade and the Government must publish an annual public report on the progress of the Fair Trade Nation Campaign.
But Scotland is not the only country in the UK to have obtained Fair Trade Nation Status: in fact, it is worth nothing that the first country to be ever awarded the Fair Trade Nation Status was Wales in June 2006. Here, the criteria were set by the Wales Fair Trade Forum (including CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Tearfund, Together Creating Communities, Traidcraft,) in agreement with the Welsh Assembly Government, the Scottish Government, the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, and in consultation with the Fairtrade Foundation. For this reason, these criteria are somehow similar to the Scottish ones and have been discussed and implemented in joint action.
The creation of a Fair Trade Nation Campaign symbolizes the will of many to support a fairer and better equipped society for the challenges of this century, and the decision of both Belgium and Sweden to follow the same path represents an important step forward towards the construction of more sustainable future for Europe.
WFTO around the World
In November 2016, the European Commission announced its new strategic approach for achieving sustainable development in the EU and globally. A Communication on the next steps for a sustainable European future, accompanied by a Staff Working Paper, maps EU current actions and commitments to achieve the UN 2030 Agenda. A second Communication on the new European Consensus on Development aims to align the EU development cooperation with the new global sustainable development agenda. Finally, the Communication on a renewed partnership with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries proposes a new phase in EU-ACP relations after the Cotonou Partnership Agreement expires in 2020.
The Fair Trade movement welcomes the recognition in the new Consensus on development of the “strong contribution” of Fair Trade to the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda, as well as the inclusion of the promotion of Fair Trade in the list of key EU actions to achieve the 2030 Agenda. We also welcome the commitment to intensify the support to sustainable consumption and production patterns, together with the promotion of responsible business practices and responsible management of supply chains.
However, the Fair Trade movement regrets that the EC did not use the opportunity offered by the Agenda 2030 to begin a critically important shift away from the current unsustainable economic development model, which puts short-term private profits before people and planet. Enabling citizens critical thinking on today´s challenges is a prerequisite of this paradigm shift. Therefore, the Fair Trade movement calls on the European Parliament and the Council to ensure that non-formal development education and awareness-raising are an integral part of EU plans to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
The WFTO Guarantee System
We are proud to inform you that right now 22 Organizations successfully passed through the WFTO Guarantee System in the past and therewith reached Guaranteed member status in Europe. Globally speaking, we now have over 100 guaranteed members. At the regional level, WFTO-Europe is processing 10 monitoring applications while we are managing 7 new membership requests. In 2016 alone, WFTO-Europe has welcomed 20 new members, reaching a total of 89 organisations in our network.
Also, as discussed during the 2015 AGM in Milan, WFTO-Europe will now start working on a list of unverified suppliers which will be circulated and shared amongst our members once it is ready so as to improve the synergy and efficiency of WFTO-Europe. You can therefore expect to hear more from us about this soon!
Finally, a new version of the Guarantee System Handbook is available. The May 2016 version of the GS handbook contains inputs and feedback from members that went through the process, and from expert who are involved in the implementation of the GS. Visit the internal site of WFTO to get a copy.
WFTO-Europe is pleased to welcome its new members: Alechemia and Siddharth Imports while we are sorry to say goodbye to Wisnu Fairtade, hoping to see them back in our network in the future.
See also our annual report 2015-2016, it is online!
It is also time to say goodbye to our current interns, Stefano and Mikkel, alongside our ad interim regional coordinator Sebastien. Thank you very much for your great work and good luck with everything! At the same time though, we are extremely happy to welcome back Francesca and also the two new interns: Maria, from Brazil, who will be working on communication, membership & monitoring and Eva, from Denmark, who will be responsible for administration and project management.
The last board meeting was held on January the 12th via Skype whereas the next one is planned to take place on February the 8th and 9th here in Brussels.
Please log in here if you want to access all the Board Meetings held by WFTO-Europe in 2016.
BHcrafts – New Guaranteed Member
BHcrafts (since 1995) is the first recognized social entrepreneurship and licensed fair trade producer of handmade garments and fashion accessories in B&H.
It began as a humanitarian enterprise, and today has developed into a successful export-oriented business which is still growing. BHcrafts promotes the cultural heritage of Bosnia while using its traditions to develop products appealing to the modern market.
All of BHcrafts products, both clothing and household goods have been enthusiastically welcomed around the world. Media praise the superior quality of hand made products which cannot be produced through mass production.
BHcrafts products are made with domestic raw materials, thus supporting the economy of BiH. Ecological considerations are taken into account at every stage of production, using paper bags and boxes for shipping and wooden looms for weaving. Our products are a mixture of traditional methods and modern design combined to appeal to a world market.
Results have acknowledged all of this. BHcrafts has successfully cooperated with Agnes B in France for several years. An even more important business connection has been with Sundance catalogue with whom we have been working for ten years, and on a smaller scale with National Geographic catalogue and Nieman Marcus.
On each product labelled BHcrafts you will find the name of the woman who made it. These are products made with love and care, and if you purchase you will be contributing to the creative and business opportunities open to these women. Our aim has never changed – it will only expand further with your purchase.
FT-RELATED NEWS, PUBLICATIONS AND OTHER TOOLS
- Toolkit on how local authorities can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through Fair Trade (FTAO)
- Fair Trade Nation Campaign
- Fair Trade Nation Aims & Criteria
- Fair Trade Nation Wales
- Food Smart Cities for Development – Publication: Gent en Garde – Food Policy Recommendations of the Food Policy Council (PDF)
- Maak van Belgie het land van het Fair Trade
- Antonio Tajani was elected as the president for the second half of the parliamentary term; EP press release
- Workers’ rights: “Labour laws need updating to cover new forms of unemployment; EP press release
- International Cooperation and Development, “Linking Farmers & Tourists to Solve Development Challenges in SIDS”
- ”How real are workers’ rights when digitalisation is changing the architecture of work?”, Ethical Trading Initiative