In this Issue:

Sewing the Pieces Together: Towards an EU Strategy for Fair and Sustainable Textiles

Biennial Conference 2020-Athens

The European Fair Train: Spain, Greece,

Rewind 2019: a Look Back on the Year’s Highlights

The Fair Trade Movement Takes a Stand at COP25

FTAO New Year’s Celebrations

EYE Guide-Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs

Guide to Increase Sustainability in your Trading and Shipping Practices

The latest Edition of the International Guide to Fair Trade Labels

International Women’s Day 2020

World Fair Trade Day: Planet Fair Trade-Enterprises for the New Economy

Alternative Business Model Report

News from the Region

News from the Board

Member in the Spotlight

Fair Trade Related News, Publications and other tools


21st-24th January 2020:
World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, Davos-Klosters, Switzerland

7th-11th February 2020:
Ambiente Fair, Frankfurt, Germany

8th March 2020:
Women’s Day, get the celebration’s concept here

9th May 2020:
World Fair Trade Day, find the concept here

3rd-5th June 2020:
Annual General Meeting, Athens, Greece

8th June 2020:
Fair Trade International Symposium, Chiapas, Mexico.

9th-10th June 2020:
European Development Days, Bruxelles, Belgium

23rd-25th October 2020:
International Fair Trade Towns Conference, Quito, Ecuador

Let us know about your events!


WFTO-Europe @ home

Sewing the Pieces Together: Towards an EU Strategy for Fair and Sustainable Textiles

ECDPM in collaboration with WFTO-Europe, Fair Trade Advocacy Office and Oxfam Magasins du Monde issued a discussion paper, in which they envision comprehensive European regulations for fair and sustainable textile supply chains.

The textile supply chain is plagued by human rights violations, poor working conditions, child labor, environmental degradation and intense pollution. Nevertheless, all of these unpleasant consequences are easy to ignore when we, as consumers, enter a sparkling, scented mall to buy the hundredth T-shirt for a few euros.

In the last years, the tragic incident of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh raised the attention towards working conditions in producing countries and the negative environmental impact of fast fashion production has come heavily into focus.

The responsibility of these outcomes falls heavily on the shoulders of importers, brands, retailers and customers in Europe. Therefore, it is natural to expect an effort from the European Union to take the matter in its own hands and exploit the leverage on companies, trade partners and other stakeholders to ban the most harmful practices and to encourage the entire industry to shift towards fairer and more sustainable production. Regrettably, the initiatives have been limited, scattered and fragmented so far.

This report contains a comprehensive overview of the numerous and diverse policy options of which the EU can dispose in order to effectively tackle the issue of sustainability in the textile sector, such as: Human Rights due diligence legislation, public procurement, product labelling, multi-stakeholders initiatives, trade negotiations, development cooperation and so on .

In conclusion, an inclusive and harmonized EU strategy for fair and sustainable textile has great potential to contribute to the commitments to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030, and the beginning of the new legislative term for the Commission is the best moment to make it a priority of the European Green Deal.

Read the Paper here.


Mikkel Kofod Nørgård | Junior Project Officer at WFTO-Europe | Tel: +32 2 640 63 86


Biennial Conference 2020-Athens

From 2-5 June 2020 the biennial conference of WFTO-Europe will take place in Athens. The main focus of this conference: “How Fair Trade can deliver to the Global Environmental Challenges”. Concerning topics of increasing climate change, plastic soup in the oceans, decreasing biodiversity cannot be denied by the Fair Trade actors, and  we will discuss what we can do to stop this in Athens. Another big issue on the table is how to increase domestic Fair Trade in Europe. And to have an idea about the Greek possibilities we will include field trips to local producers in the region. The program is still under construction, but it will be clearly inspiring, creative, full of sun shine and good food!

The registration link will be online in February for the Biennal Conference (2-5 of June), the AGM of WFTO-Europe (5 of June, PM) and an optional extra excursion for the weekend 6-7 of June.

Be there !

The European Fair Train: Spain and Greece


During the last months our Fair Train traveled to Spain and Greece, to find out about Fair Trade in these countries read more…

Europe in a nutshell

Rewind 2019: a look back on the year’s highlights

Let’s look back at 2019 events, membership growth and news. Have a look at WFTO-Europe Annual Report 2018-2019 clicking here.


The Fair Trade movement takes a stand at COP25

The Fair Trade movement calls for the demands of producer organisations to be heard in the negotiations on the global climate crisis on the occasion of COP25.

In the run-up to the Climate Summit, the World Fair Trade movement urges Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to recognise Fair Trade policies and practices as a crucial component of climate mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Faced with droughts, floods, and unpredictable weather changes, more and more smallholder farmers are forced to leave their fields and migrate. Therefore, the Fair Trade movement calls for urgent, concrete and ambitious action to address these adverse effects of the climate crisis, which put at risk the most vulnerable populations, world food security and, by extension, the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Fair Trade movement warns that current unsustainable business models, where the wellbeing of people and planet are often sacrificed in the pursuit of profits, remain a key driver to the accelerating climate crisis.

The sad truth of the climate crisis is that it devastates the most marginalised communities, who are the people least responsible for the crisis. This is why in tackling climate change, we must also over-haul global trade and business models to put the interests of these people first,” says Erinch Sahan, Chief Executive at the World Fair Trade Organization.

Transparent supply chains, a more equal distribution of value among its actors and observing Human Rights Due Diligence are crucial factors for truly bolstering the climate resilience of smallholder farmers. Moreover, better remuneration, technical support and better access to finance is needed to allow them to make vital investments into climate mitigation and adaptation measures.

Fair Trade provides concrete tools and tested ways of ensuring these crucial components for smallholder farmers and marginalised producers, and thus it represents one obvious tool among many that must be employed to mitigate the climate crisis. Nevertheless, the sheer scale of the crisis means that we cannot rely on consumers alone to demand more sustainability and trade justice as a way to ensure climate resilience.

“Climate change has evolved into a climate crisis. We must now focus on supporting small-holder farmers in adapting their livelihoods to a crisis that was not of their making. Ensuring the sustainability of agriculture and fair trading terms requires real action from all of us – from small-holder farmers to government, businesses and consumers. We call on the leaders at COP25 to play their part and catalyse climate and trade action,” says Dario Abril Soto, CEO at Fairtrade International.


Mikkel Kofod Nørgård | Junior Project Officer at WFTO-Europe | Tel: +32 2 640 63 86

More Information 

  • Fair Trade movement Joint Position Paper on COP25: ENFRESITDEPL

Notes to Editor

  • The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) is a global community of Fair Trade Enterprises. Founded in 1989, it has over 400 members across 70 countries, counting over 330 Fair Trade Enterprises and 70 organisations and networks that support them. Through peer reviews and independent audits WFTO ensures members are mission led businesses that put people and planet first. Read more:
  • Fairtrade International represents an alternative approach to conventional trade based on a partnership between producers and traders, businesses and consumers. The international Fairtrade system – made up of Fairtrade International and its member organizations – represents the worlds largest and most recognized fair trade system. Read more:
  • The Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) speaks out on behalf of the Fair Trade movement for Fair Trade and Trade Justice with the aim to improve the livelihoods of marginalised producers and workers in the South. The FTAO is a joint initiative of Fairtrade International, and the World Fair Trade Organization (Europe and Global). Read more:

Signatories to the COP25 position paper on behalf of the Fair Trade movement:

  • Commerce Équitable France
  • Coordinadora Estatal De Comercio Justo
  • Association Equo Garantito
  • Italian General Assembly of Fair Trade
  • EZA Fairer Handel
  • Fair Trade Advocacy Office
  • Fair World Project
  • Fairtrade International
  • Forum Fairer Handel
  • GEPA – The Fair Trade Company
  • Oxfam
  • Polish Fair Trade Association
  • Scottish Fair Trade Forum
  • Swiss Fair Trade
  • World Fair Trade Organization
  • World Fair Trade Organization – Europe

FTAO New Year’s Celebrations

On the 9th of January FTAO organized an informal New Year’s Drink at Ozfair in Brussels to celebrate the beginning of this new decade! In the next ten years Europe and the world will have to work hard to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal…the challenges are huge, but we are convinced that working together will lead to innovative and effective solutions. In particular, we need to think about how to manage the transition to a low-carbon economy in a way that is fair to farmers and workers that grow our food and make our clothes and electronic products. We need to discuss how to promote more circularity and fairness in production and consumption patterns, how to incentivize business models that are built to achieve societal goals, rather than only maximize the short-term benefits for shareholders.

EYE Guide – Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs

Dear member of WFTO-Europe,

Are you an entrepreneur, head of your own small or medium enterprise? Are you willing to share your knowledge and experience in the field of social business? Are you ready to inspire and mentor a young European entrepreneur who is about to start his own business? If the answer to the previous questions is yes, this guide is what you need to embrace this amazing experience.

The Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is an exchange programme funded by the European Union with the aim of connecting young and more experienced entrepreneurs across Europe for their mutual benefit, in the spirit of sharing ideas, knowledge and expertise to lead their respective business on the road to success. The Young entrepreneur will spend a period of time of 1 to 6 months at the hosting firm, where he or she will receive training, advices and mentoring, will have the possibility to study the market and the business practices and to establish business partnerships and potential collaborations. The host entrepreneur, will have the opportunity to learn new techniques, receive fresh ideas and advices from his protégé and start a long-term business relationship. The criteria to participate in the EYE programme as a host are: being a resident in one of the participant countries, being the owner-manager of a small or medium enterprise registered in that country, having been running the company for more than three years. The application process is explained in the host entrepreneur guide.  You will have to create your profile, stating your motivation, the languages you speak, your business sector, the preferred country of origin of the young entrepreneurs and your preferred period for the exchange. As a second step you will choose your local contact point, which will serve as a link between you and the Young entrepreneurs, will help you in the process of selection and will answer to all your questions. After that you are ready to start this fruitful collaboration, choose a young entrepreneur and become his or her mentor.

This is great opportunity for you and your Business! Find out more on this website.

Guide to Increase Sustainability in Your Trading and Shipping Practices.

The reality of climate emergency is absolutely undeniable and the sustainability of business conducts and practices is one of the strongest concerns of our members. Most of them are already quite advanced in their environmentally-friendly business practices, but there is always room for improvement. Indeed, one of the main issues for Fair Trade enterprises remains the shipments of goods to be traded, which is an unavoidable externality when trading with partners from all over the world. The transport sector is estimated to be the third contributor to Greenhouse Gases emission, but there are a number of best practices that can be implemented to at least reduce the carbon footprint of your trading activities, for example relying on the least pollutant shipping methods or improving management of the logistics in your supply chain. With this aim in mind, the Smart Freight Centre and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development published the Smart Freight Procurement Guidelines, a set of action-based guidelines addressed to professionals engaged in logistics procurement, supply chain and logistics management, and logistics emissions management. This practical tool provides the professional with a four step strategy to reorganize their business practices to reduce sensibly the Greenhouse gases emissions and the air pollutant resulting from the transport of the goods along the supply chain. The guiding principles that inspired this publication are transparency, collaboration and leadership and innovation. The authors identified 4 crucial phases to reorganize the management of the logistics and procurement: planning: the preparatory phase, which includes the identification of needs, budget definition, a project management plan, the identification of responsibilities, and a general supplier assessment – in line with the organization’s business and procurement strategy; tendering: tender definition (including procedure, award criteria, technical specifications, bidder related aspects, environmental and social aspects, financial information, formal aspects), public tendering (where applicable) and the evaluation of the tenders; contracting: the specification of the contract terms, supplier selection and contract negotiations, agreement on qualitative and quantitative key performance indicators (KPIs) and monitoring activities; the planning phase should include early stages of this phase; contract-based supplier management: monitoring of supplier performance using qualitative and quantitative Key Performance Indicators. Identifying future improvement areas and best practices.

If you are interested in more details the complete guide can be found on their website.

Moreover, another tool to improve the sustainability and efficiency of your shipping methods is the Ecotransit Calculator accredited by the Smart Freight Centre. It is a simple tool to calculate the most efficient combination of shipping methods in terms of emissions and energy consumption from any destination in the world to your shop. It is very easy to use: It is sufficient to choose the origin and destination of your cargo and its weight in tonnes and the website will analyse all of the possible combinations of transport modes (truck, train, ship or plane) comparing them in terms of energy consumption, greenhouse gases emissions and CO2, and shipping time. This will give you an overview of the actual measurable impact of your trading practices and it represents the starting point for any action you might want to implement to reduce your environmental footprint.

The Latest Edition of the International Guide to Fair Trade Labels

As a result of a joint effort of a group of academics and actors of the Fair Trade movement led by Commerce Équitable France, the fifth edition of the International Guide to Fair Trade Labels is now available.

It represents a unique contribution to the differentiation, evaluation, and comparison of the different labels of Fair Trade and Sustainability standards that proliferate in any sector and industry.

More specifically, the guide analyses the effectiveness of Fair Trade Labels, their standards, and monitoring criteria, assigning them a score for their economic, social, governance and environmental performance.

Moreover, it includes information on domestic or local Fair Trade Initiatives, namely a recent development of the fair trade concept, intended to extend the geographical scope of Fair Trade certification to marginalized producers, wherever they may be located, including OECD countries.

Finally, the guide contributes to shedding light on the shortcomings of corporate initiatives and their sustainability programs, when it comes to transparency, monitoring measures, and overall commitment.

In short, this guide opens the curtains on what lies behind the labels and the values they stand for. This knowledge helps consumers choosing mindfully to purchase the labels that match their values and deserve their trust.  Truth is that trust is the scarcest of all commodities and it is built on transparency, which is the strength of the Fair Trade movement, together with the unity and clarity of its commitments and the widespread efforts to hold onto its principles, in the creation of a fairer and more sustainable global economic system.

Find more information here.

WFTO around the World

International Women’s Day 2020

This year World Fair Trade Organization will celebrate International Women’s day by profiling the inspiring women who are creating the path to gender equality. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Women Empowering Women”, #SheEmpowersHer.

Inspiring women are everywhere and have enormous positive impact. Women empower themselves and each other. The Fair Trade movement is full of examples of women bucking social norms and overcoming gender barriers. Across many hundreds of Fair Trade Enterprises, women are the decision-makers, leaders, professionals, and artisans driving change. This can inspire broader social change and help empower more women.

Get the celebration concepts here.


World Fair Trade Day 2020: Planet Fair Trade-Enterprises for the New Economy

Have you heard of the climate crisis? Not many haven’t these days. Fortunately, we are already businesses that take it seriously by acting on climate crisis and protecting our planet. What businesses? Members of WFTO. What would a planet populated by Fair Trade businesses taking action on climate look like?


WFTO Alternative Business Model Report

On 22 January WFTO will launch a report on the unique business model of Fair Trade Enterprises. The report is co-authored with Traidcraft as well academics from the University of Cambridge and University of York. It draws on a survey of 62 WFTO members and 17 case studies to distinguish the structure of Fair Trade Enterprises from mainstream business models. It will argue that to achieve a world without poverty, a thriving planet, and to end extreme inequality requires a transformation of the business world. WFTO members provide an example of how this can be done by building mission-led businesses. There will be a range of social media products and a video to explain the report and a launch event is being planned at UNCTAD headquarters in Geneva. Get ready to support the launch on social media and share the report with your contacts.

Stay tuned and check WFTO website or Facebook page.

The WFTO Guarantee System

Update on WFTO-Europe current membership numbers

At present our network counts 107 members in total, among which 59 have been granted Guaranteed Status. At the regional level we are currently processing a new membership request.

WFTO-Europe members are currently represented in 17 European countries.

News from the Region

Goodbye and Welcome!It is time to say goodbye to our interns Lucia and Federica. We thank you very much for your support and we wish you all the best for your future career!

Yet, we are happy to welcome to Tess, our new Membership & Monitoring Assistant and Anna who will work as our Project Management & Fundraising Assistant.

They will start working with us in February…a big welcome already to the two of them!

News from the Board

Please log in here to access all minutes from the Board Meetings held by WFTO-Europe.

Member in the Spotlight: Cha Dô Teehandels GmbH

Cha Dô Teehandels GmbH was established in 1994 as the first exclusively organic tea brand and company. In 1997 we came in touch with Fairtrade International (later FLO) and felt that this would fit exactly to our vision of trade. As a consequence we became one of the first traders for organic and Fairtrade tea. Starting with a brand business for the German organic food market, we soon realized that more had to be done on the supplier side to be successful in the future. First cooperations in South India and China were created and due to the improvements in quality, the teas weere successfully placed in the western markets. This led to a change in the company’s profile, Cha Dô developed to one of the leading bulk traders for organic and Fair Trade teas in Europe and North America.

In 2004 we were asked to assist in a tribal project in North Vietnam. Hill tribes harvesting leaves from wild growing tea trees (Camellia Sinensis) in the rainforests. We managed to start a cooperation with 5 villages and found a partner who set up a small factory close to the villages. Also this project developed to huge success, today we are buying up to 500 to. of fresh leaf p. a. from the villages and processing it to green and black tea.

In 2018 a Swiss NGO approached us to help and develop tea projects in Laos and Myanmar, another challenge but also very welcome, as our expanding business was demanding for more volumes and new exciting origins.

In the same year we decided to apply for the WFTO certification for our company as we felt that the responsibility for Fair Trade was entirely focused on the suppliers. Our intention to be a supporter for the farmers in the developing countries and enable them to offer a product which can achieve a sustainable price and a good living, demands a lot of attention and consultancy. We have always offered this support free of costs to our producers and have enabled them to understand the target markets for their products.

Every 2-3 years we arranged a network meeting for our producers and core clients to educate both sides and enable an exchange of knowledge about the challenges in the markets and the producing countries.

Looking back in our 25 year history, we can proudly say that organics and Fair Trade can really make a change.