In this Issue:

  • Follow up on the WFTO-Europe Communication Strategy
  • “Wear Your Ideas” – WFTO-Europe event in October 2015
  • Good examples on Public Policies in Support of Fair Trade
  • WFTO Biennial Conference Report
  • Training on the Guarantee System : Final lesson!
  • Vote4FairTrade
  • Member of the month

And More … !

Agenda

Let us know about your events!

               We wish you a beautiful summer! 

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Picture: Island Spirit

Main Articles

Follow up on WFTO-Europe Communication Strategy

Dear members,

com strategyDuring the European AGM in Milan, WFTO-Europe presented its Communication strategy for 2015-2017.

Its main objectives are to define better who we are and what we do. In order to succeed in this, we also need to strengthen our identity, which has been identified as the main goal for the 2015 Action plan. It goes without saying that to be able to do so, we also need to get more visibility for you, our members! The communication strategy comes up with several points and we would like to keep you informed on them.

In the third quarter of 2015, we have planned to:

  • Make the website more in line with our daily activities (we are already working on this)
  • Modify our Newsletter in the following way:
  • Giving a name to our Newsletter in order to make it more personal (you are very welcome to share your ideas with us! You can contact us at communication@wfto-europe.org)
  • To reduce the Newsletter frequency and make it alternate with Flash News
  • To modify its format by creating 3 main sections – one focused on our WFTO-Europe activities, one on our members’ activities in Europe and one dedicated to WFTO around the world
  • Engage more with our members and promote their visibility, which will include
  • adding a short description of each member on our website
  • identifying each members’ communication officer (whether this is possible)

That is why we would like to ask you to send us a short paragraph in English, including basic information about your organization (who you are, the year of your foundation, your social goals etc.). It would be great if you could send this information, together with the email address of your communication officer, at:  communication@wfto-europe.org by 31 August 2015.

Thank you for helping us to strengthen our network and its visibility!

“Wear Your Ideas” – WFTO-Europe event in October 2015 

Fair trade on board JPEG

We are delighted to announce that WFTO-Europe will be organizing an event during the Belgian Fair Trade Week in October 2015.

The event is a project financed by the Belgian Development Agency and its main aim is to raise awareness, especially amongst young people, on who is behind our clothes and to show importance of ethical consumption. Hence the name of project “Wear your Ideas.”

The event will take form of a debate and the main session will be dedicated to a panel discussion amongst the representatives of Oxfam-Magasins du Monde, Clean Clothes Campaign and Fashion Revolution who will highlight the main problems persisting in the textile supply chains but also try to come up with alternative solutions and show examples of actions that can be taken.Logo_CTB_JPEG

Thanks to the presence of a representative of the Cambodian trade union and also of artisans, Roopa Metha from Sasha (WFTO member), we will able to analyse the situation in the textile supply chains under different angles.

The event will take place in Brussels during the evening of 14th of October, as a part of the “Fair Trade Marathon”. Many other important events will be organized during this period, such as the Fair Trade breakfast in the European Parliament and the Clean Clothes Campaign international Forum.

Further information on the event will be uploaded soon on our website, where a registration form will be also made available for those who are already planning to attend the event.

Good examples on Public Policies in support of Fair Trade 

Picture: University of Wisconsin
Picture: University of Wisconsin

The Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) together with Latin American and Caribbean Network of Fair Trade Small Producers (CLAC), supported by WFTO Latin America and other partners published a report on good examples in public support for Fair Trade in Europe and Latin America.

The main objective of the report “Public policies in support of fair and solidarity trade. First research phase: the cases of Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil; France, Italy and Spain” is to give examples of good practices of public policies in support of Fair Trade and thus give visibility to fair and solidarity trade in Europe and Latin America.

The report shows that the approaches to public policies in support of Fair Trade on the two continents are different. In Latin America they are rather at the national level, while in Europe the focus is more supra national and local. Despite these and other differences, both Latin America and Europe share some common challenges, such as strengthening the cooperation between the research community and public policies and confirming the need to deepen the research on fair and solidarity trade.

As mentioned by the FTAO, this research is very valuable, because it gives good foundations to advice and inspire public policies in support to fair and solidarity trade. In addition, it helps strengthen links between the research community and those that daily work to build fairer and more sustainable relations between production, trade and consumption.

The report is available on the FTAO website, both in English and Spanish.

WFTO Biennial Conference Report

BienniaWe would like to remind you that the WFTO Biennial Conference Report is now officially published.

You can read our article about it or find the report both in our website and in the WFTO one.  Take your time to visit the page, to check the photos from the Conference, the workshop presentations and to access the Conference videos via dedicated Youtube channels.

Overall, the Conference which took place during the first four days of the World Fair Trade Week, from 24 to 27 May, was a success with many attendants from all over the world.

We would like to thank once again all of you for having participated and hope to see even more of our members during the next AGM, which will take place in June 2016 most likely in Germany. Stay tuned to our newsletter and social media pages for more information coming during the following months!

Training on the Guarantee System

Final Lesson : WFTO Fair Trade Accountability Watch 

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In order to make sure that all WFTO members commit to Fair Trade and its principles, WFTO has put in place a Guarantee System based on a monitoring schedule, composed of Self-Assessment Reports, Monitoring Audits and Peer Visits.

These elements were explained throughout the previous GS Training lessons (you can register/log in to the FairShare platform and look up for Training Session on the New WFTO Guarantee System or refer to the member’s section of our website – WFTO Guarantee System Training ).

As a large network, WFTO cannot rely only on these regular checks, but has to foresee a system that would enable us to act in case a member would not respect the principles.

That is why WFTO operates an online watch system that allows all members as well as public to raise concerns about a WFTO member’s compliance with the WFTO Standard.

How does it work?

  • Individuals or organisations can submit their alerts online, through a special section on the WFTO website.
  • This can be done either with the permission to use their name or anonymously, but anonymous complaint might carry less weight and WFTO reserves the right not to investigate them.
  • Complainant needs to indicate which WFTO Principle the complaint relates to and to provide enough facts and evidence related to it. WFTO reserves the right to not consider complaints which do not refer to WFTO Fair Trade Principles or procedures unless deemed relevant by WFTO.
  • Every alert is automatically sent to the WFTO Guarantee System manager who will forward the complaint to the concerned organization in order to allow a response to the allegation.

How does WFTO deal with alerts?

The alerts are considered by the Guarantee System Manager and followed up by WFTO according to a risk based approach.

All complaints are shared with the Standard and Guarantee System committee and the Board. Any concerns and complaints are dealt according to the WFTO Complaints procedure and may lead to Sanctions procedure.

If the complaint is deemed serious enough to investigate further, the member complained about is informed and given the right to reply. The informant’s identity is kept strictly anonymous, unless the complainant wishes otherwise.

Complaints procedure 

  • WFTO decides whether the complaint is minor or major:
  • Minor allegations are briefly investigated further and are considered for the next regular audit during which they are followed up and cross verified by means of workers’ interviews, site inspections and document reviews as applicable.
  • Major allegations are always followed up in detail, with all investigations and findings fully documented.
  • In case of major allegations :

Based on evidence and any comments received from appropriate national or regional committee regarding the complaint, WFTO may decide to take no action or to:

  1. Indicate measures the organisation must take within given time
  2. Appoint someone within WFTO to establish the extent of changes needed in the member organisation
  3. Recommend to appoint a conciliator, provided that conciliation proceedings are agreed by both parties
  4. Do an investigation or audit, which should be carried out within 6 months, and may lead WFTO to take one of the following decisions:
  • no action because of insufficient evidence and close the procedure;
  • request organisation to take measures within a given time
  • deregistration to the status of provisional membership (until measures are taken)
  • suspension from membership and process of sanction
  • WFTO informs the complainant within 15 days of any major step or final decision.

More detailed information about the Complaints and Sanctions procedures may be found in the Chapter 8.2 of the Guarantee System Handbook.

News from the Office

WFTO-Europe would like to say thank you to the interns Martina Spata and Natalia Grotova for their great work during the last months and wish them good luck in their future adventures.

Please note that the next issue of our Newsletter will be published on the 9th of September 2015.

News from the Board

The minutes of the last Board meeting held on 22 April 2015 via Skype are now available on the  Members’section of the website. Please login here in order to access the Board minutes.

The next meeting will take place on 16 July 2015 via Skype.

Vote4FairTrade Updates 

VOTE4FT entered its final year in 2015 and WFTO-Europe tries to maximize its efforts in order to contribute to the Project and make sure Fair Trade voice is heard.

To keep alive MEPs committment to the project, we invite you to watch the following video  done by Polish Fair Trade Association with MEP Bogdan Wenta talking about how important it is that EU guarantees enforcement of sustainable legislative measures.

Member of the Month: 

Oxfam Intermón 

Oxfam Intermon_logo

Oxfam Intermón is a non-for-profit organization dedicated to four main activities: campaigning, development, humanitarian aid and, of course, Fair Trade.

It is based in Spain, although it works in many countries around the world as part of Oxfam confederation, an international network of organizations that has the aim of changing lives and creating opportunities for the most disadvantaged people.

One person in three in the world lives in poverty. Oxfam is determined to change that world by mobilizing the power of people against poverty.

Around the globe, Oxfam works to find practical, innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive. We save lives and help rebuild livelihoods when crisis strikes. And we campaign so that the voices of the poor influence the local and global decisions that affect them.

In all it does, Oxfam works with partner organizations and alongside vulnerable women and men to end the injustices that cause poverty.

Oxfam Intermón has been working in Fair Trade since 1994. Currently, it is working directly with 37 Fair Trade partners and indirectly with 68, with an annual purchasing budget of around €6 million.

The range of products includes food, handicraft and cosmetics.  Oxfam Intermón has 38 shops in Spain, all of them managed by volunteers, one of the great values of the organization (in all, Oxfam Intermón has more than 1,500 volunteers).

copyright John Ferguson - Oxfam
copyright John Ferguson – Oxfam

Trading activity is complemented with awareness campaigns. The most recent one, Buscamos fashions victims (“Fashion Victims wanted”), denounced the bad working conditions in the textile supply chains and explained how good is Fair Trade as an alternative. In fact, Oxfam Intermón is selling Veraluna, a clothing collection 100% Fair Trade that is a good evidence of the impact of Fair Trade Principles and the benefits that they have for the people.

Oxfam Intermón is also conducting projects to support its trading partners. These projects aim to empower artisans and farmers, strengthen organizations, build new capacities and support the producers to reach new markets and make better products.

Name: Oxfam Intermon
Head Office: Barcelona, Spain
Year of foundation:  1994
Website:  www.oxfamintermon.org

FT-RELATED NEWS, PUBLICATIONS AND OTHER TOOLS

  • The FTAO’s Internal Advocacy Bulletin for June 2015 (login required) includes articles  on ‘Policy Issues’  (Special attention to Fair Trade in the Future EU Trade Strategy) FTAO News (Goodbye to Elba) and more!
  • New report by IPES-Food sheds light on the power imbalances running through the food systems.
  • An article from Common cause on perception of poverty.
  • Make Fruit Fair petition from FTAO got more than 7.500 signatures, you can still sign it!
  • Output document of Expo dei Popoli Milano 2015 ‘Food Sovereignty through Agroecology: Solutions to mend broken systems’

This publication 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 toEU_flag_yellow_low reflect the views of the European Union.

 

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