In this Issue:
16th-19th September 2019:
The International Fair Trade Summit, Lima, Peru
24th-26th September 2019:
European Research and Innovation Days, Brussels, Belgium
2nd-12th October 2019:
Belgium Fair Trade Week
7th-11th October 2019:
Fair Trade Marathon, including the Fair Trade Breakfast at the European Parliament on 10th October
18th-20th October 2019:
International Fair Trade Towns Conference 2019, Wales
24th October 2019:
“High-level conference on Sustainability & Competition Policy”, Brussels – Link to be followed soon on FTAO’s website
Let us know about your events!
WFTO-Europe @ home
On 6th and 7th June we hosted our “Connect & Act” meeting in Brussels, followed by the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in the afternoon of the 7th. The event was funded by the Trade Fair Live Fair project and gathered more than 60 people from 13 different European countries. This provided valuable space and opportunity for our members and prospective organisations to share experiences and raise important issues faced in the implementation of Fair Trade practices. In the morning of the first day we were additionally joined by members of like-minded movements for the public event “The role of mission-led business models in pursuing global social and environmental justice”, where participants discussed common goals around the theme of social and environmental justice.
You can find a recap, the full conference report as well as some pictures of the event under this link.
Many thanks to all the members who travelled to Brussels and participated so actively in our sessions and discussions – you made this event a great success.
Following up on the most important issues discussed during the meeting, we have identified several action points per session that we would like to follow up in the next months. Here you can find the list of all of them. We recognize the challenge that a tight agenda creates when discussing such key topics and we want to completely reassure you that none of the points raised up will be left behind us. We do commit to follow up as much as possible on all of them. That is why we would like to kindly ask you to have a look at the list and let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org whether you wish to add any points. We will do our best to address all of them with the resources we have.
We also take advantage of this opportunity to remind you that in 2020 we will have our next WFTO-Europe Biennial Conference. We are collecting proposals from those organizations interested in hosting the conference by the end of July. In autumn we wish to be able to already communicate to you further details and to help you pencil the dates on your calendar.
We want to be the voice of Fair Trade in Europe and build a strongly connected, well recognized network between our European members. Find out more in our brand new WFTO-Europe video!
The Annual general meeting closed the Connect & Act members’ meeting in June 2019 and it was a key moment as usual to reflect on our network and define the way ahead for the organisation.
Thanks to the discussion we had ahead of the AGM on the governance of the network, key points were raised regarding the specific role that WFTO-Europe should play in the next 3 years. Considering the feedback collected and summarized in the conference report, the WFTO-Europe Board will start from now on the internal work to elaborate the new WFTO-Europe 3 year strategic plan, which will be approved in June 2020 during the next WFTO-Europe Biennial Conference.
As stressed in the meeting in Brussels, members will play a role of utmost importance in this process and will be regularly consulted over the year to make sure that the strategic plan really corresponds and suits with their expectation. A first draft of the strategic plan is expected to be circulated to the members for feedback around October/November.
In order to have a Board that is more representative of the 105 members we currently count, the four current Board members agreed to open a call to co-opt three new Board members by October 2019. As you know and can read in the AGM minutes, two Board members resigned over the past year and one ended her last mandate in June 2019. Due to the failure to appoint new Board members during the last AGM, the Board strongly encourages those who are interested in playing a bigger role within the network to step up and to apply for the positions.
The call will be officially launched by the end of July and members will have time until the end of September to apply for it. For any further information regarding the role, the supposed commitment of a Board member or other, please do not hesitate to contact the coordinator Francesca Giubilo at email@example.com.
WFTO-Europe is in a crucial and important turning point in its history and we need you to bring in your thoughts and energy to help us build up a stronger network which represents our unique diversity.
We count on you!
Ready for another ride on the Fair Train? Our new blog “The European Fair Train” takes you on a journey through the very many facets of Fair Trade in our European member countries. Hop on and travel with us to Germany, where Fair Trade looks back on a long history and continues to grow thanks to our 10 German Guaranteed Members. Read the latest blog post here.
Our member Weltladen Dachverband, the German association of world shops with 450 members, recently published a report on the relationship between world shops and local authorities in Germany. The report highlights both the challenges and the potential of a closer cooperation between municipalities and world shops. The aim was to work out solution approaches for world shops to build a stronger commitment to Fair Trade in their municipality.
You can read our recap of the report in English here.
Europe in a nutshell
It has been an eventful first half of the year for WFTO-Europe – not only thanks to our Connect & Act members’ meeting in June, but also because of the many interesting publications that we launched in the past months.
One highlight is our WFTO-Europe Review which looks at Fair Trade as a means towards the Sustainable Development Goals. The review features some of our members and the ways in which they work with Fair Trade. As part of the Trade Fair Live Fair project, this publication is aimed at showcasing the strong links between Fair Trade and the Sustainable Development Goals for the agenda 2030. The practices in the review illustrate the holistic approach of Fair Trade as an alternative business model and WFTO as a network of mission-led businesses. We hope that citizens, businesses and organisations will take some of these practices to heart and reflect on how they can support or adopt them into their own work. The WFTO-Europe members featured in the review show several ways to do this while running a healthy and viable business. You can read the full review here.
Moreover, we recently published our Annual Report 2018/19 which highlights our main achievements of the past year per objective, covering the areas “capacity”, “learning” and “voice”. Also, the report looks ahead at areas in which we want to develop further. Following up on the research and campaigns activities developed to show the key role of Fair Trade to contribute to the SDGs, we want to make sure to go further and to accompany and equip our members with stronger tools to become ambassadors of our mission-led business model. We aim at stronger connections and at advocating with like-minded organisations for a new economy where people and planet are put before profit. Click here to read our Annual Report.
Last but not least, our research on the Fair Payment Process, which was alsoconducted in the scope of the Trade Fair Live Fair project, will be published shortly. The research looks at obstacles to implementation and makes recommendations for members on best practice for certain aspects of the implementation. Among the key findings of the research is the fact that achieving Local Living Wages for producers is a long process which must be driven by continuous improvement. Further, the findings illustrate the issue of price and the need to collaborate along the supply chain to restrain margins in order to avoid price escalation that could damage sales. The main utility of the research has been to inform WFTO-Europe of what areas of the implementation we should look into for informing, training and supporting our members in this process. In addition to the research we have developed an animation which explains the Fair Payment Process in an easy and graphic way. Both research publication and the animation are forthcoming on this page.
On 18 and 19 June, we attended the European Development Days (EDD) 2019, which were held in Brussels under the motto “Addressing inequalities: Building a world which leaves no one behind”. Organised by the European Commission, the EDD bring together actors from the development community each year to share ideas and experiences and to create new collaborations and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.
This year’s themes and topics involved three categories:
> Why inequalities matter for sustainable development
> Understanding the structural causes of inequalities
> Working better together through more effective policies to address inequalities
The sessions we, at WFTO-Europe, joined involved topics such as ethical clothes, inclusive growth, green transition and value chains. Among the speakers seemed to be general consensus that we need more growth and that this growth needs to be inclusive. The underlying logic is evidently that growth by nature generates inequality, and that governments (at national as well as at EU level) must intervene to mitigate this dynamic. At WFTO-Europe, we believe that our membership already offers a solution approach to this matter. Fair Trade enterprises are viable businesses which create growth like conventional ones – even if this growth develops at lower pace or scale. Their way of work ensures that growth or profits are distributed fairly to the involved stakeholders. The growth they are creating is therefore inclusive from the outset – in the way it works and is created.
Speakers further highlighted the importance of inclusive and climate resilient infrastructure as well as fair and equitable job creation in order to achieve inclusive growth. It was mentioned that the gender lens has to be taken into particular account, since women and girls are demonstrably more vulnerable to climate change and poverty. Special emphasis was also put on tackling the climate crisis. Putting it on the everyday agenda as a cross-cutting topic of all activities and challenging people’s mindsets to mobilize them to be the engine of change is key in facing climate issues.
Besides listening to different talks and workshops, there was the chance to visit the EDD Global Village and get inspiration from some practical projects on development issues. The Global Village is a platform featuring stands that showcase important actors, successful projects and latest reports on development topics from around the world. The village was the focal point of the EDD 2019 venue and served as a crossroads for interaction, innovation and networking among participants.
Public procurement has developed to become a major topic within Fair Trade, as it carries a great potential for Fair Trade to be more recognized and to increase sales. More and more public authorities make a step towards supporting sustainable development by procuring more responsibly and by promoting Fair Trade in those procedures. Their purchasing decisions will not only have an impact on the lives of producers in developing countries but will also set an example for others. The Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) has therefore been working increasingly on Fair Public Procurement and on how we can enhance it within the EU.
To gain deeper insights into the topic, the FTAO is consolidating information from Fair Trade actors on how the 2014 EU Public Procurement Directive is – or is not – working to increase the number of contracting authorities in Europe procuring from Fair Trade. The directive clarified that it is perfectly possible in calls for tenders to give additional points to Fair Trade products and give the possibility to refer to specific labels, provided compliance with the required standards can be proven. These provisions should have by now been transposed into national legislation across all EU Member States.
If you would like to contribute to the survey, please download the survey questions here and send the filled document back to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 23rd. The EU directive can be downloaded here.
Thank you for your support!
WFTO around the World
The Fair Trade movement gathers for its 15th International Summit in Lima, Peru, from 16th-19th of September. The leaders, practitioners and innovators of Fair Trade will come together to exchange on various topics and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the WFTO.
The WFTO Summit is the largest global gathering of organisations representing the Fair Trade supply chain, from producers to exporters, importers, wholesalers and retailers. It is the only international event that brings those diverse groups of dedicated Fair Traders and the broader movement in one place.
Practical market-oriented sessions will be organised with experts on trade fairs, social media, online marketing and new market channels. There will also be sessions to discuss the big ideas around Fair Trade, including circular economy, impact investing and the future of ethical consumption. You can read the draft programme here.
This year, an entire track for food and farming awaits you throughout the summit. Maggie’s Organics, Coop Coffees, Fair World Project and Dr. Bronner’s are helping to shape this agenda.
The International Fair Trade Towns Conference is the annual event that brings together all those that are part of the Fair Trade Towns movement – from enthusiasts of Fair Trade and trade justice, activists, volunteers, grass root campaigners, local authority representatives and national organisations.
This year, the conference will take place in Wales – the world’s first Fair Trade Nation – from 18th to 20th October 2019. Participants can look forward to high level panel discussions, innovative workshops, fair trade stalls and of course great networking opportunities. Also, there will be the chance to sample and find wonderful Fair Trade products and meet the people behind them.
Get your ticket for the conference here.
As one of the most important events and trade fairs for Fair Trade in Germany, the Conference of German World Shops took place in Bad Hersfeld, Germany, from 28th to 30th June 2019. Our member El Puente and others took initiative to ensure that WFTO was well represented at the fair.
As a longstanding WFTO member, it is important for El Puente, along with other Fair Trade companies, that WFTO is represented worldwide with its principles and its key role within the Fair Trade movement. In order to ensure this presence at the Conference of the German World Shops, our members GEPA, WeltPartner, Globo and El Puente in coordination with Weltladen Dachverband, the association for German world shops, developed a leaflet which highlights how the WFTO network strengthens the Fair Trade movement. The leaflet was printed in German and handed out to the visitors of the fair.
WFTO-Europe would like to thank all the members who contributed and endorsed the leaflet. We are very proud to represent a network that is so committed to our principles and we strongly endorse this proactive membership approach.
A digital version of the leaflet in German can be found here.
The WFTO Guarantee System
At present our network counts 105 members in total, among which 78 have been granted Guaranteed Status. At the regional level we are currently processing 2 new membership requests.
Meeting with SEE
In June, WFTO-Europe together with the FTAO met with representatives of Social Economy Europe to exchange on each other’s activities and identify relevant interfaces of our work. It was very interesting to learn about their work and commitment to promote social economy and social enterprises in the EU. We are looking forward to a fruitful collaboration!
Goodbye and Welcome
In July it is time to say goodbye to our interns Paloma and Theresa. 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 Federica from Italy, our new communication and outreach assistant. Federica will be joined by Lucia from Italy in August who will work as our administration and project management assistant. A big welcome already to the two of them!
Please log in here to access all minutes from the Board Meetings held by WFTO-Europe.
It started with friendships. Building relationships, some of which have now lasted over 20 years. Listening to one another.
It is hard for people to conceive of the possibility of people living in extreme poverty in Europe. Especially in a country that is now part of the European Union. However in Romania there are many families that live in one room, with earth floors. The closest fresh water supply can be a pump or tap over 500 meters away. In the winter the temperature can still drop to -25 degrees celcius and in the summer soar to +40 celcius.
DECE is the brand name and Registered Trademark of S.C. NetWorks Trading Srl and is part of an holistic community development model helping to empower the poor (90% of whom are Roma) in a small part of North West Romania.
The model (that we call E3 = Education x Empowerment x Employment) was designed in response to the needs of the people.
The first DECE product was a simple crochet hat. Crocheting needs little equipment and enabled our employees to work from home which meant that they could build their work schedule around caring for their family. In 2013 DECE began to produce simple leather products that created work opportunities for men in the community and has become a significant part of the DECE story.
DECE adds the essential last “E” of Employment, that people identified was so needed. A job. Because a job is so much more than simply work. Our vision is not for people to survive but to thrive. Where people find dignity and self esteem, confidence and security, where through their own work people are able to provide more than just food, but a home and future for their children.
We produce our own range and also custom branded products. You can find out more about our work and our product range at www.dececlothing.com or contact us for more information at email@example.com.
- FairTRadio Podcast by WFTO
- FTAO report ‘Towards sustainable cocoa supply chains: Regulatory options for the EU’
- “Contributions de Commerce Équitable France à la revue générale des indicateurs des ODD”
- Catalogue de produits éco-responsables
- TRAIDCRAFT Exchange: “Lessons from a decade of campaigning on supermarket power”
- Equo Garantito Annual Report
- Commerce Equitable – Fair Trade in France in 2018
- Fair Trade sales in Belgium in 2018