Climate Change Workshop – Working Group
WFTO Europe’s Annual General Meeting
Members Review 2021
Fit for 55 EC
Economy and the sustainable transition
Position Paper on Northern Fair Trade producers
Member in the spotlight
European Fair Train – Switzerland
Climate Change Workshop – Working Group
During our Climate Change workshop participants gained insights into environmentally-friendly business practices, the fascinating world of Rooibos and we collected feedback on the revision of Principle 9 and 10. Thank you to everyone who joined in and shared their opinion. We love hearing your stories and perspectives. To better bundle the efforts of all of you and to learn together we want to set up a Working Group on Climate Change. This initiative supports the revision of Principle 9 and 10. The idea is to meet online once or twice a month for around 1 hour, discussing current issues, exchanging best practices and supporting each other. Please write to Mikkel at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining. We would love to have you on board!
WFTO Europe’s Annual General Meeting
As you may know, we holded the Annual General Meeting on the 17th of June from 10:30am to 1:30pm via Zoom meetings. We would like again to greatly thank you all for participating in this meeting, as it is always important to have as many members represented in our AGMs. Indeed, in the span of these 3 hours we voted on important documents such as the 2020 Accounts and Balances, the 2022 Provisional Budget and most importantly we voted for the Board of Directors. Our president, Juanjo Martinez, presented his candidature for re-election for a second term and was approved. Then, for the rest of the Board of Directors, we received 4 candidates, respectively, Manfred Winkler from GLOBO, Caterina Occhio from SeeMe, Karel Vieler from Seepje, and finally Kirsi Kotisaari. All candidates were approved for joining the Board of Directors. We are very happy to have received so many nominations, as the Board of Directors is now at its full capacity. We are also delighted that more European countries are being represented amongst the Board of Directors, which with more nationalities represented, is therefore more representative of the different interests there could be. If you are interested in knowing more in details about what has been said during the meeting, you can find the minutes under the core documents section of our website.
So again, thank you for joining us for this meeting, we look forward to the next one and would love to see you all there!
Members Review 2021
For World Fair Trade Day this year we published the third edition of our Members Review. This year’s edition focuses on the trading relationships between Fair Trade Enterprises and their trading partners across the world. Since, by definition, Fair Trade Enterprises put people and planet before profit, their trading relationships have a special focus on mutual benefits, equal terms and capacity building for continuously improving together.
The selected WFTO members in this Review exemplify several inspiring approaches to such fair trading partnerships. In addition, the Review contains examples of ways in which these members have supported their producers during lock-downs or vanishing demand during the recent Covid-19 pandemic, and how they have similarly supported local shops in Europe suddenly unable to sell to their customers. Altogether, this makes for models of business that are much more resilient. Most importantly, this approach to business is clearly a key element in making an entire business fully sustainable and we hope that companies in general will learn from and be inspired by it.
Read the WFTO-Europe Members Review 2021 to learn about 6 of our members, the strong relationships they maintain with their producers, and why that matters for sustainability, human prosperity, and resilience!
Fit for 55 EC
This month the European Commission launched the “Fit for 55” climate policy package to deliver on the targets agreed in the European Climate Law and to fundamentally transform our economy and society.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told reporters: “Our package aims to combine the reduction of emissions with measures that preserve nature and put jobs and social balance at the heart of this transformation”. As a matter of fact, it is intended to facilitate a European Union greenhouse gas emissions cut of 55% by 2030 and pave the way for the 2050 net-zero-emissions goal. The initiative takes a step forward by specifically bringing transport and building – two sectors that respectively account for 22% and 35% of EU emissions- into the EU decarbonisation process. Key elements of the package include a new emissions-trading system (ETS) for fuel distribution for road transport and buildings and a Climate Social Fund.
Here at WFTO-Europe, we are closely following the development of “Fit for 55”. We strongly believe that drivers of inequality and climate change are linked to each other. As we have seen over the years, climate change has dramatically exacerbated poverty and vulnerability of small-scale farmers and workers. Urgent action is needed now and this is where “Fit for 55” comes into the picture. Indeed, this package will visibly enter into the daily life of all European citizens and companies as well as impact global trade partners. Ensuring that this transition is socially fair and does not leave anybody behind is a core concern for us. In particular, we find the EU decarbonisation process aligned to our own goals of putting more emphasis on the reduction of GreenHouse Gas emissions, as well as building resilience to climate change and using green shipping companies.
Do not forget to take a look at :
https://www.europarl.europa.eu/legislative-train/theme-a-european-green-deal/package-fit-for-55 to have more information on “Fit for 55”
Economy and the sustainable transition
René Longet, specialist in sustainability, has been looking at the interdependency of economical, social, and ecological phenomenons. To him, the success of an ecological transition is meant to be done through a change in the economical system. In that sense, he believes, fair trade is the path to follow.
The transition to sustainability is now advocated at many levels, in the wake of the United Nations Agenda 2030 adopted in September 2015. The latter underlines the need “for economic, social and technological progress to be in harmony with nature ”(preamble), as well as that of“ bringing about radical changes to the way our societies produce and consume goods and services ”(§ 29). The key to the transition, whether it takes into account climate issues, biodiversity or equal rights and opportunities, is to change the economic paradigm.
This requirement appears clearly in the original definition of sustainability: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.” Two concepts are inherent in this notion: the concept of needs, and more particularly of the essential needs of the most deprived, to whom the highest priority should be given, and the idea of the limitations that the state of our techniques and of our social organization impose on the capacity of the environment to meet current and future needs. ”
Consequently, it will be a question of reducing the ecological footprint by a factor corresponding to the moment of occurrence of the “day of the overrun”, that is to say the day when a country exceeds the quota of resources allocated to it – for Switzerland, the the fateful date this year was May 11, which is roughly a factor of 2.8. At the same time, we will increase the social footprint (reduction of inequalities, job insurance, decent income and integration into society).
The transition to an economy of sustainability means to go from the current global trade system to fair trade and local autonomy. Fair trade demonstrates the possibility of a global trade that answers to the different dimensions of sustainability. Fair trade represents a volume of 9.6 billion dollars out of a global flow of goods of almost 19,670 billion dollars. 10% of fair trade comes from the agricultural sector, which gives a market share of 0.5%. The model finds its echo in the North through the notions of traceability and fair price put forward by consumer and producer organizations.
Position Paper on Northern Fair Trade Producers
Since the WFTO Summit in Delhi in 2017, WFTO has included Fair Trade producers based in the Global North in the Guarantee System. This means that producers in all of Europe can now be recognised as Fair Trade Producers, either as full-fledged members or as producers/suppliers for other members. WFTO-Europe has since given this topic additional focus in our work, in order to clarify how these types of producers fit into the Guarantee System and how we can ensure their complementarity to the producers and members based in the Global South.
Thanks to the research project of our recent intern, Luzia Amon, in the last half a year we have delved much deeper into the characteristics of Northern Producers and especially the value of the WFTO model for them. Building on this work we have recently published WFTO-Europe’s position on Northern Fair Trade Producers and why their inclusion is an important development in Fair Trade and for our work.
In light of the increasing inequalities within countries in the Global North, economic and other types of marginalisation has become increasingly prevalent in many Western and Northern European countries as well. At the same time recent reports have provided evidence of exploitation and labour rights abuse in agricultural supply chains in both Southern and Northern Europe similar in type to that seen in supply chains that extend to the Global South. In other sectors, too, and for other kinds of producers, such as textile and garment artisans and workers, the exploitation issues take much the same form in Europe as it does for producers in the Global South, even if the degree varies.
What we have found, however, is that the WFTO model, with its focus on the modus operandi of the business at its core, can help address these issues. It provides a credible and reliable Guarantee System for verifying that labour rights and fair remuneration are upheld in the entire way Fair Trade Enterprises work, also in places where it is taken for granted that these are upheld in spite of mounting proof to the contrary in many instances. In particular, WFTO-Europe believes that it is necessary to remove the distinction between the Global South and the Global North in order to truly change the economic system and address the root causes of inequality and labour rights abuse.
Read more about how and why in our North-North Fair Trade Position Paper.
Our calendar has a big red cross every second Saturday of May. The time had come again on 8 May 2021 and we were ready to celebrate. WFTO-Europe joined WFTO Globals social media campaign on promoting Build Back Fairer. The campaign consisted of 2 main activities. Firstly, policy makers and influencers were asked to send in a picture with the BuildBackFairer banner to promote structural change. Secondly, everyone could share a picture on social media, preferably in front of their local fair trade (online) shop. The campaign had the biggest outreach in the history of WFTO, thanks to the great support and resharing of other actors. Together we are strong!
As of July 2021, WFTO-Europe represents 115 members from 19 European countries. Since our last Newsletter 3 months ago, we welcomed 8 new members in the WFTO community!
Africulture is a family business offering fairly sourced handmade clothing and accessories inspired by the Kenyan culture.
Khoisan Trading GmbH is an enterprise producing salt products issued from a South African lake.
ResiRest is a social enterprise connecting international travelers and local families for cultural, local
L’attelier is a small enterprise producing organic chocolate products by using raw materials such as cocoa beans and cashew nuts.
Café Michel et Terra Etica is a biological and sustainable cooperative selling different types of products such as teas, spices, essential oils, coffees, all issued from Fair Trade and biological agriculture.
Allpeco is an importer of coffee, wanting to offer specialty coffee and roasting coffee everyday for their customers.
Ethiquable is a cooperative production company, acting for an engaged Fair Trade, supporting organic peasant agriculture, and working with more than 80 cooperatives of small producers.
And finally, we are also expanding our membership to a new european country: Croatia:
Linteo is a manufacturing company of textile promotional products, a small company with a big potential for growth.
Member of the Month
This month, we are putting “People Tree” on the spotlight.
People Tree is the pioneer of Fair Trade and sustainable fashion. Their history begins in the UK in 1991 when entrepreneur Safia Minney founded the company. People Tree aims at supporting producer partners’ efforts towards economic independence and control over their environment and to challenge the power structures that undermine their rights to a livelihood. Also, they seek to protect the environment and use natural resources suitably throughout their trading and to promote environmentally responsible initiatives to create new models to promote sustainability. Thanks to this commitment, People Tree is the first international fashion company to be awarded the World Fair Trade Organisation product label. This guarantees People Tree’s dedication and compliance to the Principles of Fair Trade, covering fair wages, working conditions, transparency, capacity building, environmental best practice, gender equality and setting standards for conventional fashion companies to improve their supply chains. As a matter of fact, their products are made to the highest Fair Trade and environmental standards from start to finish and consistently prove that it is possible to wear stylish, exciting and affordable fashion, at the same time as respecting people and the planet.
People Tree actively supports 4000 farmers and artisans through 50 Fair Trade producer groups, in 6 developing countries. Also, it runs operations in Britain and Japan and is affiliated to a Japan-based environmental and social justice non-governmental organisation called Global Village, founded in 1989 by British Fair Trade and environmental activist, Safia Minney. In 2009 Safia Minney also set up the People Tree Foundation, a registered UK based charity that supports and campaigns for Fair Trade and sustainability. People Tree has been registered as a member of the WFTO since 1996.
Some news on their latest projects : Their AW21 collection will be launching over the coming months and they will once again have a beautiful collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum.
As well as this, their organic denim styles this season use up to 95% less water than conventional denim production.
In May, the trustees of the People Tree Foundation decided to donate £1000 to their Fair Trade producer partners at Creative Handicrafts (based in India) to support in their relief work throughout the community struggle to navigate the second wave of the Covid-19 crisis.
Click here to go to People Tree’s website and connect with them on Facebook and Twitter!
WFTO Europe’s Fair Train – Switzerland
Are you looking for fair trade shops between the beautiful moutains and landscapes of Switzerland? Come aboard our European Fair Trade Shuttle to discover about our 3 Swiss members!!
WFTO-Europe’s Office has a new Project Management & Fundraising Assistant, Paola Plaku! If you have any questions, you can reach out to her at email@example.com
31 October – 12 November in Glasgow : the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The UK is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire climate action ahead of COP26.