In this Issue:

  • 2015 World Fair Trade Week and WFTO-Europe AGM
  • European Development Days 2015
  • Committee of the Regions opinion on Fair Trade
  • French Fair Trade Fortnight 2015
  • European Youth Event 2016 – Call for partners
  • Training on the Guarantee System
  • Vote4FairTrade
  • Member of the month

And More … !

Agenda

10 June : SOURCE Summit, London 

11-13 June : 9th European Organic Congress, Riga, Latvia 

12 June : World Day Against Child Labour

19-21 June:  European Youth summit on Ethical Consumption, Bonn, Germany

20 June: World Refugee Day

4 July: International Day of Cooperatives 

4-5 July: 9th International Fair Trade Towns Conference, Bristol, UK 

28-30 August : 2015 Fair Trade & Friends Fair, Dortmund, Germany 

12 September: International exhibition of organic and natural products, Bologna, Italy 

Let us know about your events!

Main Articles

2015 World Fair Trade Week and WFTO-Europe AGM 

Dear European Member,

The World Fair Trade Week came to an end less than 15 days ago, and we do want to thank all of you for participating in this event or following us on streaming and on the social media.

More than 260 participants from 50 countries finally attended the biggest Fair Trade event of the year and all the activities were run in a very positive and stimulating atmosphere, where everyone took part in the debates.  WFTO Global will circulate in the following weeks a Conference report, where you can find the main discussions and outcomes of the workshops held in Milan.

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WFTO-Europe members at the World Fair Trade Week 2015

The World Fair Trade Week was also the opportunity for WFTO-Europe and the other Regions to organise their own AGMs. On the 26th of May WFTO-Europe AGM was held in a friendly and positive atmosphere, with 42 members represented (26 present and 16 proxies).

The main important points discussed included:

  • The presentation of a “Communication strategy” for the next 3 years, aimed at having a clear policy and specific criteria to drive WFTO-Europe’s communication both internally, towards the members, and externally.
  • Presentation of the Annual Report 2014/2015 and in particular of the Work Plan 2015/2016.
  • Confirmation and approval of the new Board of Directors as well as the European candidate to the WFTO Global Board of Directors.
  • Discussion on WFTO-Europe position on Global documents and issues presented to the Global AGM. (27th of May)
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WFTO-Europe members voting during our AGM

For any further detail regarding each topic and the main decisions taken by the AGM, you can refer to the email we sent you on Monday 8th of June, including draft minutes of the AGM 2015 and all the documents amended by the AGM.  All this bunch of documents will be also available shortly on our website in the “members section” for consultation, together with some pictures of our Annual General Meeting.  If you did not receive the email or any problems occur while trying to access the website, please do not hesitate to contact us: administration@wfto-europe.org.

As anticipated in Milan, the next WFTO-Europe Biennial Conference and AGM will take place in Germany in May/June 2016. Please pencil it already in your diary and be sure not to miss it.

European Development Days 2015 

European Development Days 2015 (EDD) took place on 3-4 June in Brussels.

This 9th edition served also as flagship event for the European Year for Development and offered more than 130 different workshops and sessions on 12 topics.

EDDs gathered more than 5000 attendants this year and speakers included the president of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker, the president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, Melinda Gates, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Developmen Neven Mimica, the president of the sixty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly Sam Kutesa, Linda McAvan and much more.

03 June 2015 - Belgium - Brussels - European Development Days - EDD - Trade - Empowering smallholders participation in global supply chains © European Union
Speakers (from left) Sergi Corbalan, Shivani Reddy, Judith Sargentini, Francesca Giubilo and Caroline Hickson © European Union

Workshop on smallholders’ participation in global supply chains

During the first day of the event, Fair Trade Advocacy Office organized a workshop “Empowering smallholders’ participation in global supply chains.”, aimed at discussing  the necessary policy interventions to ensure that a serious action is taken to address unsustainable supply chains, from the farmer to the consumer; and in particular how we can guarantee small producers a seat at the table.

WFTO-Europe coordinator Francesca Giubilo was amongst the speakers to present WFTO and its Guarantee System. Other panelists included Sergi Corbalan from Fair Trade Advocacy Office, Caroline Hickson from Fairtrade International, Shivani Reddy from Fairtrade Foundation who presented the latest report on the role of smallholder farmers in Public Private Partnership (PPPs).

Regis Meritan from the European Commission DG DEVCO also joined the speakers and pinpointed that there was a need to address the asymmetry of information we have on supply chains. The workshop, lively moderated by MEP Judith Sargentini was highly attended by several people.

Other workshops WFTO-Europe attended included Joining forces to make undernutrition historyFeeding the planet togetherTrade for inclusive and sustainable growthFeeding the urban world: Local solutions for global challengesFrom cotton production to ethical clothing and fashion.

 

Committee of the Regions opinion on Fair Trade

Fair Trade Advocacy Office Press Release from 4th June 2015. 

The Committee of the Regions plenary adopted an opinion on Fair Trade on 4 June. This EU advisory body representing local and regional authorities calls again on the European Commission to adopt a more ambitious approach to this topic.

In the own-initiative opinion “local and regional support for Fair Trade in Europe”, its author Barbara Duden, Vice-President of the Free and Hanseatic Parliament of the City of Hamburg, expresses the need for a fully-fledged EU Fair Trade Strategy that mainstreams this concept across various EU policy areas: trade, development and sustainable consumption and production. The Committee of the Regions had already called for such a Strategy in an opinion dating from 2010, with no concrete follow-up by the EU.

One of the landmark initiatives that should be put forward is the setup of a European Fair Trade Capital Award. It would not only reward the various modalities of Fair Trade support by cities in Europe, but also help to disseminate the good examples to encourage other cities to take action in this area. In addition, this EU-wide recognition would be an incentive for them to go further in their commitments, besides giving visibility to the topic among citizens.

Local and regional authorities play a relevant role in promoting Fair Trade: by setting the example with their own consumption and by raising awareness among citizens. They can furthermore encourage the supply of Fair Trade products by economic actors in their territory. To date there are more than 1.500 communities in Europe that have been awarded Fair Trade town status.

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“The European Commission is the best placed to mainstream Fair Trade, and should use the upcoming new EU Trade Strategy to do so” stated Sergi Corbalán, Executive Director of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office.

“In my country many of the good practices from the regional and local level are encouraged by the award of the German capital of Fair Trade, this should also be replicated at EU level with a similar scheme” declared Barbara Duden during her speech at the plenary session.

The Committee of the Regions press release is available here.

In support of the above mentioned opinion, the Committee of the Regions has published a study on “local and regional authorities promoting Fair Trade”.
A pdf version of this press release can be found here.

French Fair Trade Fortnight 2015

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by Plate-Forme Française du Commerce Equitable/ French Platform for Fair Trade 

15 years of commitment to Fair Trade. 15 years in favour of a fair, human and eco-friendly world. 15 years already standing the test of time! The Fair Trade Fortnight can be proud of its success. Since 2001, it has increased its visibility to become the key event on responsible consumption and international cooperation. In 2015, the Fair Trade Fortnight made its comeback in France from May 9 to 24 under the banner of ecological and social transition.

15th FAIR TRADE FORTNIGHT FOCUSED ON ECOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL TRANSITION

Six months before the COP21 – United Nations Conference on Climate Change, the 2015 Fair Trade Fortnight introduces a highly topical theme: “Fair trade : a key towards an ecological and social transition.” This brand new campaign aims at raising awareness amongst general public on the issues and impacts of a “fair price”. A price which is fair for the producer, the consumer and the environment. This campaign is also a key tool for explaining how fair trade helps combating climate change.

“Fair Trade helps to better pay producers who commit to practise crafts and agriculture at the lowest energetic and environmental cost. However, fair trade does not prevent southern nations from regaining their food security and sovereignty,” attests Marc Dufumier, President of the French Platform for Fair Trade.

HUNDREDS OF EVENTS ACROSS FRANCE TO CELEBRATE THE FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT

Festivals, markets, conventions, tastings, cooking workshops, photo exhibitions, debates, breakfast with colleagues… and many more! All events are opportunities to meet and celebrate fair trade together. Fortnight 2015 has presented new highlights like the “Tour de France” on fair cotton: “Who is behind our clothes?”, #ChezMax’s pop up store, not to mention the must-see Fairpride, the fair trade official festival that brought together thousands of citizens in Paris.

THE FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT ONLINE

www.mouvement-equitable.org : The French fair trade movement website has officially been launched on the brink of the Fair Trade Fortnight.  It is an invitation for all citizens to learn more about fair trade, commit, share and participate in building a more just and equitable world ! Take a look at it here !

 

European Youth Event 2016 call for partners

A great opportunity for Fair Trade youth movements & NGOs!

European Parliament together with the European Youth Forum are organising the second European Youth Event in Strasbourg in May 2016. The event will gather 8000 young Europeans on 20th and 21st May under the banner “Together we can make a change”.

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Photo credit: European Parliament

On this occasion, European Youth Forum is looking for youth organisations and youth groups to become YO!Fest partners. The YO!Fest village will be an inter-active space for youth organisations to meet and discuss with each other and decision-makers, all combined with festival atmosphere with live music, theatre and other performances. Selected partners will have opportunity to actively participate in organizing the event by preparing a workshop, a debate or other activity.

Each partner will receive a financial support from the European Parliament. Applications will be opened from 12th June to 4th September via this link.

For more information, please download the official call here: European Youth Event Call.

Training on the Guarantee System

Lesson #6: Risk assessment 

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As you already know, all WFTO members must undergo a regular monitoring, including SAR, peer visits and external audit.

The frequency of this monitoring for trading members is based on their risk assessment.

The level of risk will determine the frequency and depth of the audits required. The risk level, set after the first monitoring, is adjusted over time depending on the findings of audits and visits.

It can be found that a potentially risky organization is very compliant while a seemingly low risk small organization could ruin the reputation of the WFTO Guarantee System. That is why the risk category for each FTO needs to be reviewed on a regular basis and adjusted when appropriate.

The Guarantee System takes into account different factors in order to determine members risk category.

Risk factors

  • Number of (producer) organizations from which products are purchased
  • Number of different product lines
  • Level of control of the product flow and supply chain
  • Use of label
  • Percentage of purchase of primary products from non WFTO members or from non FT verified sources
  • Serious non-compliance with the Fair Trade principles
  • Results of Monitoring audit or a Peer visit or issues raised through complaints

Risk categories

Based on the above factors, WFTO trading members are divided into three different risk categories: low, medium and high.

Member’s risk category influences the frequency of monitoring. The table below illustrates the frequency for different risk levels.

News from the Office

We are delighted to inform you that the project we submitted to the Belgian Development Agency was accepted. Hence, we will be organizing an event on textile in mid October 2015 in Brussels.

Make sure you follow our facebook and twitter accounts and read our Newsletter in order to stay informed on the following steps for this project.

News from the Board

The next Board meeting will be held on the 22nd of June 2015, via Skype.

Vote4FairTrade Updates 

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German and Polish versions of the Who´s got the Power? Report are now available!

For the German version, elaborated by five German Fair Trade organisations (Forum Fairer HandelGEPAMisereorFairtrade Germany and Weltladen), click here.

For the Polish version, elaborated by the Polish Fair Trade Association , click here.

Member of the Month: Introducing new WFTO member 

Island Spirit 

History of Island Spirit

1.1mb Logo ColAfter a wonderful year from 2009 – 2010 as the Communications Manager with Partners in Community Development Fiji, I started a small company called Island Spirit. The economy in the UK was going down hill rapidly and jobs in the charity sector were becoming more and more scarce so I felt it was as good a time as any to get out and try something new!

I had previously learned quite a bit about the needs of Fijian outer-island communities and felt I wanted to share this real Fiji with people who care about the environment and local community development. I have the skills to get the message out there and contacts within Fiji to provide a service.

Island Spirit is therefore based on a few simple principles: mutual benefit for both the Fijian people and guests in the form of conservation, local economics, education, life experience and enjoyment.

We provide a variety of tailored eco adventures specialising in island adventure, reef volunteering and true cultural immersion. We aim to offer unique, high quality and authentic Fijian adventures providing inspiring and fulfilling experiences through connecting our guests with nature and engaging with local communities.
Island Spirit Fiji is the first World Fair Trade Organisation Member to trade with any Pacific Island country

Island Spirit, based on Taveuni, Fiji, has just become the first ever organization in the world to work in collaboration with Pacific Island producers to enable access to Fair Trade markets such as Oxfam.

This first time for a Fiji-based company, World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) membership, brings a rare and unique opportunity to women’s groups to sell their produce anywhere in the world through Island Spirit’s merchandising arm: ‘Island Spirit Crafts’.

Island Spirit is the latest addition to the long list of World Fair Trade Organizations throughout the globe. They joined to ensure customers of their commitment to Fair Trade practices and are committed to the WFTO principles.

Particularly unique is the trading relationship they have formed with a few small women’s groups on the outer, more remote island in Fiji – Taveuni. The new product line has started with organic, hand-made yoga mats and will soon expand to include jewellery and other household goods.

Karen Mapusua, Coordinator of the Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community noted the importance of this certification and the fact it is a first for the Pacific Islands:

“For Island Spirit to become a World Fair Trade Organisation is a breakthrough for the Pacific. It is not only opening up market opportunities for the women producers in Taveuni it is also paving the way for other Pacific producer groups to enter the WFTO system.”

Tradition

EU Yoga mats show May 9th 15 - 7The still strong practice of weaving ‘loga floor mats’ for social purposes such as meal time, social events, and relaxing in the mid-day heat led to the idea that those very same durable mats can be made into a smaller version – the yoga mat.

Says founder of Island Spirit, Kirsty Barnby: “Introducing the idea to make their usual mats but smaller wasn’t the problem, the women are so incredibly keen to produce – they’re understandable really excited about generating their own income. They’re basically being offered a job out of the blue for doing something they’ve done for years. Maintaining consistency in size is proving a slight challenge because they use an arms-length ‘katu’ instead of measuring tape! But I think it’s all a matter of practice with the measuring tape!”

Sustainable Income

Lavena Group April 15

Island Spirit will sell Fair Trade products to maximize the use of raw materials from sustainably managed sources. Their Fair Trade ranges are all locally sourced.

“We seek to minimize the impact of our waste stream on the environment. Our women’s group producers just make mats the way they have for centuries – naturally minimizing their environmental impact by using organic and zero pesticide methods – just by being traditional.” says Kirsty.

The production line uses minimal energy consumption and whenever possible uses solar to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In certain villages which have new solar installations such as the one we recently provided for Vidawa Village, the women can weave at night. It’s great for everyone, kids can do their homework, elderly eyes aren’t straining as they drink their traditional root drink ‘kava’ while playing cards and women can weave away after dark if they choose.

Weaving

All the current weavers are women located around the 18,000 strong population of Taveuni in Northern Fiji. They are all members of a handicraft co-operative called Taveuni Empowerment for Women which Island Spirit works closely helping with quality management, logistics and financials.

One of the villages, Lavena, takes 1.5 hours by bus to get to from the main town along a bumpy track. It is quite literally at the end of the road which circulates Taveuni. It is so remote the women don’t have that many opportunities to better themselves and their families if they want to. The initiative is so important to these groups of hard working ladies. Maria is a weaver in Lavena village: “The alternative income generation gives us choice, choice to spend our own money or even go to weekend or evening workshops – the extra money makes us also feel good, independent and strong”.

Development Partnerships

The initiative is generously supported by the EU and POETcom who have helped both financially and by facilitating the WFTO application.

Name: Island Spirit
Head Office: Bath, United Kingdom
Year of foundation: 2012
Website: www.island-spirit.org 

 By Kirsty Barnby from Island Spirit 

FT-RELATED NEWS, PUBLICATIONS AND OTHER TOOLS

  • The FTAO’s Internal Advocacy Bulletin for May 2015 (login required) includes articles  on ‘Events & Resources’  (New EU funding opportunity for regional and global Fair Trade networks, The new science of sustainable food systems: overcoming barriers to food systems reform, Launch of the French Association to support the Small Producers’ Symbol (SPP)), Fair Trade Success Stories (Best practice in advocacy: the Polish action against EC proposal on organic food regulations) and more!
  • Full compensation for Rana Plaza victims has been secured – the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund has finally met its target of $30 million, following a large anonymous donation. Read more here.
  • WFTO-Europe attended a workshop ‘Sustainable Consumption and Production : Connecting the dots from Civil Society in the upcoming new development framework’ organized by Concord on 9th June in Brussels. A record from the workshop can be found here.
  • The G7 summit took place in Schloss Elmau in Germany on 7-8 June 2015. Anti-poverty campaigners from across the world rallied in Munich to call on G7 members to keep their promises. More in this article.

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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