In this Issue:

  • Invitation to the WFTO-Europe AGM
  • WFTO-Europe celebrated the WFT Day!
  • Nepal Earthquake update
  • The International Guide to FT Labels
  • Training on the Guarantee System
  • Vote4FairTrade
  • Member of the month – Guaranteed Members Special

And More…!

Agenda

– 09-24 May : Fair Trade Fortnight 2015, France

– 20-22 May : A roadmap to change: 2015 Conference – Berlin, Germany

– 16 May  : Fairpride Festival, France (organized by Artisans du Monde)

– 21 May: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development 

– 22 May: GEPA´s 40th Anniversary, Wuppertal, Germany 

– 23-31 May: 2015 World Fair Trade Week

– 04-05 June : Sustainable food summit, Amsterdam 

– 10 June : SOURCE Summit, London 

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

– 12 June : World Day Against Child Labour

– 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 

Let us know about your events!

Main Articles

Invitation to the WFTO-Europe AGM

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Dear European member of WFTO,

The WFTO-Europe Board officially invites you to the European Annual General Meeting, which will be held in Milan, Italy, the 26th May, from 2.30pm to 6pm.

Despite the “short session” of this AGM, this meeting always represents a key moment to meet each other, coordinate our Fair Trade activities and take key decisions regarding the future of Fair Trade in general and more specifically of WFTO-Europe and Global. Due to the short time available, the meeting will be mainly focused on fulfilling legal requirements. However, a specific session will be dedicated to the discussion of Global documents. Please find below the most relevant information you need to know to get ready to the AGM:

Documents:

You should by now have received all the documents for the AGM 2015 via wetransfer. Please note that the link has already expired and you are not able to download the documents anymore. You can now find all the documents in the “member’s only” section of our website. Please contact administration@wfto-europe.org if you have any problem with the download.

Participants/ quorum

As you are already aware, the WFTO-Europe AGM can only be valid if at least 51% of its members are physically present or represented by Proxy Votes. In order to help us organise the event at the best, please be sure that:

  • if you have already registered to the WFTO Conference, you send back to Martina, administration@wfto-europe.org  the confirmation of your participation at the European AGM on the 26th of May as well as the voting authorization letter, which specifies who will be entitled to vote for your organisation.
  • If you are unable to attend this meeting, please do not forget to give your Proxy Vote to another member that will be present. Please find below a list of those who are attending the conference:

WFTO-Europe AGM 2015 – List of participants

 Be sure to send a scanned version of your proxy votes to administration@wfto-europe.org by the 19th of May

We also take this opportunity to remind you that the 12th of May is the deadline to present your eventual candidature for Director of the WFTO-Europe Board.

We look forward to welcoming you in Milan!

WFTO-Europe staff

WFTO-Europe celebrated the WFT Day!

WFTD pòster

Last Saturday 9th of May, WFTO-Europe celebrated together with you and all of the other organisations across the world, the World Fair Trade Day. As you know, for this year as well as for 2016 and 2017, WFTO has decided to launch a new campaign inviting everyone who wants to make a difference and support positive changes to nominate its AGENT FOR CHANGE and participate in the celebration for the WFTDay. Please read here the press release of WFTO. Taking this into account, WFTO-Europe agreed to launch a strong political message and to call for an action against Unfair Trading Practices, by promoting the following theme/motto during the WFTDay together with the FTAO and other organisations:

“End the imbalances of the power: fight for fair trading practices in the food supply chain”

The BOXING GLOVE became our AGENT for change! It symbolises our fight against Unfair Trading Practices and our power to break the egg-timer that symbolises the imbalances of power in the food supply chain.

On this occasion, WFTO-Europe had the opportunity to have a stand at the Open doors at the European Economic and Social Committee, organised to celebrate the Europe Day as well. This was a great moment to officially launch the ‘Power in Supply Chains’ campaign and ask people to support our cause, by taking pictures with the boxing glove breaking the egg-timer.

Over the day, several people showed interest in the campaign and wanted to know more about our fight and how concretely they could contribute in enabling fair trading practices in the food supply chain.

As a follow-up of this event, a petition will be launched next month to push the EU to put in place a Directive that makes our demands binding for all Member States to rid the EU of Unfair Trading Practices. For any further information about the campaign, please read here or the FTAO page on the Power in Supply Chain. An explanatory video is also now available.

Many other events were organized in Europe and all around the world to celebrate the WFTDay.  Here you can find a list of some of them. Thanks again to all of you for making this day more and more special every year!

 Fashion Revolution Day 2015 

The last 24th of May was the second anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, where 1,133 workers lost their lives and many others were injured. Since this tragic event, the 24th of May has become  an occasion to get  everyone in the fashion value chain together and help to raise awareness of the true cost of fashion, show the world that change is possible, and celebrate all those involved in creating a more sustainable future. Find more about Fashion Revolution here. fesh rev office WFTO-Europe fully supported the Fashion Revolution Day and its call for action to bring about a systematic change in the textile supply chain. Towards this aim, the entire staff participated in the campaign on the 24th of May, asking brands “who made my clothes” and raising awareness on the importance of a responsible spending.

On the 22nd of April, WFTO-Europe also participated in the conference “Remembering Rana Plaza: the road ahead” hosted by MEP Jean Lambert at the European Parliament.  Here you can find the video recorded by the Greens Party for this occasion.

As mentioned by the FTAO in a recent article, “ 2015 is a crucial year for the development agenda, not only at European level thanks to the European Year for Development, but also because the international community will be jointly defining the future development framework. It is time to act on all these fronts and bring about the political solutions to prevent these tragedies from happening again.”  To read the full article, please visit the FTAO’s website post here.  

Nepal Earthquake Update 

As you surely know, a massive, 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on April 25th. The death toll is estimated at more than 7,000 people. WFTO members and their producers were badly affected. Nepal_Earthquake

How can you help?

Fair Trade Group Nepal , WFTO FT network, has established a program to aid in the earthquake disaster relief and provides Fair Trade producers with medical aid, food, shelter, hygiene, and long-term assistance such as housing and employment. They make their maximum to use the support in a most-effective way to aid the victims. Your help can make a difference.

Financial assistance can be made into Fair Trade Group Nepal’s account. Account Title:

Fair Trade Group Nepal

Bank Name: Nepal Investment Bank Ltd.

A/C No: 004-05010253611

Address: Pulchowk, Lalitpur, Nepal

SWIFT Code: NIBLNPKTXXX

To learn more on how you can help, visit this page http://bit.ly/1PqGmUO  or contact Fair Trade Group Nepal Chair Chandra Kachhipati at ftgnepal@info.com.np

The International Guide to Fair Trade Labels 

FT label guide (1)

The International Guide to Fair Trade Labels, an initiative by Plateforme Française pour le Commerce Equitable (PFCE) and other partners will be printed and published in May. You can order your copy now!

The purpose of The International Guide to Fair Trade Labels

This guide is a reference tool to better understand the guarantees of fair trade labels, standards, monitoring measures and how they differ from sustainability labels. It provides with answers to the following questions: Why are labels and guarantee systems necessary to guarantee fair trade practices? Which are the main fair trade criteria controlled by the labels and are the certification processes relevant? What are the main differences existing between fair trade labels and sustainable development labels?

The fair trade labels in minute details

The guide examines 8 labels and guarantee systems claiming to be fair trade labels – Ecocert Fair Trade, Fair for Life, Fairtrade International, Fair Trade USA, Forest Garden Products, Naturland Fair, Small Producers’ Symbol (SPP), and WFTO. 

The guide combines the analysis of the standards with the evaluation of monitoring measures (control checklists) implemented by the labels to assess compliance with standards. It also offers a comparison of 5 sustainable development initiatives which people tend to confuse with fair trade labels – 4C Association, Bonsucro, ProTerra Foundation, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Certified.

An international collaboration

The guide is the result of an international collaboration between PFCE, Fair World Project (consumer association from USA), FairNESS France and FairNESS UK (academic researchers). If you want to order some copies, please fill this order form : http://goo.gl/forms/U96XwYkIsU For more information, please contact Samuel Frois (PFCE), frois@commercequitable.org .

Lesson #6: Monitoring audit  

The Monitoring audit is one of the three components of the WFTO Guarantee System, along with the Self-Assessment Report and the Peer Visit.

The aim of the Monitoring audit is to assess the FTO’s practices against the WFTO Standard based on documentary records and on site verification and interviews.

Every WFTO member is obliged to have Monitoring audits at agreed intervals, with the exception of non-trading members (Fair Trade Networks and Fair Trade Supporting Organisations), who need to undergo this procedure only during their first monitoring cycle or if they want to use the Product label.

Fair Trading Organisations (FTOs) have a prescribed Monitoring audit at agreed intervals according to their risk categories. The audits alternate with Peer visits.

Monitoring audit schedule:

Low Risk Medium Risk High Risk
Every 4 yearsAfter 2 good audits/visits, reduced to every 6 years Every 4 years(Monitoring audit alternating with peer visit every two years) Every 2 years(Monitoring audit alternating with peer visit every year)

Organization of the Monitoring audit

  • WFTO proposes an auditor and indicates the costs of the audit. Afterwards it is the FTO’s responsibility to get in contact with the auditor and organise the Monitoring audit within the agreed time frame.
  • The auditor selects which producers/suppliers under the FTO’s monitoring system he wishes to visit by consulting the Profile, Supplier Monitoring form and other documents provided by WFTO. Where the suppliers are located in different countries, is WFTO to make the selection and send the relevant information to the local auditors who will perform the supplier visits.
  • Member’s suppliers certified by one of the WFTO recognised certification schemes in the list below do not need monitoring:

ECOCERT

Flo Cert

FUNDEPPO

IMO – Fair For Life

Naturland

Activities included in Monitoring audit:

  • Opening meeting to explain the scope and process and gain an overview of activities
  • Interviews with management
  • Interviews with the FTO’s workers/employees selected by auditor
  • Visit to work places, facilities for workers or members and other production facilities
  • In case of FT suppliers that are not verified by a FT guarantee or certification scheme, visit a representative number of suppliers (see in the chart below).
Number of unverified suppliers(e.g. producer groups) Number of suppliers visited
1 1
2-5 2
6-10 3
More than 10 Square root

  • Review of documentary records on payments/prices, employment conditions, project documentation, internal policies
  • Interviews with trading staff, field staff
  • Review of product labelling, sales documentation and communication with clients
  • Exit meeting with WFTO responsible staff to summarise the key findings and assessment against the WFTO Standard.

FAQ monitoring audit

To consult the previous lessons, please head to the Training Session on the new WFTO Guarantee System on the Fair Share Platform.

To learn more about the Fair Share Platform and how to register, please read the article from our previous Newsletter.

News from the Office

WFTO-Europe staff is very impatient to meet most of you in two weeks time! We are looking forward especially to the WFTO-Europe AGM and hope our discussions will be fruitful.

News from the Board

The minutes of the last Board meetings that took place on 17th of March and 9th of 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 be held during the World Fair Trade Week in Milan.

Vote4FairTrade

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.

On latest news, the English version of the explanatory video of the Who’s got the power? report is now available.  It explains  the history and the repercussions of the concentration of power in agricultural supply chains in an easy and funny way.

Member of the Month – Guaranteed Members Special

Fair Mail

FairMail_001 We are very happy to inform you that more WFTO-Europe members will become guaranteed during the following weeks. We have decided to dedicate a special space to these organizations in our Newsletter and to let them share their views and experiences with others.

First of them, Fair Mail from Netherlands became guaranteed member in March 2015! We would like to take this opportunity and congratulate them on their success. Find out how they feel about this important step as WFTO-members in the following interview:

1.       How do you feel about being WFTO Guaranteed Member?  What are the main positive outcomes you expect? 

We feel proud to be the Netherlands first WFTO Guaranteed Member. It is a big step for the WFTO to implement the FT guarantee system and we are very happy to be one of the front runners. It is especially good news for us as we can now communicate clearly to our publishers and end-consumers what we mean with FairMail being Fair Trade. Especially once the visibility and recognition of the label grows.

2.   How are you going to promote the WFTO Product Label? Which are the main channels you are going to use for this purpose? 

We will print the label on the back of the 500.000 greeting cards we sell worldwide each year. Next to the photo, name and email address of the teenage photographer who took the picture on the front of the card. The cards will become available in our mainstream and fair trade retail channels in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria, plus via our web based printing on demand partners worldwide.guaranteed

3.   What would you say to encourage other members to go through the WFTO Guarantee System?

If you are serious about being fair trade and are willing to show what you mean with this claim go for the challenging Guarantee System as it is the closest to a 100% guarantee you can get. Do be aware and get internal agreement on the relatively high audit costs. Don’t hesitate to make a moral appeal on the third party auditors to give your organisation a price quote that fits with the values and ideas of a fair trade guarantee system and that are proportionate to the fair trade wages your producers receive.

Name: Fair Mail
Head Office: Netherlands
Year of foundation: 2006
Website: www.fairmail.info

FT-RELATED NEWS, PUBLICATIONS AND OTHER TOOLS

  • The FTAO’s Internal Advocacy Bulletin for May 2015 (login required) includes articles regarding policy issues (Fair Trade movement common demands on supply chains transmitted to G7 leaders, Post-2015 SDGs: Fair Trade movement joins forces with cooperative movement), FTAO news (Raising awareness in Parliament on the impact of the proposed new EU organic rules, Fashion Revolution Day also reaches EU policy makers) and more!
  • EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica made a statement on the world Fair Trade Day. Read it here.
  • Shared Interest celebrated its 25th Anniversary this year! Read an article from WFTO about it. They also  produced a film showing how the organisation has grown, you can watch it here.
  • Observer Ethical awards 2015: vote for your favourite ethical product and win prizes. Learn more about the award here.
  • The EU Commission came up with a proposal that would give member states greater freedom to restrict or prohibit the use of genetically modified organisms in food on national level. Read the article from International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development to learn more.
  • OECD and FAO Agricultural Outlook for 2014-2023 period has been released. It provides with commodity, policy and country expertise and much more.

EU flagThis 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 to reflect the views of the European Union.

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