In this Issue:

2016 WFTO-E Biennial Conference and AGM – book your agenda!
WFTO-E analysis on the WFTO Product Label and Fair Trade Retailer Standard
Wear Your Ideas!”: WFTO-Europe debate on textile supply chains
Mission Accomplished: Fair Trade Marathon in October!
Fair Trade breaks the chains of Poverty!
World Fair Trade Day 2016
Last call for SAR submission!
Member of the Month: ARGE Weltläden

And more!


Let us know about your events!

 1st edition of the European FairTrade Shuttle!

WFTO Europe @ home

2016 WFTO-E Biennial Conference and AGM – book your agenda!

attentionDear members,

We are glad to inform you that the next WFTO-Europe Biennial Conference and AGM will take place from the 2nd to the 4th of June 2016 in Wuppertal, Germany.

The timeframe of the Conference will be the same as the previous years:

  • from the 2nd of June (around 2pm) to the 4th (lunch time): WFTO-Europe Biennial Conference
  • 4th of June (afternoon): WFTO-Europe Annual General Meeting (AGM – for only members)

Participants will be invited to arrive in the morning of the 2nd of June (Thursday) and to leave on the 5th of June in the morning (Sunday). Thanks to the great support of GEPA in the organisation of this Conference, we will have the opportunity to spend one day (Friday the 3rd of June) at GEPA’s office and to see concretely how this huge FTO works and manages its business.

Based on a clear request made by the WFTO-Europe World shops and Retailers Committee a special meeting will also take place in the morning of the 2nd of June and for those interested in attending this session, there will be the opportunity to arrive the day before (the 1st of June).

Please start booking these dates in your calendar! This year more than ever your participation is extremely important.


The main aim of the next conference will be indeed to be a space to know better each other, to get inspired and reinforce our network.

As anticipated during the last AGM in Milan 2015, the WFTO-Europe as well as WFTO Global strategic plan discussions will be at the heart of our 3 days. Considering the different categories of our membership (FTOs, world shops, platforms,…), there will be time to share your expectations towards WFTO-Europe as well as to discuss with the other members the main challenges you are facing and the role of WFTO-Europe to help you deal with them.

Due to the high priority we have always reserved to this topic, a special discussion will be dedicated to advocacy and campaign. We will then hear your plans for the upcoming years on these areas and, based on the European and Global scenario we will present you, we will agree on the activities WFTO-Europe should take up for the future.

Fair Trade Towns Campaign, domestic Fair Trade, Retailers Standards and other Global issues (Guarantee System, Charter of Fair Trade Principles,..) will be among the topics we will deal with too.


Taking notes of your comments in the evaluation of the 2014 Biennial Conference in Elspeet (NL), we will make sure that plenary sessions will be alternate with workshops, and that networking and free spaces will be available for you to deepen some discussions or organize your own workshops. (FYI – close to the time we will ask you to let us know whether you want to take advantage of this opportunity to organize some extra workshops, so that we could support you in all the logistical aspects).


  • 2-5 June 2016
  • 1-5 June for those who want to attend the World shops association meeting in the morning of the 2nd June and arrive the day before)
   WHERE : International Evangelical Conference Centre in Wuppertal-Barmen. Internationales Evangelisches Tagungszentrum Wuppertal GmbH
Missionsstraße 9
42285 Wuppertal
   FEES : In the next face-to-face meeting in Paris the 20-21 January 2015, the Board will take the final decision regarding the fees. So far we can confirm you that the cost will not be higher than 2 years ago.  In order to facilitate your participation, an early registration fees will be made available to get a discount. (FYI: the fees of 2014 were 430€ for early registrations and 475€ for later ones)

The registration will be open at the end of January 2016, when a draft agenda and additional information will be circulated to you.

If you already have some comments or want to know more, please do not hesitate to send an email to Francesca Giubilo,

Looking forward to meeting many of you next year for this exciting appointment!

WFTO-Europe staff

WFTO-E analysis on the WFTO Product Label and the Fair Trade Retailer Standard

Screenshot AnalysisWFTO-Europe has recently released the following two interesting analysis on:

1. WFTO Product Label and its connection with       the conventional market

2. Fair Trade Retailer Standard

The first one aims at helping the general public to be more familiar with the WFTO Product label and its specificity. What an organizational label means and why the WFTO product label is credible, affordable and sustainable are amongst the topics dealt with in the analysis.

Read more about the analysis here for the English version and here for the French one.

The second analysis is a Factsheet on the Fair Trade Retailer Standard, whose main aim is to help members understand better the Retailer Standard, which were approved in the WFTO Global AGM in 2013. In a synthetic and schematic way, the factsheet covers the main aspects of the Retailers Standard, focusing on who can apply for and which minimum/additional criteria to respect. More specifically, it presents the conditions that a shop has to comply with in order to use the Fair Trade Retailer logo, as well as the procedures to be followed to benefit from it.

Read more here (Please note that you need to login to access this section).

Europe in a nutshell

“Wear Your Ideas!”: WFTO-Europe debate on textile supply chains 

On the 14th of October, WFTO-Europe together with its partners organized the Wear your ideas debate as part of the Belgian Fair Trade Week, an initiative of the Belgian Development Agency. More than 70 people, mainly students, attended the event and had the opportunity to discuss with actors involved in the fight for a fairer textile supply chain: representatives from Oxfam-Magasins du monde, Fashion Revolution, Clean Clothes Campaign and the City of Gent. A touch of authenticity was brought by the special presence of Kong Athit, a representative of a Cambodian Trade Union and Roopa Mehta from Sasha, a WFTO member organisation. The debate was presented by Francesca Giubilo (WFTO-Europe coordinator) and greatly moderated by Peter Möhringer from the Fair Trade Advocacy Office.

The uniqueness of the debate consisted in the richness of its panel. Each panellist tackled the problems of the textile supply chain under different angles. Roopa outlined the reality in a sourcing country as India and the challenges that artisans are confronted with. At the same time, she stressed the work of her organisation, Sasha, to create groups of craftsmen in their communities as well as the importance of the WFTO Guarantee System as a tool to ensure transparency and credibility. On behalf of the Cambodian Trade Union (CCAWDU), Kong brought his experience as an ancient garment worker who got fired for having started a union and shared the difficulties that workers face in Cambodia to get organized in order to defend their rights. From a Northern prospective, Sara Ceusterman stressed the work made by Clean Clothes Campaign in pressuring companies and policymakers, especially through the Living Wage Campaign. Then, Evelien Bossuyt from Fashion Revolution (FR) focused on the problem of transparency in the textile supply chains and presented the FR campaign as a concrete action for people, who can question brands on who made their clothes. While Patrick Veillard from Oxfam-Magasins du Monde showed Fair Trade as an alternative trading model and explained the initiative of Oxfam-Magasins du monde on the sector; Inez Louwagie from Gent Fair Trade raised up the role of local authorities in promoting Fair Trade, giving the example of Gent as a Fair Trade city.

DSC_0657The debate went on in an inspiring atmosphere where a small “quiz game” was also created to make each section more interactive.

The high participation and interest in the topic, revealed by the number of questions raised up during the final “Questions and Answers” session and right after the event in a more informal atmosphere, proved the great success of the event. Around a glass of Fair Trade juice, participants and panellists continued to exchange their views and to get inspired on how to contribute to a fairer world through simple but concrete actions in their daily life.

Mission Accomplished: Fair Trade Marathon in October!

October was THE Fair Trade month and WFTO-Europe was in front line of several events to promote and raise awareness about Fair Trade. Please find below a brief recap of the main events in which WFTO-Europe was involved:

1. EU Fair Trade Advocacy Network Meeting

DSC_0323The Marathon officially started on the 13th of October with the EU Fair Trade Advocacy Network Meeting. Purpose of the meeting was to evaluate the work done by the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) and to strategically think about how best to collaborate each other. The debate was moderated by Francesca Giubilo (WFTO-Europe Coordinator) and several WFTO-Europe members were present to exchange views and opinions on the different items of the agenda.

2. Fair Trade Breakfast at the European Parliament

In the morning of the 14th of October, the Fair Trade Breakfast organized by the FTAO at the European Parliament took place. Besides numerous actors of the Fair Trade Movement, various Members of the European Parliament and representatives of the Permanent Representations of several countries in Brussels were present. In this occasion, the EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström gave a speech, mentioning the imminent launch of the EU Trade and Investment strategy. For further information on the new EU Trade and Investment Strategy and the initiatives to support uptake of Fair Trade at EU level, please read the FTAO’s Press Release.

Fair Trade breakfast at the European Parliament (14 October 2015)
From left to right: Arne Lietz, Linda McAvan, Bernd Lange, Cecilia Malmström

3. Belgian Fair Trade Week

From the 7th to the 17th of October the Belgian Fair Trade Week took place and several actions were organized by WFTO-Europe and its members in the country to raise awareness about Fair Trade.

With the support of the Belgian Development Agency (BTC), WFTO-Europe in partnership with Oxfam Magasins du Monde, Fashion Revolution, Clean Clothes Campaign, the City of Ghent and the FTAO, organized on the 14th of October evening the ‘Wear Your Ideas!’ event, a debate focused on the problems existing in today’s fashion and textile industry. (to know more, have a look at the article above in the same Newsletter)

4. WFTO-Europe Board meeting

WFTO-Europe Board Members at the Board Meeting on 14.-15.10.2015

On the 14th of October (after the FT Breakfast at the EP and before the “Wear your ideas” debate) and the 15th of October, the 7 WFTO-Europe Board members gathered in Brussels for a face-to-face Board meeting. Several items were at the heart of the agenda, such as the new WFTO-Europe strategic plan and the 2016 WFTO-Europe Biennial Conference and AGM.

The month of October finally ended with the WFTO-Europe participation at:

  • The Fair Trade Breakfast organized for the first time at the Belgian Federal Parliament on the 22nd of October
FG&CF at Belgian federal Parliament
WFTO-Europe coordinator Francesca Giubilo (left) and Cristina Fediuc, Projects Assistant
  • EU DEAR fair on the 22nd-23rd of October
EU DEAR Fair Oct. 15
From left to right: Alice Senigaglia (FTAO), Francesca Giubilo (WFTO-E), Lotte Knudsen (Director Human Development and Migration DG DevCo, EC) and Mirjam Hagele (Oxfam Deutschland)

WFTO-Europe was mainly present to the EU Development Education and Awareness Raising (DEAR) programme fair to support the FTAO. Two of the projects in which WFTO-Europe is partnering – ‘Vote4FT’ and ‘Food Smart Cities for Development’ – were presented within the fair.

After these days full of constructive dialogues and interesting conversations, WFTO-Europe was brightened to see many motivated actors and their manifold ways of supporting and promoting Fair Trade in Europe and to gain from the fruitful exchanges this period contained.

WFTO around the World

Fair Trade breaks the chains of Poverty!

To “Eradicate extreme Poverty and hunger” was Goal 1 of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and is still Goal 1 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), recently adopted by world leaders (in September 2015 in NYC) and stating: “End poverty in all its forms everywhere”.

According to the United Nations, although  “Extreme poverty rates have been cut by more than half since 1990… one in five people in developing regions still live on less than $1.25 a day, and there are millions more who make little more than this daily amount, plus many people risk slipping back into poverty.”

This is why WFTO Europe participated in the Anti-Poverty Week that took place last month, from 11 to 17 October worldwide. Together with WFTO Global, all other WFTO Regions and the action of many members, the theme of “Fair Trade breaks the chains of poverty” was promoted. Agents for change pictures and lots of information on the topic were circulated in the World Wide Web, spreading the message that Fair traders around the world, together with small producers and backed by consumers, are breaking the chains of poverty. Producer-beneficiaries of WFTO members receive fair prices for their products, long-term income security, capacity-building and life-skills trainings, no discrimination, no slavery, and good working condition.

Anti-Poverty Week, Eve from FT Scotland
Eve Broadis from Fair Trade Scotland: ‘Working with Anak, Villageworks to promote SDG 12 through WFTO’


“It is unacceptable that there are still over 1 billion people living in extreme poverty and deep deprivation. That is why at WFTO we fight poverty together with the small producers through sustainable solutions. The 10 Fair Trade Principles are our weapon. It is important that the eradication of poverty is done together with those affected. And with the support of consumers and businesses Fair Trade can go even further in its contribution to poverty eradication.” – Rudi Dalvai, WFTO President

WFTO Europe strongly believes that poverty can be effectively eradicated by empowering small producers, giving them fair and sustainable means of livelihoods. This is our belief, this is our constant struggle.

World Fair Trade Day 2016

The World Fair Trade Day, which is an initiative of WFTO, is an inclusive worldwide festival of events celebrating Fair Trade as a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty and exploitation, climate change and the economic crises that has the greatest impact on the world’s most vulnerable populations. In the following year 2016, the World Fair Trade Day will be on the 14th of May.

Our overall theme for this day is still ongoing until 2017: ‘Be an Agent for Change’!

Fair Trade is an agent for change. It is a tangible solution to poverty eradication, a good tool for sustainable development, and most of all Fair Trade promotes social justice.

The 2016 WFTDay will additionally focus on human chains, and human chains activities should be part of all WFTDay 2016 events. Please read the WFTDay 2016 Internal Briefing for suggested events and activities!

Download theme rationale and ideas for WFTDay events and products.

Do you already have plans for WFTDay in May 2016? 

Whatever theme you may have chosen and whatever activities you are planning, you can always try to integrate the theme of “human chains” and do at least two things during your celebration: (1) Gather your Agents for Change, and (2) Form human chains!

Be sure to start thinking about which activities linked to our general theme ‘Be an agent for change!’ you could do on that day!

Support Fair Trade. Join the celebration. Organise a Fair Trade event in your community.

The WFTO Guarantee System

Last call for SAR submission! 


Dear members,

We would like to remind you, one last time on the general deadline to submit the Self-Assessment documents (SAR form and/or updated Profile form) by the end of this year.

This concerns those among you whose deadline for the submission of the documents still lies ahead. We would therefore kindly ask you to be attentive when receiving a SAR-reminder e-mail from us and to check again the individual monitoring schedule for your organization, whether your submission deadline is still about to come in November or December.

If this is the case, and you are struggling to comply with the deadline, we are happy to support you in the best way. Exactly this is why we are planning to conduct a webinar soon.  Every member will be welcome to attend as it will provide general useful information on the GS and its different steps.

We will get back to you soon with further information on it. Therefore, please be sure to regularly check your email. We would be happy to see that many of you take advantage of this opportunity!

News from the Region

WFTO-Europe is pleased to welcome its new member: ECO Collection! WFTO-Europe can now count on 76 members across 15 European countries as of end of October 2015.

Thanks a lot to those of you who already sent us a short description in English about your organisation. You can now have access to it, clicking on the member’s name. If you want to change/add something, please do not hesitate to send an email to:

News from the Board

The minutes of the last Board meeting held on the 16th of July and the 25th of September 2015 via Skype are now available on the website. Login here in order to Access the Board minutes.

The next meeting will take place on the 15th of December 2015, via Skype.

Member of the Month: 

Arbeitsgemeinschaft Weltläden (ARGE Weltläden) 

ARGEWL_4C_groß (3)The Arbeitsgemeinschaft Weltläden (ARGE Weltläden) is the umbrella organisation of the “Weltläden” in Austria. Weltläden (worldshops) are shops specialised in marketing fair trade products which follow the standards of the World Fair Trade Organization. ARGE Weltläden aims to ensure exchange between shops. Furthermore the association provides in-service and further education services for Weltläden staff members. It represents its members publicly and informs the wide public about the work of the “Weltläden”, cooperations with producers and international trade issues. ARGE Weltläden supports its members with services ranging, among others, from sales advice to PR, marketing and corporate design services. ARGE Weltläden complies with the Fair Trade Standards of the World Fair Trade Organization. It encourages environment protection and social welfare. ARGE Weltläden aims to develop partnerships and work together with other (fair trade) organisations.

Name: ARGE Weltläden
Head Office: Innsbruck, Austria
Year of foundation:  1982


  • The FTAO’s Internal Advocacy Bulletin for October 2015 (login required) includes articles  on ‘Policy Issues’, FTAO News (Successful FT Breakfast with Commissioner) and more!
  • Make Fruit Fair petition from FTAO got more than 59.050 signatures, you can still sign it!
  • FAO: The State of Food and Agriculture 2015 (SOFA): Social Protection and Agriculture: Breaking the Cycle of Rural Poverty
  • FAO, WFP, IFAD: Achieving Zero Hunger: The Critical Role of Investments in Social Protection and Agriculture
  • IFAD Press Release 3.11.15: Burundi and IFAD to combat local food insecurity and malnutrition, and add value to smallholder farmers’ products

This pEU_flag_yellow_lowublication 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.

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.