In this Issue:

  • FA!R – Fair Trade & Friends 2015 in Dortmund
  • 24 September 2015 – A Global Day of Action
  • The 14th of October “Wear Your Ideas!”
  • WANTED: New Interns! – January 2016
  • Reminder on the Guarantee System : Deadline December 2015!
  • Vote 4 Fair Trade Updates
  • Member of the Month: SeeMe

And more!


Let us know about your events!

               Welcome back from summer break! 

attentionDear members,

According to the new communication strategy of WFTO-Europe agreed at the AGM in Milan, we have decided to undertake some changes in regard to our Newsletter.

This edition at hand will be the last one following the monthly basis. The next Newsletter will appear in two months, in November 2015. Starting from 2016, the frequency will be reduced and our WFTO-Europe newsletters will reach you quarterly.

In return, we will be giving preference to use flash news on specific topics – be prepared!

Main Articles

FA!R – Fair Trade & Friends 2015 in Dortmund

From the 28th to the 30th of August, the FA!R – FAIR TRADE & FRIENDS 2015 fair took place in Dortmund, Germany.

The fair shows the great variety of fair trade and a special focus is set on the re- and upcycling products which gain more and more attention.

The event is therewith meant to raise consciousness about the manifold existing alternatives to conventional products. Retailers as well as producers get to present their most recent range of products and visitors can gather plenty of information by participating in workshops and forums which are organized throughout the days of the fair.

WFTO-Europe is proud to mention that, among the many various exhibitors, also six of its members have participated in this year’s FA!R – FAIR TRADE & FRIENDS fair.

The following organisations attended the fair:

  • Chotanagpurgruppe – Faire Handelsgesellschaft mbH
  • Contigo Fair Trade Gmbh
  • dwp eG
  • El Puente GmbH
  • GEPA The Fair Trade Company
  • Lemberona

Read Chotanagpurgruppe’s feedback to find out about how they perceived the chances and limits as well as the general atmosphere of the FA!R – FAIR TRADE & FRIENDS 2015.


“FAIR TRADE & FRIENDS is an annual trade fair for fair trade in Dortmund/Germany. It shows in three days the diversity of fair trade. It presents new fair products and developments and it attempts to influence the consumer’s behaviour and aims at a social and ecological lifestyle.

This year 162 exhibitors from 17 countries offered a wide range of attractive products, which can be consumed with a clear conscience. They displayed their collections and trends e.g. handicrafts, clothes, cosmetics, life-style articles, wood products beside the traditional fair trade products as coffee, tea, chocolate and other food. Also local campaigns to promote the fair trade ideas and get involved with the international movement to change the trade conditions took place. Every year producers of fair products from a special region are invited to show their products and to inform about their living conditions. This year 19 producer groups from North Africa and Central Asia were invited according to the motto ‘Orient meets Occident’. 


Very impressing was an upcycling fashion workshop, where visitors could make new products from shirts, jeans, table cloth etc. (see picture on the left). Two sewing machines and one overlock machine were at the visitor’s disposal. Even a 12 years old boy designed and sew a shirt for his little brother. Another example may be a stall showing handmade products from Kyrgyzstan and informed about their culture and handicraft such as living in a yurt and felting.

On the whole there were a lot of opportunities to get informed about the international movement of fair trade and to discuss new issues and developments with other exhibitors. The visit of the FAIR TRADE & FRIENDS 2015 was a great event and a reason to look forward to the FAIR TRADE & FRIENDS 2016 from 2 to 4 September 2016.”

Other Dortmund FA!R participants perceive the participation fee as quite high and the contribution of the fair for Fair Trade in general as rather limited.

Still, the FA!R – FAIR TRADE & FRIENDS depicts an opportunity to increase visibility and publicity for fair trade producers and retailers which might enlarge their market access. Furthermore the fair offers the chance to get informed about current developments within the Fair Trade movement which it attempts to increase as a whole.

24 September 2015, a Global Day of Action 

On 25-27th September, world leaders will meet to adopt the post-2015 development agenda and agree in the new set of Sustainable Development Goals, replacing the Millennium Development Goals. In this context, action/2015, a coalition of almost 2000 organisations around the world, is mobilizing people to call on leaders to light the way to a better future for people and planet.

As a member of the EYD2015 Civil Society Alliance, WFTO-Europe participated in a first webinar on the 30th of July on the topic of the 24th of September, a Global Day of Action. During this webinar, several ideas and projects were shared by the 14 organisations involved in the movement, among which Concord, ONE, Global Call to Action against Poverty, Caritas, All Together in Dignity and Restless Development.

So far, 73 countries will be organising specific actions for that day around the theme of light – candles, lanterns, mobile phones, light projections and the series of events will end in New York, where thousands of candles will be lit in Manhattan on the eve of the SDG summit.

In Europe, phrases expressing wishes of citizens in political buildings in Spain, action proposals stick on a wall in Macedonia, Serbia and Albania, lights projections on buildings in Brussels and photo contest of the perfect world in 15 years in Bulgaria are just some of the actions being taken in this important day.

WFTO-Europe will join the celebration, communicating widely about the Global Day of Action and taking part in some activities organised in front of the European Parliament on the 24th of September.

Please do not hesitate to let us know if you are also planning something on this important day or you have more information about the activities taking place in your own country.

The 14th of October “Wear Your Ideas!” 


As part of the Belgian Fair Trade Week 2015, WFTO-Europe organizes together with its partners the “Wear your ideas!” debate on the 14th of October. The debate will tackle the problems existing in textile supply chains, addressing the question “Who is behind our clothes?”

Students, young people as well as all those interested in the topic will have the opportunity to discuss the main problems and solutions with actors involved in the fight for a fairer textile supply chain.

The panel will be composed of representatives of our partners – Oxfam-Magasins du Monde, Fashion Revolution, Clean Clothes Campaign, a representative of the City of Ghent, a representative of the Cambodian Trade Union and Roopa Metha, from Sasha, a WFTO member organization.

Please find below the programme of the event:

  • 6:00-6.30pm: Welcome and registration
  • 6:30-7.00pm: Introductory session with the screening of the True Cost film trailer and discussions with Roopa Metha from Sasha and the Cambodian Trade Union representative
  • 7:00-8.00pm: Panel debate with the participation of representatives of the partner organizations as well as the representative of the City of Ghent to share the best practices on how local authorities can promote ethical products.
  • 7:00-8.30pmQ&A session and Wrap up session

Peter Möhringer, Project Coordinator at the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) will moderate the debate.Logo_CTB_JPEG

Please join our fight for a fairer textile supply chain, spread the voice and help us show once again the importance of a Fair consumer behavior! Feel free to use this poster of the event and circulate it!

The event is completely free. If you want to take part in the event, please register here.

14 October 2015, 18:30h, Mundo-B, Conference room, Brussels

WANTED: New interns! – January 2016

WFTO-Europe has just opened the recruitment process to select the 2 new interns for its Brussel’s office. The next round of internships will start end of January 2016 for preferably 6 months, in the areas of Project wantedManagement/ Fundraising and Communication/ Membership&Monitoring.

The deadline to apply for the internship is the 31st of October 2015. We would appreciate if you could help us advertise it through your communication channels. More information about the internship can be found here.

Do you also work with interns?

If you also rely on interns to receive some key support in your organisation, please do not hesitate to let us know, sending an email to administration[at]

We could help you promote your vacancy as well as get you in contact with some candidates that might be interested in your offer, whenever this is possible.

Reminder on the Guarantee System

Start the process by December 2015! 


The WFTO Guarantee System (GS) is a revolutionary Fair Trade system that is credible, clear, and affordable. The GS is based on a monitoring schedule, composed of Self-Assessment Reports, Monitoring Audits and Peer Visits. The Guarantee System was agreed on in the year 2013. That was when the implementation phase started and all members were given two years to step into the new system.

We are now in its 2nd year of implementation, when ALL members need to have started the process, meaning to at least submit their Self-Assessment documents by the end of December 2015!

To those of you who still have to pass through the system, we would like to take the opportunity to remind you on our offer for full support and additional help if you are struggling with the process and feel the need for further assistance. If this is the case, please do not hesitate to let us know by sending an email to “membership[at] by end of September! Meanwhile we also encourage you having a look at our GS training, available in the Members section of our website as well as in the Fairshare platform.

So if the deadline for the submission of your Self-Assessment documents still lies ahead of you, start working on it and get the documents ready – the end of the year always comes sooner than expected!

News from the Region

WFTO-Europe is pleased to welcome its new members: Elecosy and Les Jardins de Gaïa!

Also, we want to congratulate Tuyu BV who recently reached the status of GUARANTEED member!

News from the Board

The minutes of the last Board meeting held on the 24 May and 22 of June 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 25 September 2015, via Skype.

News from the Office

WFTO-Europe’s team is pleased to welcome their two new interns Cristina Fediuc, Projects and Fundraising, and Christine Adelmann, Membership&Monitoring and Communication.

Vote4FairTrade Updates 

In the framework of the EC project “Advocating for EU fair trade policies (the “Vote4FT” campaign), the FTAO is organising the annual FT Breakfast at the European Parliament, the 14th of October 2015 form 8am to 9.30am.

As last year, this will be an important moment for Fair Trade national actors to meet the MEP of their respective countries and encourage them to be FT ambassadors within the EP. The FT advocacy network meeting as well as an informal meeting among the worldshop associations will take place on the 13th of October. More information will be circulated soon by the FTAO.

Member of the Month: 

Caterina Occhio / SeeMe 

Caterina Occhio _ Founder of SeeMe (1)Caterina Occhio is a former development aid manager with over 15 years experience in supporting employment and institutional reform. She worked extensively for the European Commission, different UN agencies and from 2002, she specialised in the socio- economic integration of women.

In 2007, Occhio became the secretary-general of the SEED Foundation and led two projects supporting socio-economic insertion of disadvantaged women in Turkey. Both endeavors were elected as best practice by the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 2008 she was the leader of the team charged of improving the effectiveness of external aid within the European Commission. In 2010 she was EU Policy adviser for social inclusion for the new employment strategy in Tunisia.

In her quest to help and improve women’s conditions in the MENA region, in 2012 Occhio took a leap of faith and launched SeeMe. Its main purpose being to give a safe environment and secure work positions to women upon leaving women’s shelters in Tunisia, while at the same time developing successful designs and beautiful jewels. SeeMe employs women, very often single mothers, who have been shunned by their patriarchal societies and once out of their shelter homes, run by the Amal Association, have a hard time finding a job to provide for themselves and their children.

Through trainings that often later result in employment at the Bijoux Moderne Atelier, those women are empowered, they learn a craft and eventually earn a steady monthly salary. This way, they can regain their independence, their pride and their dignity. SeeMe is also a pioneer of the Fair Luxury movement, one that aims at bridging luxury and fair trade. It is based on the conviction that it is time for luxury goods to be fair and for the fair trade movement to be chic.

Name: Caterina Occhio / SeeMe
Head Office: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Year of foundation:  2013


  • The FTAO’s Internal Advocacy Bulletin for September 2015 (login required) includes articles  on ‘Policy Issues’, FTAO News (Board Meeting, FT Breakfast) and more!
  • Make Fruit Fair petition from FTAO got more than 30.800 signatures, you can still sign it!
  • FTAO position paper on “An innovative EU approach in support of Fair Trade practices in the new EU Trade & Investment Strategy”
  • Fair Trade Towns Campaign update September: 2015-08-31 FTT update
  • Article “UK ‘Fairtrade’ Universities miss the point: Of both fair trade alternatives and the real function of universities”
  • Ethical Fashion Forum have agreed a discount for WFTO members. If you are thinking to join now is the time, there are webinars explaining how to maximize benefits from this international promotion of sustainable fashion suppliers and producers. EFF members also gain access to fundamental industry insight and the fashion market. Click here for exhibitor’s page. For the discount code please email Any question for Ethical Fashion Forum address to

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.


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