Fair Trade activities for the International Women’s Day

Womens Day collage

For International Women’s Day 2016, WFTO involved men in their Women For Change activity and asked them to tell us which woman in their environment is inspiring. Stories were shared with a picture of men with their Women Agent for Change and a short explanation of how this woman makes a difference. In total, 30 stories were shared on WFTO Facebook page and on Twitter. Stories came from Asia, the Middle-East, Africa and South America. Male support and recognition is believed to be an essential element to greater equality. WFTO-Europe followed this initiative and WFTO-Asia organised marches. Photos of the marches can be found on WFTO Facebook page too. 

On 8 March, Fairtrade International celebrated the day with FairTradeChats on Twitter. Fairtrade Foundation UK invited coffee farmer Ivania Calderón Peralta to London who works for the Fairtrade-certified Union of Co-operatives, CECOCAFEN, in Nicaragua. She replied to questions concerning her work and their improvements thanks to Fairtrade International as well as about women’s working situations. She explained for example that the biggest challenge she faces is climate change. She also underlined the importance of fair practice in the coffee sector, since having a fair income is crucial for raising her children.

The action follows the publication of Fairtrade International’s fully refreshed gender strategy that can be found on their gender page, along with a short introductory summary.

Later in the day, Fairtrade Mark US organized a FairtradeChat with Tsitsi Tchoruma, COO of Fairtrade Africa and Senior Gender Advisor to Fairtrade International, to talk about issues on Gender Equality related to Fair Trade. These FairtradeChats allow to raise awareness among consumers and are organized regularly. At the end, the organisation gives a Fairtrade Prize (Fairtrade giveaway) to one of the participants. 

Tsitsi Tchoruma also published on Fairtrade International website an opinion piece, Behind the petal, in which she stresses the need to demystify gender, i.e. get aware that this inequality touches men too. She also added that one of Fairtrade International’s project was to secure ownership of crops to help women earn a fair income. Furthermore, she asked for local authorities and actors to take part in the change. This opinion piece was also published in the Huffington post France.

Finally, Max Havelaar France emphasized on Twitter how Fair Trade fights for women’s rights all year. 


WFTO product label launched

WFTO Label Launch Ambiente


 On 13 February 2016, at the Ambiente Fair, in Frankfurt-am-Main (Germany), the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) launched its international product label that guarantees Fair Trade Organisations operating in every part of the supply chain, from producers to retailers.


The label is backed by a robust and credible Guarantee System. In order to comply with the Guarantee System and use the WFTO label on their products, organizations have to comply with the Fair Trade principles that are: creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers, transparency and accountability, payment of a fair price, no child labour or forced labour, long-term trading relations, gender equity and women’s economic empowerment, freedom of association, good working conditions, capacity-building, and respect for the environment. The label can be put on packaging or tags of handicraft and food products as an assurance that the products are produced and/or traded by guaranteed Fair Trade Organisations whose practices are checked against these 10 Fair Trade principles globally acknowledged. 

“There are no international public regulations for the certification of Fair Trade products. Private entities can deliberately set up their own criteria and certify single products without considering the practices of the company that sells these products”Rudi Dalvai,President of WFTO explains.“That is why it is of utmost importance to have a label that allows consumers to clearly identify the organisations who are 100% committed to Fair Trade.”

Based on more than 50 years of experience on Fair Trade, the new WFTO label represents an important step towards the recognition thatan alternative economic model, more humane and sustainable at different levels, is actually possible. By buying products carrying the new WFTO label, traders and consumers can make a concrete contribution to create a more just world, to help fight poverty, social injustice and discrimination, to support economically disadvantaged small producers, and to promote the rights of people and respect for the environment.

Today, more than 50 Fair Trade Organisations are already guaranteed and can use the WFTO label. More than 230 in over 70 different countries are underway.

More information about the WFTO guarantee system and the 60 years of Fair Trade history can be found on WFTO website.

See also the full WFTO Press release.

WFTO celebrated World Fair Trade day with human chains for change

WFTO world fair trade dayOn 14 May 2016, it was World Fair Trade Day. This is an initiative of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO)that takes place on the second Saturday of May of each year. It 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 crisis that have the greatest impact on the world’s most vulnerable populations. The global crisis confirms the need for a fair and sustainable economy locally and globally. Trade must benefit the most vulnerable and deliver sustainable livelihoods by developing opportunities for small and disadvantaged producers. Millions of producers and traders, businesses and policy-makers, supporting organizations and volunteers have contributed to the substantial growth of Fair Trade globally.

For that occasion, WFTO encouraged all supporters, buyers and consumers of Fair Trade to form a human chain. The Fair Trade Day was not only for fair traders. It was for everyone who believes in positive change through Fair Trade. This day was to highlight Fair Trade as a tangible contribution in eradicating poverty and trade injustices, and as a tool for economic empowerment of the marginalised.

WFTO members led this celebration. More than 350 organisations in over 70 countries across the globe celebrated Fair Trade and formed human chains to show their Agents for Change.

“Here, in the refugee frontiers of Thailand, we celebrate Fair Trade because it empowers refugees displaced by conflict and wars. We show our producers, who are the very people making a difference in their lives and communities. They are our Agents for Change and we are proud to be part of a growing movement. We form a human chain in solidarity with fair traders and Fair Trade supporters around the world” Mitos Urgel, WEAVE Thailand.   

WFTO encouraged people to organize a World Fair Trade Day Event and to use their webapp to spread their human chain photo among social networks using the hashtags #FairTradeDay and #AgentForChange.

In Brussels, a Fair Trade Fashion Show was organized to celebrate the day. It was actually the second edition of the fashion show. This was the occasion to get to see ethical clothes collection and also to participate in a charity auction at the end of the show.

Also read the full WFTO Press release.

World Fairtrade Challenge by Fairtrade International

Fairtrade International World Fair Trade Day


From New Zealand to Poland, from South Africa to Spain – between 13 and 15 May coffee lovers in 50 countries across the globe got together and drank a staggering total of more than 5.6 million cups of Fairtrade certified coffee to show their support for farmers hit by climate change.

Climate change affects millions of coffee farmers who are among the hardest hit by extreme weather, droughts, floods and crop disease. Unpredictable weather patterns make it challenging for them to grow and harvest their crop, as coffee plants are extremely sensitive to changes in temperature. This means that coffee farmers around the world struggle to grow and sell enough coffee to sustain themselves and their families. "There is a chain on Earth that starts at the bottom where producers are. They are the ones who suffer the consequences of climate change, the ones who get the least help, and carry all of the burden. It’s not fair." says Bayardo Betanco of PRODECOOP Fairtrade certified Coffee Cooperative in Nicaragua.

Fairtrade International supports coffee farmers by helping them to access technical knowledge and funds which they can use to successfully adapt to, and mitigate against, the worst effects of climate change. More than 800,000 coffee farmers are part of the Fairtrade International system in 30 countries. In 2013–14, they received a total Fairtrade Premium (the extra money they get in addition to the minimum price when selling their coffee on Fairtrade terms), equivalent to more than 49 million Euros. Farmers can, for example, use the Fairtrade Premium to invest in their farms or in training to improve their farming practices. Access to technical knowledge means they can take steps to change the way they farm so that they can adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Consumers have the power to leverage support for coffee farmers – as the more of their crop the farmers sell on Fairtrade terms, the stronger they can benefit. The first-ever World Fairtrade Challenge has shown that small-scale coffee farmers are not alone in their fight against climate change, but have more than 1.8 million supporters raising their cups around the globe. 

Learn more about the World Fairtrade Challenge and Fairtrade’s work on climate change.

See the full Fairtrade International Press release.

Call for papers IFOAM - WFTO for Delhi 2017

IFOAM 19th organic world congress

The 14th WFTO Biennial Conference will be held from 9 to 13 November 2017 in New Delhi, India simultaneously with the 19th Organic World Congress (OWC) 2017 organized by the International Foundation for Organic Agriculture (IFOAM). IFOAM and WFTO are aiming to build synergies between these two events.

The 'Marketing and Quality Assurance Track'" of the OWC will discuss innovative ideas to shorten the value chain, to create systems that build relationships founded upon trust and mutual respect between all actors, to provide effective marketing methods, and to create alliances between organic and Fair Trade organizations. Emerging trends in quality assurance, for instance Participatory Guarantee System (PGS), Fair Trade Guarantee System, and other alternative and integrative systems will be presented.

The Track Committee, of which WFTO is a member, calls for papers that are elaborating on these thoughts. There will be 12 sessions over the three days. Each session will have 3-4 oral presentations and 3 poster presentations. The Track Committee will screen received papers and invite selected speakers that are committed to participate in the OWC 2017.

Themes of the sessions:

1. Markets as engines of growth and development for farmers in organic and fair trade movements

2. Alliances of organic and fair trade for sustainable market development

3. Small is beautiful - success stories of farmers markets

4. Local markets vs export markets

5. Engagement with consumer and consumer organizations (or other networks of the civil society) to promote the organic and fair trade markets.

6. Fair pricing and profit sharing along the supply chain from producer to retailer

7. Use of modern communication technologies to shorten the supply chain from the producer to the consumer

8. Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) – strengthening the grass root organic movement

9. Innovations in PGS – wild harvest, processing & trade

10. Case studies of further alternatives to conventional certification systems for organic and fair trade

11. Opportunities and challenges in third party certification systems

12. The future in integrity and trust building

If you are interested in submitting a paper, please go to the IFOAM Conference 2017 web page and follow the instructions.

Please, note that the deadline for submission is 30 September 2016. 

For more details please contact Dr. Rudi Dalvai at rudi.dalvai@wfto.com



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      The first EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award is officially launched!


      08 December 2017 (Brussels)Yesterday, the European Commission officially launched the first EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award. The Fair Trade movement warmly encourage local authorities to give the necessary visibility to their key contributors to make trade Fair by joining the competition.

      The long-awaited EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award has been officially launched yesterday. This was a commitment that the Commission took in October 2014, when the current EU Trade strategy was launched.

      The purpose of the award is to:

      • Recognize and celebrate cities’ achievements and positive impact in the areas of social, economic and environmental sustainability in international trade. 
      • Emphasize Fair and ethical trade schemes, as well as other non-governmental sustainability schemes, which may bring more sustainable opportunities to small producers in third countries and thus support sustainable and inclusive development.

      The call for applications is now open and EU local authorities can apply until April 2018. The winner is expected to be announced in Brussels in June 2018.

      “The launch of this award has been strongly requested by the Fair Trade movement and the more than 2000 Fair Trade Towns. Therefore, we welcome this initiative which gives the necessary visibility to the contribution of local authorities in promoting sustainable consumption and production models.”

      Sergi Corbalán, FTAO Executive Director

      The Fair Trade movement looks forward to supporting the European Commission and the International Trade Centre, appointed to set-up the award, to make this initiative a real success! The Fair Trade movement will mobilise its network to ensure a high participation of EU local authorities in the award. It will also seize the opportunity to raise awareness on the role of local policy makers in promoting sustainable development through trade.

      You can learn more about the award and how to apply here

      You can read FTAO’s toolkit on localising the SDGs through Fair Trade here

      A pdf version of this press release can be found here.


      The Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) speaks out for Fair Trade and Trade Justice with the aim to improve the livelihoods of marginalised producers and workers in the South. The FTAO is a joint initiative of Fairtrade International, the World Fair Trade Organization-Global and the World Fair Trade Organization-Europe.


      Peter Möhringer | moehringer@fairtrade-advocacy.org | Tel: +32 (0)2 54 31 92 3

      Fair Trade Advocacy Office

      Village Partenaire - bureau 1 | 15 rue Fernand Bernierstraat | 1060 Brussels – Belgium



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