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WFTO-Europe held its Annual General Assembly and Biennial Conference

By World Fair Trade Organisation Europe (WFTO-Europe)

From 12 to 14 June World Fair Trade Organisation Europe (WFTO-Europe) held its Annual General Assembly and Biennial Conference in Mennorode, a conference centre in Elspeet, a small town in the Netherlands, renewing its commitment to sustainable development. The whole conference took place in a very friendly atmosphere, with a total of 26 attendees including 20 member organisations. WFTO-Europe welcomed two special guests: Sergi Corbalán from the Fair Trade Advocacy Office and Chitra Bahadur KC from the World Fair Trade Organisation Asia, as well as two representatives from World Fair Trade Organisation Global: Chief Executive Natália Leal and President Rudi Dalvai, whose interesting participations extremely deepened the conference´s topics.

It was an important moment for WFTO-Europe and its members to coordinate their activities and take key decisions regarding the future of Fair Trade in general and more particularly of WFTO-Europe and WFTO-Global. Various topics have been discussed and debated during those three intensive days. The Conference started with the official welcoming speech from WFTO-Europe to go then through a session led by Natália Leal and Rudi Dalvai on the WFTO Global topics and end up with a remarkable presentation of Gert Eigenbrood, director of Mennorode, on the environmental policy of the centre. The following day, WFTO-Europe Board members led different sessions on several topics, namely on Advocacy, the Fair Trade Towns Campaign, Domestic Fair Trade, the WFTO Guarantee system, the role of national platforms and the application of WFTO standards for retailers. On the third day a last morning session was focused on “Fair Price and Fair Wages”, aimed at sharing experiences amongst European members with the contribution of Elsbeth Fabels and Frans Pasma from the Dutch Association of World shops (DAWS). The Conference was then followed by the Annual General Assembly, where legal documents were approved and further discussions on the way ahead of WFTO-Europe took place. 

General outcome of the Conference is the image of a stronger network, able to convey clear messages to be brought to Global for further discussions and to give everyone food for thought for next year AGM and Global Conference in Milan. This meeting was just a starting point; next steps include an intensive work to assure all these discussions keep going on. The great atmosphere of the meeting showed that WFTO-Europe and its members are on the right path. Further progress needs to be made but WFTO-Europe is confident that all together they can make them happen.



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