Wednesday, December 20, 2017

ASC and MSC release joint seaweed standard

On November 22, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) announced the launch of the ASC-MSC Seaweed Standard. The joint standard marks a first for the two certification programmes, bringing together expertise in sustainable fishing and responsible aquaculture.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Fairtrade Kenyan roses project audited amid corruption fears

A flagship Fairtrade project that produces roses for some of Britain’s biggest supermarkets has been embroiled in a corruption investigation.

Supplier of cut flowers to UK supermarkets including Sainsbury’s and Morrisons orders inquiry into distribution of funds.

Read further the article by The Guardian

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Role of Aid for Trade in Building the Capacity of Developing Country Firms to Meet Sustainability Standards

"One of the major contemporary challenges facing developing country firms, and especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), is the ever increasing number of regulations and sustainability standards required of them if they are to integrate into global value chains. This paper focuses on the potential role that Aid for Trade—aid designed specifically to assist developing countries in overcoming supply-side issues and capture the gains of trade—can play in assisting those developing country SMEs and small producers who are struggling to comply with the sustainability standards required by value chains." 

Read the study by Jim ReddenICTSD

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Global sales of Fairtrade products reached €7.88 billion in 2016

Global sales of Fairtrade products reached €7.88 billion in 2016, with solid growth rates among key products: coffee sales increased by 3 percent, cocoa by 34 percent, sugar by 7 percent, and bananas, tea, and flowers and plants by 5 percent each. 

The market that grew fastest last year was Austria, with an increase of 46 percent in Fairtrade retail sales, mostly due to the excellent reception of Fairtrade Sourcing Partnerships Programs in the country. France, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland, four mature Fairtrade markets, also experienced substantial increases in sales, all with more than 20 percent growth. South Africa has bucked the international growth trend for Fairtrade sales, in part due to the worst drought in more than 80 years, and the increase in certification costs due to a weaker rand.

During 2016, Fairtrade worked with more than 1.6 million farmers and workers around the globe, through more than 1,411 certified producer organizations across 73 countries. Global Fairtrade sales totalled €7.88 billion in 2016, Farmers and workers also received €150 million in Fairtrade Premium, an extra sum of money that producer groups invest in projects of their choice.

Read more in the Fairtrade International annual report

Chocolate and the consumption of forests

"This study by Mark D. Noble explores the potential links between specialization in cocoa exports and deforestation in developing nations through the lens of ecologically unequal exchange. Although chocolate production was once considered to have only minimal impacts on forests, recent reports suggest damaging trends due to increased demand and changing cultivation strategies."

Read the study

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Event : Business for a Fair World - Belgian Fair Trade Week

WFTO-Europe invites you to discover and discuss fair business practices with experts from the field!

As part of the Belgian Fair Trade Week (Semaine du commerce équitable), the World Fair Trade Organization-Europe, together with its partners Belgian Development Agency BTC, Oxfam-Magasins du monde, Fair Trade Advocacy Office, Belvas, Equo Garantito and Groupe One, is pleased to offer the "Business for a Fair World" World Café.

A World Café is a specific discussion format where people discuss various topics in several groups. The main idea is that individuals switch groups periodically which allows them to discuss several topics during a single event. Each group is hosted by an expert from the field, in our case a representative from each of our partners mentioned above, to whom participants can pose questions.

Besides the World Café itself, which will be the main part of our event, you can also look forward to a general presentation aiming to provide basic introduction about Fair Trade and its current situation in Belgium- in particular as it seeks the title of Fair Trade nation. The event will close with the opportunity for informal networking, during which Fair Trade juice will be served.

For more information on the program's content, please take a look here:

The event is free of charge.
Please, register here:
Wednesday, 11 Octobre, 2017 - 17:00
Adresse: Franklin Rooseveltlaan 501050 Brussels 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Fair and community-based tourism

We all know fair trade bananas, coffee, chocolate... but do you know about fair tourism? It is less known, but booming! The United Nations declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development recalling the potential of tourism to advance the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Trade for Development presents presents 4 community-based tourism projects that it supports. 

The Masai in Tanzania
In regions where existing ecosystems suffer from human pressure, tourism can provide part of the solution. Inspired by successful experiences elsewhere in the world, the Honeyguide Foundation, with the financial assistance of the Trade for Development Centre, supports the development of sustainable tourism in the north of Tanzania. The Masai population is given an extra financial incentive to protect its natural environment.

A fair certification programme for tourism products
Around 2000, the South-African ngo Fair Trade Tourism started to put in place a fair certification programme for tourism products. The standard includes fair remuneration, decent working conditions, a fair sharing of revenue and respect for cultural traditions and the environment. Since then, more than 79 initiatives have been certified throughout the country: hotels, safari lodges, backpacker lodges and guesthouses, but also organised tours and ‘adventure’ type of activities. With the support of TDC FTT is exploring new opportunities on both the supply and demand sides. FTT wants to expand its activities to seven other countries of southern and eastern Africa and tries increase the number of European tour operators that offer FTT-labelled holidays. Since 2017, the first Belgian tour-operator was FTT-approved!  

Cordtuch in Ecuador
25% of the population in Ecuador comprises native communities with ancestral traditions and a strong identity, which helps Ecuador to pioneer community-based tourism. Cordtuch unites 11 community-based tourism initiatives such as the Reserva de Producción de Fauna Chimborazo, the Parque Nacional Sangay and the Tren. With the support of TDC Cordtuch aims to consolidate small community-based tourism businesses. It provides support to improve the general management capacities, the development of the tourism offer on local, regional and international markets by implementing quality improvement and control systems through sustainable tourism certification, and the participation to commercial fairs in view of presenting the community-based tourism offer.

Red Tusoco in Bolivia
Red Tusoco (Red Boliviana de Turismo Solidario Comunitario), the network of Bolivian community-based tourism, brings together and supports the development of 22 small enterprises in rural indigenous communities in Bolivia in an attempt to improve living conditions by boosting the community's natural and cultural patrimony. Red Tusoco provides training in management and tourism and fosters indigenous management. Tusoco Viajes, the business branch of the network that sells responsible community-based tours in Bolivia, forecasts significant growth of 22% a year. The project should boost job creation in rural areas.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sustainable tourism operations in Ecuador and Peru

Market research on improving connectivity of sustainable tourism operations in Ecuador and Peru to the European marketplace 

 The purpose of this study is to support tourism companies in Peru and Ecuador, especially those with a focus on sustainable tourism, on how to access the European market. While the content of the study is geared towards the conditions in Peru and Ecuador, readers from other Latin American countries may also find the information useful.

The coverage of the European market includes the countries Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, United Kingdom, France, Italy and Spain. The study includes a look at players such as tour operators (including databases) or trade associations, examines market access mechanisms (both with regard to the destination - Peru and Ecuador, as well as with regard to the mentioned source markets) and describes a wide range of approaches and tools to improve market access to the European market.  

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Private Standards, Trade, and Sustainable Development: Policy Options for Collective Action

Research by Fabrizio Meliado, ICTSD

Private standard schemes have become a constitutive element of international commercial transactions, as well as powerful tools to mainstream environmental, social, and economic sustainability requirements in economic operations. This paper analyses private standard schemes as management tools used to shift risks, costs, and responsibilities along global value chains. It argues that policymakers can facilitate the trade-creating potential of private standard schemes by acting in concert – at the international level – on their design and operation. The author further reviews relevant multilateral and bilateral work in this area and puts forward six policy options to support concerted governmental action on private standards.