WFTO is very happy to welcome three new Guaranteed members. FairMail (The Netherlands), Trade Aid Importers (New Zealand), and Kiboko Leisure Wear (Kenya) have successfully completed the WFTO Guarantee System process. The total number of guaranteed members is now at 18, and the number is projected to double by May this year. Since its implementation in 2013 more and more WFTO members are now gradually transitioning to Guaranteed Fair Trade Organisation status through the WFTO Guarantee System (GS) process.
The GS is the first international Fair Trade system that verifies organisations on their compliance with the principles of Fair Trade, and ensures that improvement are consistently carried out over the years through a scheduled monitoring scheme. Read more about the Guarantee System here.
About Fair Mail
Image: FairMail Cards
FairMail Cards is a Dutch Fair Trade Organization based in Amsterdam, and probably the first organisation selling Fair Trade cards. It was founded in Peru by Janneke Smeulder, a Dutch sociologist and entrepreneur. When Janneke visited Trujillo, the capital of La Libertad region and the most populous city in the North of Peru, she saw many children in the slums struggling to survive. She decided that they deserved an alternative way of living.
The concept that Janneke developed is simple but effective - train teenagers take pictures and use the images to produce Fair Trade greeting cards. The money earned is used to pay for their education. Today, FairMail is working with teenagers in Peru, India and Morocco. They offer free photography classes to the teenagers. The teenagers get 50% of the profit of the card where the photo is used, and on top of that they also receive medical fund, and advice for their future plans.
"We are very happy that FairMail is now a WFTO guaranteed member and thus allowed to print the label on our fair trade greeting cards with pictures taken by underprivileged teenagers from Peru, India and Morocco,” said Peter den Hond, FairMail’s General Manager.
“With the logo appearing on more than half a million cards sold worldwide each year, we hope to also help increase the visibility and acceptance of this new label. This way not only helping FairMail, but the whole Fair Trade community."
In less than ten years more than 2 million cards have been sold in 14 countries. 50 young photographers have taken part in the project and earned more than 100.000 euro that they invested in their education.
FairMail is a recipient of the Dutch Card Award for “most innovative card concept” in 2008, and the ASN Ethical Bank’s “World Prize against Child Labor” in 2011.
About Trade Aid
Trade Aid's chocolate factory is the world's first to manufature 100% Fair Trade organic chocolate. Image: Trade Aid
“I am thrilled that Trade Aid is now a guaranteed member and is able to use the WFTO label on our products,” said Trade Aid General Manager Geoff White.
“We are expanding sales outside of our own shop network and having the WFTO guarantee label will give confidence to new customers that we are a legitimate 100% fair trader. The audit was also an excellent check on our internal monitoring system and we have made improvements to our processes as a result.”
Trade Aid Importers is the oldest and largest Fair Trade Organisation in New Zealand. The founders Vi and Richard Cottrell began their Fair Trade work since 1969, the year they left their hometown Christchurch to live in India and work as advisers to a resettlement scheme for Tibetan refugees in Northern India.
When they return home, they, along with another like-minded members, formed a small not-for-profit society. This was the start of what was to become the Trade Aid Movement. Forty years later, Trade Aid is now the biggest Fair Trade importers, wholesaler and retailer in New Zealand with 29 shops across the country.
The organisation works with over 70 producer partners from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Trade Aid's chocolate factory is the world's first to manufacture 100% Fair Trade organic chocolate. Learn more here.
Since 2014 Kiboko changed their whole production system from line/batch production to a cellular production workflow. Image: Kiboko Leisure Wear
Kiboko Leisure Wear is a garment manufacturing based in Nairobi, Kenya. Started in 1996 with 20 employees, today, after almost 20 years, the organisation employs around 80 people. Kiboko General Manager Sabine Hüster is an enterprising woman who left her home country Germany to start an apparel business in Kenya. With a background in industrial tailoring, Sabine used her skills to train staff and run the company.
The result is a mix of German and Kenyan quality and charm.
Kiboko is a proud member of WFTO. They joined in 2014 , and this year the passed successfully the Guaranteed System process.
“We became provisional member in 2014. That gave us good exposure on the market. As a guaranteed member we hope to attract even more customers,” said Sabine.
She stressed that workers are very important in the production process. They are considered them as partners. The last project they launched was ‘Designed by me,’ a powerful product line showcasing empowerment.
“We developed this project because we wanted to do more than ‘just’ produce quality textiles in Africa,” she tells us. "Every ‘Designed by me’ product tells a story of empowerment. Each product is a tale of the maker. Knowing more about the producer creates a particular link between the worker and the consumer" said Sabine.