Fair Trade Futures

Follow this site for live amplification of the Fair Trade Futures event at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford as it happens.

Audio, video, photo and text content can be found below. If you are using social media tools to report on the day remember the hashtag is #ftf09.

This event was organised by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, The Oxford Fair Trade Coalition and Christian Concern for One World and sponsored by the organisers and Partnership for Change.

If you are using social media tools to report on the day remember the hashtag is:


I took some time out during yesterday afternoon’s unconference sessions to check in with some of my Twitter followers and get their take on what Fairtrade has come to mean to them and why. I asked “What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term Fair Trade?” and here are the […] read more

Nuggets from the open space sessions

by , 07/11/09 10:52pm
This is a summary of some of the open space sessions at the fair trade futures event. The ‘producer led organization’ open space session: the values of fair trade are the most important thing you have to offer to the world. There is a need to upgrade skills (primarily producers so they can represent themselves). […]

Sustainability and climate change in fair trade

by , 07/11/09 10:44pm
Should the fair trade movement include policies to ensure that fair trade is environmentally sustainable; so that climate change becomes a part of that movement? (This is an open space session so I will try and draw out the main themes of discussion as it flows). Studio Allaya is a craft based organization that supports […]

Introduction to the event: Alex Nicholls

by , 07/11/09 10:26pm
Alex Nicholls, University Lecturer in Social Entrepreneurship, Skoll Centre, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, opens the day: - We held a first event like this 5 years ago – we wanted to revist the idea of a one day event in Oxford - Fair Trade has been moving fast, and excellerating in the last 5 […]

Two perspectives of accountability and impact of fair trade: grant makers and producers

by , 07/11/09 10:18pm
Louise Herring talking about Comic Relief and its role as grant maker and fundraiser, a charity and a business. How do you measure the impact of supporting fair trade producers? It’s a qualitative & quantitative process but how do we get everyone’s views? We could build relationships with producers directly but you need to fully […]

Accountability and Impact (Ian Barney, Twin Trading)

by , 07/11/09 10:15pm
TWIN is a membership organisation that has been running for 25 years. Focused on Latin America and Africa, TWIN’s work started around bartering; e.g. swapping cigars from Cuba for coffee in Africa. TWIN only works with small holder farms, building democratic systems. They believe in a better equitable distribution of risks and rewards; a different […]
Fair Trade 2.0 #ftf09

Fair Trade 2.0 conversation starts with a focus on RFID tagging and data: - On the consumer end you run the risk that through electronic tagging consumption habits ever more closely monitored - people talk about the internet of things - the moment something is produced it is RFID tagged. The question is whose data […] read more

Open space: EPAs (economic partnership agreement)

by , 07/11/09 7:34pm
The fundamental principle for EPAs is a free market. This may work for European countries as they are at the same level of development, economical infrastructure is in place. However it does not work for the ACP (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific) countries. It is not an even playing ground; odds are heavily stacked against ACPs not least because of the negotiation process required to trade in the EU (for example intellectual property rights – some countries may not be able to negotiate this). Bilateral trade agreements have a major drawback: they take no account of development needs. Trade negotiations may seem dull but when it comes to rich countries ripping off poorer countries the fair trade movement can understand this and empathise with this so should be a part of that process. (Mike Gidney).

Fair Trade Futures: conversations from Ben Walker on Vimeo. We’ve seen dozens of conversations happening this afternoon in the Open Spaces at FTF09. This video just captures a few moments. For many it’s the first time they’ve taken part in such an unstructured conversation format at a conference, and it has given people a freedom […] read more

open space #ftf09

above – the key notes generated during the discussion by the discussion leader Q – do we think that an international organization should be more comprehensive? -  already have WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization) – and FLO (Fair Trade Labelling Organisztion – set up as a labelling org for sales) – they have shared charter […] read more

Safia Minney from PeopleTree gives a passionate keynote speech. read more

Safia Minney #ftf09

People Tree is the first fair trade organic supply chain for fashion focused particularly in Asia. One example of some of the people People Tree works with: Swallows- 200 women in Bangladesh who lost their menfolk in the War of Independence in 1971 – started working in handweaving and tailoring (was a typically male occupation) […] read more

Steve Bridger - ftf09

Session chaired by Tim Davies Example in action: Dr Ian Brown and Dr Dorothea Kleine – The Fair Tracing Project The Fair Tracing project is a research project from Royal Holloway Uni on using technology to open up the supply chain and involve consumers within the process: The Fair Tracing project, funded by the UK […] read more

Mick Blowfield taking questions

This whole session was dynamic and interesting, and it came to a head with some great questions for the two speakers, largely focussed on Mick Blowfield’s talk: “The role of constructive criticism in Fair Trade”. I recorded the 15 minute question session. The level isn’t wonderful, but you can hear what’s going on. I’ll get […] read more

Sergi Corbalan – Fair Trade Advocacy Office

by , 07/11/09 1:24pm
Rhodes Trust Lecture Theatre Advocacy can be interpreted in many ways. One main aspect is to make sure the Fairtrade concept is respected. Second is getting more market access for Fairtrade producers, and third is making international trade fair. Protecting the Fairtrade system The more you grow as a system, the more aware people are […]

Carry Somers – Pachacuti

by , 07/11/09 1:06pm
Rhodes Trust Lecture Theatre Pachacuti don’t have any raw materials that can be certified as Fairtrade but they consider ourselves to be and describe themselves that way. Founded in 1992, using traditional skills from the Andes, supporting 1200 people – knitters, hatters etc. Principal raw materials locally and ethically sourced but not certified Fairtrade. This […]

More photos here, updated throughout the day. read more

Alex Nicholls taking questions at #ftf09

Never underestimate the power of a good story. Alex starts by showing this video from Canal+. Fair Trade is a good story.  The numbers: £2.6 billion global certified Fair Trade sales in 2008 (up 22%), £713 million in the UK (up 47%). The story: Slum situations in Bangladesh. Most workers are in garment factories, foreign […] read more

Supporting and Networking Fair Trade: Governments, Companies, Citizens

by , 07/11/09 11:45am
Speaker: Deborah McGurk, Policy Lead on Fair and Ethical Trade for the Joint Policy Unit of DFID and BIS: Why is government involved in trade? setting the enabling environment for trade to happen, increasing market access to trade,  aid for trade (turning market access into real trade) – fair trade is an important way of […]

Mike Gidney – Authenticity, Legitimacy and Certification

by , 07/11/09 11:41am
Mike Gidney used to work for Traidcraft - who trade in certified and non-certified Fairtrade goods e.g. there are some rubber gloves available in Tesco with Traidcraft mark but not Fairtrade mark. He now works for Fairtrade Foundation. "There is no one thing of Fairtrade" - just because Traidcraft has its model here how can we say that the Waitrose Foundation...which is not certified Fairtrade...how can we say they've got it wrong?" Who are we to say what is fair and what is not? Copycat schemes - claims of fairness, ethicality, sustainability e.g. Ethical Tea Partnership. Line on their packs which would say "working towards a more ethical tea industry". What does that mean?

Safia Minney is an inspiration to anyone involved in social entrepreneurship and fair trade – the founder of Global Village and People Tree, she has built a company that brings social, environmental and educational benefit to communities of workers in 12 countries, and has been hugely influential in educating the UK market on the importance […] read more

amplifying events

The Amplified team will be heading to The Said Business School in Oxford bright and early tomorrow morning to report from the Fair Trade Futures conference, a one-day event aiming to discuss and dissect some of the key issues currently affecting the future of Fair Trade, and hear from recent case studies and examples around […] read more