Open space: What are the major issues for international practice in fair trade?

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 of fair trade principles (with EFTA – the European FT association) – issue is that these two organizations are preeminent in Fair Trade but they work in very different ways – divergent understanding of fairness that underpins WFTO and FLO – but they are doing diff things with a different focus – if FT globally is to succeed we have to find ways of the FT movement working together. The shared charter has fantastic initiatives but nothing has been produced since

The idea of a producer managed organization for FT? what about groups of producer organizations? Within the WFTO you have regional networks, country networks and producer networks -but below the NFTO the producer organizations aren’t actually the producers – there’s an assumption that these people are producers but they aren’t really

We need to push the values not the principles of FT into the world – honesty, transparency, reciprocity - the way to move FT on is to unlock these pockets of interest and open these values out to the world, ie the banking system

The people on the board are the leaders of their organizations – in principle people can work their way up from producers to the board

- Producers value the role of the mediating organizations – so they don’t have to deal with the consumers – felt the distance is a good thing

- Disagree – A woman I met who wasn’t educated beyond the age of 12 is now the treasurer of million pound generating coffee cooperative – some women and men don’t want to – but she said that it was TWIN working in those communities, talking with the women and helping the understand that they could speak out and get their voice heard make them feel they could be assertive and claim their place

Moving into a networked world- but we are not good at working as networks yet – openness of communication channels are there but we have trickles only right now – we don’t need to centralise or turn into hierarchies – we need to invest in the skills and the capacity to exist as networks. Networks rely on the skills of their nodes. Culture of  collaboration – sharing skills through the network. Values of FT can be shared very  fast through networks – people not part of FT cos they can’t afford it – the values are what count – the way people think and behave – need to get out of silos

FT links producers and consumer – what’s missing is a clear, simple message that this movement gives as  a whole – It is important for the Fair Trade movement to speak to the world with one voice

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