World Fair Trade Biennial Conference & AGM were held at the picturesque Sea side Sai Rock Hotel at Mombasa, Kenya from May 22 – 27, 2011.
Sridharan Nair, Project Director & BDS Consultant of ESAF Group and the Vice President of Fair Trade Forum-India represented ESAF at the meet. The theme of the Conference was ‘WFTO for a Common Good’. More than 250 delegates participated from across the globe.
One of the major agenda items at Mombasa was supporting members to market their products through WFTOMarket.com, the e-commerce venture. “ESAF’s intention is not only to register ourselves as a producer company but also to provide all possible capacity development services” says Sridharan Nair. He added that Fair Trade stands for life in dignity and solution to poverty.
At the AGM held after the conference, two Fair Trade Forum India board members were elected to the Global Board – Roopa Mehta & Johny Joseph. For ESAF Swasraya Producers Company Ltd (ESPCL), Prerana Handicrafts and Organic Food are the main brands that hold the potential to reach international market.
K. Paul Thomas, Executive Director, ESAF expressed hope that this attempt would open up the long awaited dream of ESPCL entering the Global Fair Trade market.
Other major topics covered during the conference were –
(1) Women Empowerment Project by WIEGO [Women in Informal Employment Globalizing & Organizing] the action research findings from the developing country partners including India,
(2) State of the WFTO & Regional Chapters,
(3) Trade Relationship & Fair Trade Compliance,
(4) The proposed WFTO Fair Trade System (which is a combined version of membership monitoring-cum-SFTMS. The word SFTMS will not exist anymore),
(5) Changing lives & mindsets: maximizing the impact of Fair Trade,
(6) Visit to Bombaloolu Crafts Centre,
(8) Future strategy of WFTO,
(10) the AGMs – WFTO Asia & WFTO.