Celebrating a year since the International Fair Trade Towns Conference in Wales

October 19, 2020

We can’t believe it, a year since we held the International Fair Trade Towns Conference (IFTTC) 2019 on October 18 -20 in Cardiff and what a great weekend we had.

Thanks so much to all who attended, over 250 people from 41 countries over four events – this seems impossible today!

We’re sad that this year’s IFTTC is postponed but we wanted to celebrate the fantastic event we held last year and remember learning, sharing and even dancing with our friends.

What we did

We held a dinner on the Friday night in the Senedd hosted by Minister Jane Hutt and enjoyed traditional Welsh food and music with harpist Sam Hickman and a choir from Albany Primary school. Future Generations Commissioner, Sophie Howe talked about “How Fair Trade helps us to be globally responsible”.

IFTTC 2019 Senedd
Over the Saturday and Sunday we enjoyed panel discussions, talks and workshops from colleagues, leaders and friends across the world. We discussed everything from climate change, refugees, living incomes, football, trade justice, global trade and more.

IFTTC 2019 City Hall
On Saturday evening, Fairtrade Foundation held a party in the Temple of Peace to celebrate 25 years of the Fairtrade mark. We enjoyed traditional Welsh cawl, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, special Fairtrade cupcakes and lots of Fairtrade wine, beer and soft drinks. There may have also been some limbo dancing.

Eluned Morgan, Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language joined us on Sunday to explain the Welsh Government’s commitment to Fair Trade through it’s purchasing and support of Fair Trade Towns.   Our interactive zone featured information stands, Fair Trade products, the Unfair Funfair and of course ice cream and lollies from Pop Cycle.

IFTTC 2019 Part 3

We’re also happy to remember that on Sunday, Wales beat France, 20 – 19 to reach the Semi Finals of the Rugby World Cup.

On Monday we provided a cultural tour for some of our guests, showcasing Fair Trade work done by schools, Government, and Local authorities, visited both Cardiff Castle and St Fagans National History Museum, and gave everyone the opportunity to practice their newly taught Welsh ‘Dw i’n eisiau coffi Masnach Deg’.

On reflection

“The IFTTC last year encapsulated the heart of the Fair Trade movement- fairness, friendship and fun. We were thrilled to welcome over 200 people from across the world to Wales, to a truly global weekend inspiring many people with the commitment to Fair Trade across Welsh society. Topics such as people’s right to a living income, and the ways in which that can be achieved featured highly across the weekend.

Sadly, the global coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated how these topics, such as resilient and sustainable supply chains, are vital when dealing with shocks such as health and climate impacts, and how the Fair Trade movement is still sorely needed today.

We are sad not to be meeting together for the conference this year, and look forward to IFTTC 2021 in Quito, Ecuador”.

Aileen Burmeister, Fair Trade Wales national coordinator

“When the Fair Trade Towns movement gathered in Wales last year, we showed the evolution and energy of our ideas. From refugee artisans to upcycling and zero-carbon manufacturing, Fair Trade social enterprises are driving the big solutions our planet and people need. As WFTO, we are proud to drive this, together with our sisters and brothers across our movement.”

Erinch Sahan, Chief Executive of World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO)

Take a look at our pictures and presentations from the event.