by Mélissa Dubé, Outreach and Marketing Manager, Fairtrade Canada
225 leaders involved in the fair trade movement attended Canada’s 5th national fair trade conference organized by the Canadian Fair Trade Network. Hosted in different cities every year, the conference is a great opportunity to reach out to many different stakeholders (individuals, companies, campuses, civil society organizations, schools, etc.) while promoting great work happening in the local host community. Keynote speakers included two very inspirational Fairtrade leaders: James Mwai from Fairtrade Africa and Andres Gonzalez Aguilera from Manduvira Co-operative, a Fairtrade certified sugar organisation based in Paraguay.
We are proud to be a conference partner and to be part of such a strong fair trade movement. Here’s what some of our staff had to say about this year’s conference:
“For me the Annual conference is a key highlight of the year. Coming away from Halifax, it is clear that there is considerable momentum within the fair trade movement in Canada. The conference enables us all to learn from partners and stakeholders, to share successes and to explore new ways of collaboration to maximise the reach and impact that we can have together. It definitely sets the tone for a fantastic year ahead.” – John Marron, Director of Commercial Relations and Marketing
“This annual conference is a source of inspiration that I keep with me throughout the year. There are so many supporters in this community who are champions for fair trade in their own networks, and when we all come together the energy is palpable. This is how change happens; from grassroots movements getting organized, challenging each other to do better, and consolidating this broad Canadian movement’s power to make trade more fair.” – Shannon Brown, Senior Strategic Advisor
“The conference provided an opportunity to meet people who are involved with Fairtrade Canada from different aspects whether as licensees, academics, students, potential licensees or civil society. It provided a platform to learn, share ideas, experiences, portray case studies and discuss areas of growth. Above all, it brought like-minded people to connect and inspire on the importance of having fairer trade conditions to achieve sustainable livelihoods among producers around the world.” – Gariné Aintablian, Account Manager
“I’ve had the chance to attend all 5 conferences, first as a volunteer with Fair Trade Ottawa Équitable and now as a Fairtrade Canada staff. It’s been incredible to see the evolution and the growth of the fair trade movement in Canada. There’s no better way to start the year than by attending the conference! It’s so great to have the opportunity to meet face-to-face amazing people with whom I have the chance to work throughout the year.” – Mélissa Dubé, Outreach and Marketing Manager