This month has been a return to my roots. Not only did I return to my motherland, Belgium, but on 9 October 2014 I also returned to my former high school! No, not to re-sit exams, but to give a talk about Fair Trade Connection to a group of students sitting in the very chairs where I once sat.
Why did I go back? Well, this year we once again received financial support from Belgium Technical Coorporation (BTC) to organise an event during Fair Trade Week. We chose to use the funds to set up an education day at Virton high school.
We split the event into two parts: the first part began in the morning at 9.30am. More than 50 fourth-year students crammed into the one classroom ready for us to get going with our two-hour session. I introduced myself and my background, which naturally evolved into a general discussion on fair trade. I was impressed at how informed the students were! Things then started to get heated as a debate organized by the teacher took place. The mood was ‘How fair is fair trade?’, and the fourth graders touched on some very interesting points.
To tell our story of FTC to the students, I thought it was only logical to show what we do best —video! Once the beamer was set up, it was time for lights, camera and action. First up was the clip ‘We can make your products speak’, followed by an educative video about fairtrade made for Oxfam Magasins du Monde.
At 7pm, once the tables were laid with nibbles and the drinks were poured (thanks to Virton’s Oxfam Shop), the public started to roll in for the second part of the event. I didn’t expect so many people to show up! Excited by the 60 or so guests, I kicked things off with a presentation on what FTC has achieved in 2014. The crowd was very eager to hear anecdotes about our travels, which have taken us from Thailand and Indonesia to Bangladesh and India, and more recently, to Morocco.
And then came my favorite part—photo time! We had prepared a collection of 14 photographs from our work this year and organized them into an exhibition around the gymnasium. People had the opportunity to take their time and check out our work.
Each picture was linked to a QR code which people could scan with their phones and tablets to watch a video which told them more about the subject. For many, this was the first time they had experimented with QR codes and it was a huge hit amongst the audience.
The day served as a moment for me to stop and reflect. After what felt like months of living out of a suitcase, traveling from one remote village to another, it felt good to recap on everything we have accomplished throughout this year. To top it off, this took place in my old gym hall, in front of friends, family, teachers, and other people from the community who have followed FTC from its beginning. It felt like a return to the roots of where FTC was born and where our ambition was fueled.
Thanks Virton, hope to see you again next year!
Are you looking to communicate your Fair Trade story to the public and your consumers? Let our images and videos do the talking for you. A picture is worth a thousand words and a video speaks a million, so over the past three years we have been busy collecting images and video footage of Fair Trade cooperatives across the globe in order to bring you the most extensive visual database of Fair Trade artisans.
You can now purchase high resolution photos and videos to use on your website and social media, and for any other promotional material. As a retailer, you can give voice to Fair Trade’s artisans by showing their videos both inside your shop and on your website. Help your customers to connect with these producers and to understand the Fair Trade supply chain, and share with them the positive impacts of Fair Trade in local communities.
But it’s not just the customers who will benefit. Fair Trade organizations have also had success in using our videos as tools for training volunteers and staff members who are new to Fair Trade.
Do the artisans you do business with have a story to tell?
Are you a producer looking to increase your market access? Seize this opportunity and hire us to film your story then showcase it to the world. Let’s work together to put Fair Trade on the map, one image at a time. Browse our large and and growing database and discover the perfect videos and images to promote your Fair Trade business.
This article was kindly written by Katie Ramsbottom, WFTO.
We have surveyed 42 fair trade companies from 3 continents with the goal of understanding how they are using social media to grow and promote their businesses. Here is what you will discover in the full report (available in our shop):
- Top 10 objectives companies are trying to achieve with social media
This section reveals all the major advantages marketers are achieving with their social media efforts. We have established a ranking according to their importance to the companies.
Top 5 social media platforms used by fair trade companies
Discover which tools marketers are using, for how long they have been using them and if Northern and Southern companies use the same mix of platforms.
The different strategies developed by the companies
After verifying how many companies actually had a social media strategy, we analyzed into more details where these companies focused their strategic efforts.
The time commitment
We examined the weekly hours marketers invest in their social media efforts. This analysis will be helpful for marketers just getting started or those seeking support staff.
How much money fair trade companies invest in Social Media
Find out what percentage of their marketing budget companies are investing in Social Media. Is this number consistent with the amount of importance companies give to social media?
The major problems marketers are facing
We made a list of the major problems encountered on social networks ranked by importance. This will help you realize where additional resources could be invested in order to better perform on social platforms.
Use our conclusions and recommendations to improve your social media strategy or discover how other fair traders are dealing with social media throughout 17 graphs and detailed statistics.