Session Details - March 3

Starting and Growing a Fair Trade Business
Recounting successes and failures, business owners share their experiences in fair trade, and provide advice for those looking to start a fair trade business. Firefly Insights and Green Campus Co-op discuss their starts, and the owners of Fable Naturals address how their business ended, so others can learn from their story. The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) also presents on financing options for new entrepreneurs in Canada.
Speakers:Jennifer Williams (Firefly Insights), Carla Heim (Business Development Bank of Canada), Chris Nicol (Hola Deodorant), Madison Hopper (Green Campus Co-op)
Room: 1520
Public Engagement and Social Change
How can fair trade target a more diverse consumer audience? What do millennials want? Where do they get their information from? How did social change happen over time? This session explores public engagement and looks at the psychology behind social change, and the issue of values versus actions and where these don’t always align. This session discusses both the challenges and possibilities that public engagement has to offer.
Speakers: Sarah Heim (Simon Fraser University), Mike Simpson (British Columbia Council for International Cooperation), Zack Gross (Manitoba Council for International Cooperation)
Room: 1510
Gender, Canada's Feminist International Assistance Policy, and Fair Trade
Canada’s newly adopted Feminist International Assistance Policy aims to reduce extreme poverty and build a more peaceful, inclusive, and prosperous world. The policy recognizes that promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls is the most effective approach to achieving this goal. This session explores the new policy and how its approach to international assistance relates to and aligns with fair trade.
Speakers: Erin Hancock (Co-operative Management Education, Saint Mary’s University and the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada), and Jose Abad-Puelles (Ph.D. student, Carleton University)
Room: 1425
Textiles and Clothing Roundtable
With a complex global supply chain, the clothing and textiles we purchase affect the lives of millions around the world. Atrocities such as Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, where over 1,200 factory workers lost their lives, emphasize the need for change, as well as the responsibility and effort needed to create it. While we recognize that true reform requires collaboration across industries and sectors, every individual and organization has a role to play. This session explores challenges and opportunities in moving forward with more ethical clothing and textile production.
Speakers: Andy Hira (Simon Fraser University), Kelly Drennan (Fashion Takes Action), Helen Reimer (Fairtrade Canada), Daphne Woo (Amacata), Darryl Reed (York University)
Room: 1415

Deepening Relationships with Producers
What is expected in an export/import relationship? Where should these relationships takes us? This session looks at two examples of different relationships between producers and businesses. First we visit Ecuador, where a co-op is being threatened by a Canadian mining company. Then we discover how St. Jerome’s University, Planet Bean, and Café Feminino in Peru have teamed up to move their relationship beyond producing, roasting, and buying coffee.  
Speakers: Jennifer Williams (Firefly Insights), Bill Barret (Planet Bean Coffee), Dr. Katherine Bergman (President and vice-chancellor of St. Jerome’s University)
Room: 1510
Fair Trade Campuses: The Power of Campaigns
This session looks at the updates and major accomplishments by Fair Trade Campus groups from across the country. Three workshops will be facilitated: 1) The Power of Campus Campaigns, a recap of Fair Trade Campus Week 2017 and a brainstorming session for future local and national fair trade campaigns; 2) Silver and Gold Fair Trade Campus applications, an overview of everything you need to know to apply; and 3) Fundraising, a look at the Fair Trade Advocacy Fund and National Funding Database. The last part of the session is an opportunity to network, find allies, and share resources.
Speakers: Torrye McKenzie (Canadian Fair Trade Network), Loïc de Fabritus (Association québécoise du commerce équitable), Mike Allan (Western University), Gabriela Warrior Renaud (Fairtrade Canada)
Room: 1520
Sustainable Public Procurement: Aligning Values, Mitigating Risks, and Shifting Markets
Local and federal government agencies, post-secondary institutions, and other public sector organizations are responsible for billions of dollars of spending annually in Canada. Within their deep and complex supply chains lies a host of sustainability risks and opportunities. In this session we hear from leaders in the public sector who are leading the charge in shifting long-term spending patterns. Learn about what drives sustainable procurement, the recent trends, and best practices. Hear about the increasing interest in social procurement, and also why we still need to close the gap on green procurement. Join an interactive discussion with panel members on how we can collectively raise the profile of sustainable procurement to drive a social and environmental innovation agenda, and add your voice to the planning process for a new national network of public procurement practitioners.
Speakers: Tim Reeve (Reeve Consulting), Vicky Wakefield (University of British Columbia), Mary Aylesworth (Simon Fraser University)
Room: 1415
Living Wage/Living Income: New Developments in Fairtrade
After decades of work to improve the lives of farmers and workers, big questions remain: Can these farmers and workers now make a better living? How much is a living wage for a factory worker in Bangladesh? What is a living income for coffee farmers in Peru? The Fairtrade International system has set ambitious goals to reach living wages and living income for many farmers and workers by 2020. This session unpacks how Fairtrade defines a decent livelihood and living wages, and tackles the hard questions around pricing.
Speakers: Julie Francoeur (Fairtrade Canada), Xiomara Paredes (CLAC: Fairtrade Producer Network for Latin America & Caribbean)
Room: 1425

Overseas Mining
Mining has been and continues to be a significant contributor to Canada’s economy, through both employment and export revenue. This vast national industry has local implications for communities and the environment. This session explores the impact of Canada’s mining companies and their overseas operations, specifically addressing community benefit agreements and how Canada’s federal government, as well as host country governments, could take a more active role to support the sector in improving responsible and sustainable practices.
Speakers: Andy Hira (Simon Fraser University), Nadja Kunz (Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia) Daniela Chimisso dos Santos (Principal Consultant at Invenient Solutions Consulting)
Room: 1415
Fair Trade Towns: Developing Strategies for Long-Term Engagement
This session looks at updates and major accomplishments by Fair Trade Town groups from across the country. Three workshops will be facilitated: 1) Engaging Your Local Business Sector, a look at promoting fair trade and your campaign; 2) Goal Setting and Strategic Planning to Ensure Results, a guide to establishing sustainable funding sources and reporting mechanisms; and 3) Building Relationships in Your Community, an overview of ways to grow your town’s commitment to fair trade, including a look at program designations, outreach to general public, working with local organizations, and going above your current commitments. The last part of the session is an opportunity to network, find allies, and share resources.
Speakers: Torrye McKenzie (Canadian Fair Trade Network), Loïc de Fabritus (Association québécoise du commerce équitable), Rita Steele (Fair Trade Vancouver)
Room: 1520
NAFTA Negotiations and Canada’s “Progressive” Trade Agenda
Can meaningful social and environmental standards and protections be inserted into trade agreements? The current federal government says it is committed to labour, environment, indigenous rights, and gender equality chapters for future trade agreements. What would these chapters look like and how effective will they be? This session features a panel to discuss the above and also touch on NAFTA negotiations, as well as the TPP, CETA, and other trade agreements.
Speakers: Gavin Fridell (Saint Mary’s University), Adam Sneyd (University of Guelph)
Room: 1425
Sports Balls
There are two main elements of a soccer ball: One is the inner bladder; the second is the outer cover, which comprises 32 hand-sewn panels. This session looks at what’s involved in manufacturing soccer balls, and other sports balls, and discusses how tough, tedious, and exacting this work can be. Learn about the various types of sports balls manufactured in Pakistan, and how fair trade benefits the people who make them.
Speakers: James Milligan (Volo Athletics), Ali Imran Shabbir (Ali Trading)
Room: 1510

Bull Frog Powered

Canada's 6th National Fair Trade Conference is bullfrogpowered with 100% green electricity.

This means that Bullfrog Power's generators put 100% green power onto the grid to match the amount of conventional electricity the event uses, displacing energy from higher impact sources. Across Canada, Bullfrog's green electricity comes from a blend of wind and certified low-impact hydro sourced from new Canadian renewable energy facilities. For more information on Bullfrog's green energy, visit

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