I am glad to present you Fair Trade Connection, a communication agency dedicated on planning and creating great visuals, videos and communication strategies targeting the fair trade organizations, fair trade producers and as in general the social business organisations and entrepreneurs too.
It was important for me to present you this great initiative launched in 2011 by Ronny. I was lucky last Thursday to schedule a Skype meeting with him.
How did you start Fair Trade Connection?
First of all, I always had a strong interest in Fair Trade. I have been working first as an intern at the Clean Clothes Campaign, an NGO advocating for the improvement of working conditions for women in the textile industry. Then, I have worked at Oxfam where I had the chance to coordinate the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) Global conference which took place in Belgium in 2007. This was a great opportunity for me to meet the various actors of the Fair Trade’s sector.
Thanks to this event, I had the chance to discuss on various issues and understand the challenges of the fair trade industry. As for the producer organizations, they wanted to find a way to sell more, selling more in terms of volume and at the same time they needed to find new buyers. On the other side, talking with the retailers, they needed to find a way to show the impact of « buying fair trade » in order to play a strong role as an advocacy’s player to the final customer.
So it came to me that a communication agency would be the best to create videos, contents, testimonies, visuals for both, the Fair Trade Organization and the Fair Trade Producers; which would respond to their needs and would allow me to travel too!
It took me a whole year, in 2010 to bring this idea into shape and start the implementation part.
At first, I was leading the organization alone and working together with friends at my learning’s stage for video filming and editing. Then, Diana joined Fair Trade Connection in 2015.
Since then, we have been traveling to more than 30 countries, organized many digital marketing workshops for the Fair trade producers and build up a strong database of 4500+ pictures and great videos!
What kind of challenges did you face so far?
At the beginning, it was hard to convince the Fair Organizations to work with us; but with time and showing them our work, we have finally succeeded for the first year to obtain 7 contracts with Oxfam in 6 different countries.
One of the challenges that we still face today is to convince the Fair Trade Producers about the importance of creating good visuals, consistency and regularity in their social medias and build an attractive website.
Fair Trade Connection’s team has traveled to more than 30 countries,
visited 50 different Fair Trade Organizations and producers.
Diana and Ronny have been taken more than 100,000 pictures !!
What are the current projects / plans for Fair Trade Connection?
Diana and I are currently developing an e-learning platform which will have both free and paid content focusing on digital marketing, visuals identity and storytelling targeting the Fair Trade Organizations (FTO – retailers) and Producers. We plan on launching this platform on November 2017, it will be called Fair Trade Academy.
Finish the sentence
We started Fair Trade Connection because we wanted to travel around the world, be our own boss while having a positive impact on the world.
Our typical day looks like…difficult to say that we have a typical day since we could be abroad for a day of shooting a video, taking photos, organizing a workshop or have a working day to develop partnerships and contacts for Fair Trade Connection.
We are inspired by the work that all the FTO do at the social level by lifting people out of poverty; We are also being inspired by their weaknesses, because this is where we can help them: like improving their communication strategy; so in that case it motivates us to bring our support.
We are happiest when a new customer finds us without us looking for him/her. We are also happiest whenever our work is being valued, when the quality of our content is convincing.
Our idea of success is to have an impact and receive an income at the same time.
To find their great pictures, videos and soon the Fair Trade Academy, visit the Fair Trade Connection’s website.
I would like to warmly thank Ronny for sharing his story, his great work and wishing Diana and Ronny the best for Fair Trade Connection!
Photos copyrights: Fair Trade Connection