Camino at BioFach and the Canadian Fair Trade Conference


Camino’s Shannon and Martin were in Germany this February to check out what’s new and exciting in the world of organic products.

BioFach is the world’s leading trade fair for organic food. It’s held every year in Nuremberg. It’s a rare opportunity to meet many of our global partners and suppliers in the same spot –and we did.

Pictured: Left – Laura Bechard, Chocolate Supply Chain Coordinator at Equal Exchange (Camino’s sister co-operative), meets with Santiago Paz, Manager at Norandino co-operative and Cesar Paz,  Norandino’s European representative; Right – Peru’s booth promotes the country’s superfoods.

We came back energized and inspired to continue sharing our organic and fair trade goodies with Canadians.

Our thanks go out to the Canadian Organic Trade Association (COTA) for covering a portion of the cost of attending.

The Canadian Fair Trade Conference

March 1 to 4 marked the 6th edition of the Canadian Fair Trade Conference, held in Vancouver, BC. The conference welcomed delegates from all Canadian provinces, plus guests and speakers from the US, Mexico, El Salvador, Paraguay, and Pakistan.

This year’s conference stood out for how well it appealed to both fair trade veterans and those newer to Fairtrade. Sessions like “Fairtrade 101” allowed new attendees to get a foothold on the basics, while other sessions went much deeper or featured heated debates.

Pictured: Left –  A panel on Supply Chain Transparency featuring suppliers and producers; Middle – Stephanie Tissot from Lush Cosmetics shows Andres Gonzalez, General Manager of Manduvirá Co-op (a long time Camino producer partner), all the Lush products that are made using Manduvirá sugar during a visit to one of Lush’s downtown Vancouver stores; Right – Tom, a manager at Camino, and his wife pose in costume at the Canadian Fairtrade Awards;  Below – Students from Oxfam-Québec’s Magasin du Monde program chat at one of many conference sessions. Credit: Canadian Fairtrade Network

“It was a truly humbling experience to be surrounded by like-minded people who are all so passionate about Fairtrade and trying to make a difference in their own special ways. It was particularly inspiring to see all the engaged youth present at this conference,” said Shannon Devine, Camino’s Sales Manager for fundraising, foodservice and direct accounts.

It was particularly exciting to meet so many high school and CEGEP students from the Magasins du Monde program. The program, run by Oxfam-Québec, helps youth to get familiar with entrepreneurship by running a shop in their schools that exclusively sells fair trade products. Camino is one of their primary suppliers.

Another interesting conference feature: a tour of a local Lush Cosmetics store with the General Manager of Camino’s long-time producer partner Manduvirá.
A recap report from the conference’s organizer the Canadian Fair Trade Network, is available here:

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