This week marks the historic 15th anniversary of Fair Trade Egypt (FTE). Formerly called Egypt Crafts, FTE was born in 1998 through an initiative from NSCE (North South Consultant Exchange), a consultancy firm working in the field of sustainable development, and COSPE (Cooperzione per lo Sviluppo dei Paesi Emergenti), an Italian NGO working with the Italian Cooperation. Together, they decided to establish an equitable business model based on Fair Trade principles for the local artisans of Egypt.
Fair Trade Egypt developed independently from these projects to become Egypt’s first fair trade producer network and retailer. Since its inception, FTE sought to alleviate poverty in marginalised areas of Egypt. FTE’s mission is to empower local communities by offering disadvantaged artisans marketing and support services while promoting the application of fair trade principles such as a cultural, social and environmentally responsible business model.
Currently FTE supports over 30 groups of artisans. This translates into assistance for more than 2,600 individual artisans thorough out Egypt from Fayoum, Aswan, Qena, Assiut, Marsa Matrouh, Siwa, Sohag, North Sinai, Behera, Marsa Allam and Cairo.
In celebration of Fair Trade Egypt’s anniversary, FTE’s General Manager and Board Director of the World Fair Trade Organisation Ms. Mona El Sayed, organised an evening of festivities at their newly renovated showroom in Zamalek. A number of guests discussed and reflected on FTE’s achievements. Attendees also enjoyed an exclusive showing of a film narrating the processes by which artisans develop products from inception to purchase.
In 2013, Fair Trade Egypt with the cooperation with the German NGO, Global Partners Project, has been able to reach over 700 beneficiaries through development work in fields ranging from literacy workshops to medical convoys to equipment endorsement for artisans.’