Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in comments
Search in excerpt
Search in posts
Search in pages
Search in groups
Search in users
Search in forums
Filter by Categories
Education and Research
General Assembly
Open Call
Public policies
Public Policies
State of the Art
Ripess Europe Members participation in the WSFTE 2020
June 23, 2020

1. How is the Virtual WSFTE programme organised?

The basic scheme is the following: articulation between the convergence meetings that take place every day between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm and the proposals of activities brought by the participants that can take place before, after, or at the same time as the convergence programme.

The time structure around the consensus: every day from 3pm to 6pm.

25 June: welcome ceremony

26-27 June: Meeting of Convergences

28-29 June: Setting the agenda for the FSMET

30 June: How to continue the forum’s journey

1 July: Closing

See program on forum.transformadora.org

The activities proposed by the members :

See the program of activities already registered on the platform here

For the activities that can take place before, after or in parallel with the convergence meetings anyone is free to set the date and time …

  1. Our Proposals for Activities :

Each proposal must be integrated on the Platform for that it is necessary to create a personal account, to be attached to an organization (e.g. MES). then to record the activity: for that it is necessary to choose a date and a time slot thus it is necessary to propose as soon as possible dates and schedules, to give a title, to write a small description, and especially to indicate the URL link to join the activity.

To create the video-conference spaces you can use: https://meet.transformadora.org, (https://bigbluebutton.org) or Zoom.

For multilingual conferences, it is up to the activity leader to find his solutions, the easiest way is to find people who agree to translate the debates on pads: one pad in French, one in English and one in Spanish for example, it is necessary to self-organize for the translations in the activities.

Last point: think for each activity to be extracted at the end of the activity what can be poured into the convergence pot. Finally, if you need more information about the platform write to hola@transformadora.org.

Let’s meet on one of RIPESS Europe and/or its members activites

Friday June 26 from 3pm to 9:30 pm: Space of transformative confluences

Thematic confluence  : Food sovereignty/new forms of cooperation between urban and rural territories

Language: French, Spanish
Day and time : June 26 10 am to 12h
Proponent Organization : Mouvement pour l’Économie Solidaire Occitanie
Facilitation : Bérénice Dondeyne/Cédric Dupas MES Occitanie
Link : https://zoom.us/j/9346923062

Confluence of Occitania : Transformative Economies in Occitania
Language : French/English
Day and time : June 26 – 13h – 15h
Proponent Organization : Mouvement pour l’Economie Solidaire Occitanie
Link : https://zoom.us/j/91152727010

Confluence of France : To act in favour of transformative economies in France. Towards a convergence of the transition actors towards the WSFTE
Langue : Français
Day and time : June 26 – 15h to 17h
Proponent Organization : Mouvement pour l’Economie Solidaire France
Link : https://zoom.us/j/93570096477

Confluence of Europe : Which cooperation between European networks to defend transformative economies in Europe ?
Language : French, English, Spanish
Day and time : June 26 from 17h to 19h
Proponent Organization : RIPESS Europe
Link : https://zoom.us/j/99676507692

Friday June 26 from 10 am to noon Food sovereignty: new forms of cooperation between rural and urban territories

Link : https://zoom.us/j/93469230624  

Contact (Email): cedricdupas.adepes@gmail.com

  • Actif-Cedis/Thomas Couderette), Vrac /Cathy Mazoyer-Bongess), Riposte Creative /Andrea Caro Gomez, Stephane LInou y Catherine Haribeaute CROSI (à confirmer)
  • Judith HItchmann, URGENCI,
  • l’Ajuntament de Barcelona/ Departement POlitiques sociales et souverainté alimentaire urbaine Xavier Rubio Cano,
  • Patrick PIGNARD, Vice President au Conseil Départemental de Haute-Garonne et Marie Polge-Meunier, Conseiller Régionale déléguée à l’ESS/ la Région Occitanie (à confirmer)

Language(s) : French Spanish

Proponent Organizations: Mouvement pour l’Economie Solidaire Occitanie

Friday June 26 de 13:30 è 15:30 : Cooperative federated open technologies for systemic change

Link to the online meeting : https://meet.transformadora.org/webconf/federated-open-technologies

More than ever today there is a strong need of FLOSS (Free-Libre Open Source Software) technologies, cooperative platforms and their implementation to promote transformative economy projects. Collaborative tools run by collectives (possibly in cooperative form or as cooperative platforms) and supported by the different forms of commoning and solidarity economy.

There will be short presentations of the different initiatives that have been interacting in the last months and then a discussion for a more “political” proposal to be included in the “agenda” of transformative economies that we are going to try and build as a result of this virtual forum meeting and in the next months, towards a second meeting of the WSFTE, “blended” (in Barcelona and online) in October.

Contact (Email): info@ripess.eu

Langues: Spanish, English, French

Proponent Organizations: RIPESS EU – Solidarity Economy Europe

Saturday June 27 de 12:00 à 13:30 : Build up social and solidarity economy in Central and Eastern Europe

This workshop will discuss about tranformative economies In the context of Central Eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Austria). A strategic collaboration of SSE actors has been set up aiming to disseminate Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) practices and activities, providing relevant knowledge, skills and competences – supported by an Erasmus+ project.

BUSSE is developing an innovative 4-module training program and is a basis for further networking and cooperation in the region.

Sunday 28 June from 2.30 to 4.30 p.m. CESTExchange of approaches and tools on SSE education for transformation

  • Claudia Alvarez de La Campaña por un Curriculum Global para la Economía Social y Solidaria ;
  • José Guadalupe Armenta Martínez from RIPESS LAC who will talk about the “characteristics of a model of transformative education (MET)”.
  • Denison Jayasooria, coordinator of the Asian Solidarity Economy Coalition- ASEC who will present the SSE Academy based on local experiences in 5 Asian countries;
  • Josette Combes from RIPESS Europe will talk about the training of trainers in the framework of an Erasmus+ project in 7 European countries.
  • Françoise Wautiez, in charge of socioeco.org, a site of documentary resources on SSE in 5 languages, will present the mapping on pedagogical tools.


In each continent, education and training is promoted to disseminate SSE, transformative economies and their values. And in each continent this is done with a great diversity of realities and approaches. The workshop wishes:

  • to make known the way in which education and training in SSE is approached in each continent (main objectives and actions)
  • exchange visions, methodologies and tools among continental leaders to strengthen the alliance between SSE education stakeholders
  • and add new strengths and tools (within the framework of RIPESS and in relation to all those who wish to participate in this project) launch proposals to the WSFTE, focus on the challenges and see how we will continue in the future

Translation of the workshop will be provided in English, French and Spanish.

To attend the workshop, log on on June 28th at 14:30 CEST on

Sunday 28 June from 17.00 : Eco-feminism and food sovereignty


Link to the online meeting (URL)

Monday 29 June from 10.30am to 12 noon: Public measures to support the organisation of SSE: Sharing experiences from the case of France

Language : French, English
Proponent organizations : Mouvement pour l’Economie Solidaire France
Link to online activity : https://zoom.us/j/96184957135

Monday June 29 juin from 10 to 11 am: Transformative Economies Lab

Transformative Economies Lab is a collaborative investigation exploring, mapping, and articulating a practical, sustainable, equitable economy as it unfolds around the globe. The aim of the lab is to use an existing platform which provides a comprehensive picture of the projects, ideas, movements and networks offering viable alternatives to the mainstream market-bases economic system, and to present this as a compelling case for wider coordination and support by all stakeholders. Methodology and expected results:

Resulting data will be used to create infographic and graph-based visualizations for distribution under Creative Commons license. Names of individual respondents are not included in published materials, and data will not be presented as an official position of the organisation in question and will be treated according to the current privacy laws. Responses may be adapted and integrated with parallel research for consistency during analysis. Contact (Email):

Contact : cedricdupas.adepes@gmail.com

Language: French, English, Spanish

Proponent Organizations: RIPESS EU – Solidarity Economy EuropeMouvement pour l’Economie Solidaire Occitanie

Monday June 29 from 11 am to 12.30 pm: Cultural rights, Human rights, what approach to progress?

Language : French
Proponent organizations : Union Fédérale d’Intervention des Structures Culturelles / Mouvement pour l’économie solidaire France
Link : https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88075626642

More information

Monday June 29 from 4pm to 6pm : Our transformative practices: social impact, social audit, social utility, methodologies of systemic transformation?

Link to the online meeting https://zoom.us/j/99467754275

The idea is to continue an international collective work, sharing social impact practices, academic work and public policy advocacy. The objective is to place this work on a long-term basis by debating the concept of indicators and the issues of appropriation by civil society.

Ana Sánchez – La Auditoría Social de REAS RdR
Ruben Suriñach Padilla – El Balance Social de la XES
Olivia Mailfert -APES Haut de France VISES
Bérénice Dondeyne -MES Occitanie Evalumip
Gabriel Salathieu – TIESS (Quebec)
Bruno Lasnier MES France
Jason Nardi, RIPESS Europe

Languages: French, Spanish, English

Proponent Organizations: RIPESS EU – Solidarity Economy EuropeXES ( Xarxa d’Economia Solidària )REAS Red de Redes de Economía Alternativa y SolidariaMouvement pour l’Economie Solidaire OccitanieMES – Mouvement pour l’économie solidaire


Link to the online meeting : www.fairtrade-advocacy.org

The climate change and COVID-19 crises show us that conventional global value chains have negative impacts on people and planet and that excessive reliance on global value chains can be a risk. Calls are being made to switch to a local economy. Yet, what would a total localisation of trade mean in terms of global social justice? Should short supply chains be measured in terms of distance? what about Fair Trade initiatives, South-North, but also North-North or South-South? How can we ensure that the ecological transition does not come at the expense of international solidarity and equity?
TO REGISTER CLICK HERE https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_v4h3e_nGRU2b7nihoYxI1g

The on-line event will be a facilitated panel discussion with the following panelists> Vandana Shiva,Rachmi Hertanti, Yasmin Romero Epiayu (Wayuu, Colombia), Rain Morgan (South Africa), Stuart Trew (Canada), Charles Snoeck (Be), Mute Schimpf, Yorgos Altintzis

Contact : brussels@fairtrade-advocacy.org

Langues: Spanish, English

Proponent Organizations: Fair Trade Advocacy OfficeRIPESS Intercontinental

Monday June 29 from 6 to 8 pm: Migrations between Africa and Europe, economic citizenship and human rights

Languages : French English
Proponent organization : Mouvement pour l’Economie Solidaire Occitanie
Link : https://zoom.us/j/92348991305

Tuesday June 30 from 10am to 12 : Rural territories and youth: let’s shake up culture !

Link : https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81842491720

Rural territories are breeding grounds for experimentation where a multitude of initiatives are being deployed. Strengthening the capacities of these territories means betting on their living forces and in particular on the cultural challenge and on young adults, citizens of today and tomorrow! Mobility, access to public services, career paths, representations of rurality, life projections are all subjects to be questioned. Numerous artistic, cultural and associative initiatives in France and in Europe, which are still too discreet, have a variety of approaches that allow us to rethink how we live in a territory, the relationships between people, and the support of young adults’ initiatives. In a logic of cooperation, network, solidarity and mutualisation, come and share your initiatives in rural areas in Europe!
The UFISC is carrying the European project AJITeR “Encouraging the reception of young adults and their initiatives in rural areas”.

Languages: French, English

Proponent Organizations: Union Fédérale d’Intervention des Structures CulturellesMES – Mouvement pour l’économie solidaire

Tuesday June 30 from 1pm to 3 : From social business to solidarity economy by Jean-Louis Laville, Maïté Juan and Joan Subirats

Link to the online meeting : https://zoom.us/j/92554416628

Conference by Jean-Louis Laville, Maïté Juan and Joan Subirats who present their book “From social business to solidarity economy, a critique of social innovation”.
This book offers an unprecedented assessment of social business (America, Asia, Europe) which has taken off in different continents while the effects of its achievements remain difficult to identify. Moving away from the dominant discourse, it also highlights the many citizen innovations that tackle structural problems affecting people’s daily lives. In these dynamics of ordinary politicization, the inhabitants are regaining the power to act.

Contact : cedricdupas.adepes@gmail.com

Language(s): French

Proponent Organizations: MES – Mouvement pour l’économie solidaire Mouvement pour l’Economie Solidaire Occitanie RIPESS EU – Solidarity Economy Europe

Tuesday June 30 juin from 2pm to 4 : Intermapping

Language : French/English
Organisator : IN COMMON
Link: https://talk.incommon.cc/t/fsmet-intermapping/780

Wednesday July 1 from noon to 2 pm : Solidarity Economy, Economic Democracy and Degrowth

Link to the online meeting: https://meet.transformadora.org/sse-degrowth

The workshop focuses on the contribution of solidarity economy (SSE) to a degrowth perspective. What are strategies for solidarity economy as an approach to economic democracy and how can linkages between various actors be strenghtened? The workshop aims at fostering a process of
strategic reflection taking into account practical international experiences from SSE as well as COVID-19 related challenges, and asks: “What are elements of a theory of change towards a degrowth solidarity economy?”

This workshop follows a similar one that took place during the Degrowth 2020 online conference. The goal of the workshop is to collect experiences with and ideas for strategies to foster solidarity economy on the international level, especially regarding South-North relations.
These strategies should converge towards a mid-range “theory of change”

Contact :info@ripess.eu

Language(s) : Spanish, English

Proponent Organizations: RIPESS EU – Solidarity Economy Europe


A conversation round table on Solidarity Economy in times of Covid-19 with reports of experience from the Portuguese Solidarity Economy Network (RedPES) and the Horta Consumption Group in the City, Casa da Esquina, followed by brief comments from the CES Study Group on Solidarity Economy (ECOSOL-CES) and colleagues from initiatives/enterprises/collectives who are present. This is a conversation that intends to reflect on the place of Solidarity Economy in daily provision and its contributions to a new post-Pandemic economic imaginary.

Link:   https://www.redpes.pt/fsmet/

Contact:   lucianelucas@ces.uc.pt

Language : Portuguese

Proponent organization: RedPES

Wednesday July 1 from noon to 2 pm Solidarity Economy, Economic Democracy and Degrowth

Link to the online meeting : https://meet.transformadora.org/sse-degrowth

The workshop focuses on the contribution of solidarity economy (SSE) to a degrowth perspective.What are strategies for solidarity economy as an approach to economic democracy and how can linkages between various actors be strenghtened? The workshop aims at fostering a process of
strategic reflection taking into account practical international experiences from SSE as well as COVID-19 related challenges, and asks: “What are elements of a theory of change towards adegrowth solidarity economy?”

This workshop follows a similar one that took place during the Degrowth 2020 online conference. The goal of the workshop is to collect experiences with and ideas for strategies to foster solidarity economy on the international level, especially regarding South-North relations.
These strategies should converge towards a mid-range “theory of change”

Contact (Email): info@ripess.eu

Language(s) : Spanish, Englsih

Proponent Organizations: RIPESS EU – Solidarity Economy Europe

A Potato Revolt begins in Sweden in response to covid-19

On 11th April 2020 a handful of local citizens in the north Swedish town of Söderhamn marched to the city hall demanding action on food production in light of the Covid-19 crisis. Their actions have sparked similar protests around Sweden, reminiscent of the Potato Revolt of 103 years ago. At the end of World War One, some two hundred women from Söderhamn started a nationwide food uprising on 11 April 1917, due to widespread hunger in Sweden.

In Söderhamn, local NGO Närjord, which is part of Southern Norrland Transition Centre, delivered a list of 22 demands to the local municipality (see below). And while the Potato Revolt of 1917 saw mass gatherings by 1st May that year, the current Revolt found other, socially-distanced ways of demonstrating this 1st May, with flash mobs across the country placing buckets of potatoes and posters urging revolt. Images of community groups planting potatoes together and protest buckets in Malmö, Gothenburg, Molkom and in front of the parliament in Stockholm were shared on social media. And Sävarådalen’s Garden Club near Umeå distributed Potato Revolt buckets to 10 villages to spread the concept.

People continue to post Potato Revolt photos and more local community groups are taking action locally by planting potatoes together, asking for access to public lands and involving more residents in joint food security efforts.

The list of 22 demands presented to Söderhamn municipality on 11th April to be implemented in May-June 2020 are:

1. The immediate establishment of municipal food safety crisis groups.
2. The provision of emergency funds to finance increased self-sufficiency including long-term sustainable food production.
3. Seeds and seeds are immediately purchased on a large scale
4. That the fertilizer supply is secured
5. That other necessary input goods are secured
6. That existing food producers are supported by all available means
7. That all available land is immediately inventoried and made usable
8. That all greenhouses produce edible crops in 2020
9. That a large number of smaller greenhouses are bought and loaned to citizens in civil society who can produce food for several people.
10. That the municipality starts urban cultivation in possible places
11. That “starter packages” for cultivation on balconies and similar places are offered
12. To offer intensive courses in the cultivation of different crops
13. To offer intensive courses in agricultural jobs
14. To regularly blog with tips shared actively on social media
15. To collaborate with local producers, wholesalers, distributors to secure the food chain
16. To immediately contact the Employment Service for emergency work
17. To immediately investigate the possibilities for stock keeping and processing
18. To immediately examine distribution channels, cooling chains, etc.
19. To coordinate opportunities to harvest more in the forest (herbs, berries, mushrooms, etc.)
20. To cooperate with the hunter clubs in the municipality for the autumn hunt
21. To explore other possibilities for alternative food production
22. Immediately start your own seed production of necessary vegetable crops

NGO Närjord also urged people in Söderhamn to write to the municipality about their concern for food security, demanding the municipality to fulfil its legal obligation to have a food security contingency capacity.

Anders Persson of Närjord had calculated that every inhabitant needs some 150 kg of potatoes annually and at an average price of 20 SEK/kg anyone in Söderhamn concerned about the food situation could purchase a local and organic “potato share” for 3000 kronor or roughly 300 EUR which Närjord would cultivate and deliver after the autumn potato harvest.

Article of Transition Sweden, may 2020

What if the coronavirus helps spread the solidarity economy?
Diego Moratti, RIES

Article of Valori.it, (in Italian) 25/4/2020

Diego Moratti (Solidarity Economy Network): the lockdown imposed a rethinking of habits. Many are approaching the world of critical consumerism. An opportunity to be exploited
By Corrado Fontana

With a coronavirus pandemic still in progress, we try to pick up the signs for a positive outcome. And the world of the solidarity economy, that of gruppi d’acquisto (GAS) and the short supply chain, relations between critical consumers and small producers, healthy food and the right price, is discovering a pleasant truth: it has so far responded well to the difficulties. And that’s not all. The solidarity-based economy has strengthened the certainty that certain well-established good practices can be successful on the model of intensive agriculture. What’s more, thanks to lockdown restrictions, the number of consumers interested in “alternative” purchasing styles is growing.
“Many daily habits have changed obligatorily due to the virus, with the consequent potential to root – or start from scratch – the affirmation of more sustainable practices” confirms Diego Moratti, member of the national board of the newly founded Italian Solidarity Economy Network (its birth as RIES was made official just before the outbreak of the epidemic). “Such practices, if integrated and added together, can affect and bring about effective social and economic change”.

Could this crisis therefore become a watershed?

This is exactly what emerged at the founding moment of the new RIES on Wednesday 22 March 2020. We asked more than 70 representatives from all over Italy: there was a strong convergence on the value of the historical opportunity we are facing.

What contribution can the realities of the solidarity economy concretely provide to relaunch the agricultural sector after the coronavirus crisis?
“We have activated relations with other networks of producers and with actors involved in the defence of peasant agriculture in the direction of agro-ecology: the first objective was to propose to the most sensitive members of Parliament the possible recognition of our systems of production and distribution of quality food in government decrees gradually issued. The second objective is now to seek unified lines of intervention for the post-virus within a medium-long period of economic crisis, the most serious in the last 100 years (i.e. since ’29)”.

What role does the solidarity economy play in the sustainable production of food, in the transition to organic agriculture, in the processes of social inclusion?

“The realities of the solidarity economy are mainly aimed at an “internal” market and a “conscious” demand, which knows the producers and chooses them for a series of reasons (not so much for an alleged convenience or supermarket convenience). For these reasons (environmental sustainability, social inclusion, cooperative forms) the consumer decides to be “solidarity” with the producer.

This pivotal concept, even in times of economic crisis, can allow for the “holding” of support for that part of sustainable agriculture – organic, social inclusion – that leverages on our GAS, small producers’ markets and similar practices. Provided that these activities are allowed in legal and security terms in the various emergency decrees”.

The civil economy has flexibility and resilience. In this crisis, have RIES and GAS confirmed similar characteristics?

“A long-distance meeting organized by RIES at the end of March with about a hundred participants, mostly “GAS experts”, revealed “creative” responses from local chains of production and distribution of genuine food with respect to the regulations contained in government decrees. The latter have placed constraints on our relationship systems, to the benefit of large-scale distribution. We have made the most of these experiences, providing those in difficulty with a series of materials to facilitate the recognition, even formal, by mayors and prefects of the activities of the GAS or small producers who have proposed to make home deliveries.
After an initial setback, many purchasing groups got back on track by reinventing ways of sourcing products, storing them and delivering them to families. For example, condominium GAS have been proposed and new spaces for sorting goods designed to maintain social distancing.

Other realities have developed platforms for online or telephone orders or have joined the social aid circuits of the various municipalities, information and delivery of local civil protection or groups of volunteers born for the emergency. In other words, resilience and flexibility are typical qualities of these alternative supply circuits”.

Will you also succeed in inducing a rethinking of the current agricultural model in a more sustainable sense?

“All the subjects of the Italian Solidarity Economy Network – the GAS, Fair trade and ethical finance organisations – are aware that the considerable changes in people’s habits, even if forced, give an exceptional opportunity to reflect on how much our consumption, including food consumption, impacts on agriculture, the environment and the economy in general.

We are certain that the model of the solidarity-based economy responds to many critical issues that the system of agro-industrialism and the depersonalisation of economic relations has brought to extremes. In particular, I am thinking of environmental sustainability and pollution. The crisis caused by the pandemic, therefore, can be used to spread our good practices. Provided that they can be grasped and recognized by citizens and institutions as a better and preferable model, alternative and concretely activated”.

Bringing relief and resilience to producers: 3.1M EUR in Funding Announced by Fairtrade International

Article from Fair Trade International, May 2020

On World Fair Trade Day, Fairtrade International announces the launch of a “Fairtrade Producer Relief Fund” and establishment of a “Fairtrade Producer Resilience Fund” in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The two funding mechanisms, with initial investments of €3.1 million, are intended to meet immediate needs of farmers, workers and their communities, while also establishing a foundation for longer-term economic recovery efforts.

Darío Soto Abril, CEO of Fairtrade International, said, “As a system, Fairtrade works every day to change trade so that farmers and workers can earn decent livelihoods. In times of crisis, we must do even more to ensure the health, safety, and future of those who work so hard to supply us with the products we love. We realize these funds aren’t enough to meet all the needs of every producer affected by the pandemic, which is why we’re committed to continuing to look for additional funding sources within the system, as well as with partners.”

The Fairtrade Producer Relief Fund initially makes €2.1 million available to Fairtrade certified producer organizations for urgently needed investment in safety and livelihoods. Relief initiatives could include purchase of masks and basic protective and medical equipment, temporary payment of wages for suspended workers, setting up local food security initiatives, raising awareness of safety precautions, building emergency medical facilities, and business continuity costs, among others. The fund has been established through contributions by national Fairtrade organizations.

“Producer organizations quickly mobilized themselves to support their members and communities, like coffee producers in Colombia distributing food and hygiene packages to the elderly in their community, Brazilians helping to sanitize their cities, or Belizeans delivering masks. This has been the case in most of the producer organizations around the world. Having this additional financial support will make a significant difference in the level of relief that can be provided to some of the communities that are in the most need of assistance,” said Xiomara Parades, Executive Director of CLAC, the Fairtrade Producer Network in Latin America and the Caribbean.

While the Relief Fund targets immediate needs, it is clear that the pandemic will also have an extreme effect on global supply chains and trade worldwide, often with the impact only to be felt in the next planting/harvest season. The Fairtrade Producer Resilience Fund, currently funded at €1,000,000 by members of the Fairtrade system, is being established to meet the longer-term needs of producers as they begin to look at life after COVID-19.

The Fairtrade Producer Resilience Fund is intended to support longer-term economic interventions, such as business restoration, technology-based capacity building, addressing human rights risks in value chains through programmatic interventions, support for strengthening finances to tackle future risks, and advocacy, as a few examples.

“In addition asking our national organizations to contribute funds, we are looking for partners to help us grow this forward-looking fund to ensure that, as farmers and workers start to recover from the effects of COVID-19, they are able to secure their livelihoods, while building resilience in supply chains,” said Soto Abril.

Fairtrade invites contributions to the Producer Resilience Fund from retailers, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and government agencies. The monies from both the Fairtrade Producer Relief Fund and Fairtrade Producer Resilience Funds will be allocated proportionally to the three regional Fairtrade Producer Networks. The Producer Networks will, in turn, administer and manage the distribution, monitoring, and impact of the funds to Fairtrade certified producer organizations on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis.

“The crisis won’t end when COVID-19 stops spreading. We’re already seeing a global economic crisis looming,” said Nyagoy Nyong’o, Executive Director of Fairtrade Africa, the producer network covering Africa and the Middle East. “Farmers and workers are resilient and creative. This additional fund will enable them to identify opportunities or alternative business models, as well as continuing to invest in the future of their communities.”


For further information, please contact:
Johnna Phillips, Director of External Re
lations, press[at]fairtrade.net

Confronted with Covid-19, the Solidarity Economy is mobilising

Our April newsletter will be entirely devoted to the Coronavirus crisis. This is not to be redundant on what the media are reporting on: the number of people infected, the number of deaths, the state of the stocks of masks and respirators, etc. All information undoubtedly useful but whose effect on the population is anxiety-provoking. In this newsletter we have chosen to collect the initiatives that are emerging in European countries and in the world to face in solidarity the difficulties generated in daily life. Some initiatives come from public authorities, such as the European answer here. We are also publishing texts for reflection on the post-epidemic period in order to drastically renew the economic model that many of us consider unsuitable for the advent of a society compatible with the well-being of humanity.

This period places under the microscope the negligence of a system that endangers the lives of the most fragile people and places the burden of the crisis on the shoulders of personnel exposed without protection, and subjected to a lack of means and a pace of work that is incompatible with the serenity required in dealing with the sick and bereaved families. It is a glaring example of the inequalities resulting from the unfairness of the rewards allocated to those who contribute to the smooth running of a society and the neglect of a system that considers those who do not have access to jobs to be useless by putting them both at risk of death.

In spite of and thanks to the containment measures, civil society is showing its creativity to compensate for the disorder caused by the deregulation of economic organizations. In this issue, we will therefore find an anthology of initiatives, links and cooperation to save local producers who can no longer sell their products in the familiar channels, dressmakers who are transferring their activity to the production of masks and protective clothing, improvised canteens to help those who would otherwise die, accommodation for those who are “confined outside”, and so on. Finally, the civil society that was previously mobilized to bring about the economies of transition is organizing itself to prepare for the post-Covid 19 period so that we do not go back to the deadly direction of the “business as usual” of the rentier economy and the absurdities of producing useless objects that waste resources and energy. Many are joining together to publish their demands. Others are organizing online debates to gather imaginations and knowledge. Can we hope that this unexpected slowdown will lead to a deeper reflection on the essential needs, among which cooperation and solidarity are currently making a dazzling demonstration of their merits?

RIPESS is participating in these clarifications, these perspectives so that tomorrow will not resemble in any way what has prevailed in recent decades. And if for the moment the date of the World Social Forum on Transformative Economies in June is cancelled, we are thinking about how to continue the collaborations begun during the preparation period and we will inform you of the follow-up that will be given to them.

Let us stay together and vigilant.

Link page Solidarity and pandemic crisis

By Josette Combes

Let’s stand together
March 24, 2020

For more texts, messages and articles about alternative solutions to the Covid-19 crisis, please visit our page :

Dear all,

These are very problematic times. The Covid 19 crisis has created a totally new situation: a threat of pandemic that everyone, after possibly doubting its reality, is forced to take seriously. Epidemiological issues are not new (HIV, mad cow disease, SARS, Ebola, Zika, H1N1), not to mention the major pandemics such as cholera, smallpox and tuberculosis, which killed several million people before medicine found the means to treat and immunize populations. What is undoubtedly changing is the realisation that our lifestyles are in essence vectors of pandemics and first and foremost the flow of people and goods. But this has to be linked to the possible failures of health systems that are highly dependent on components manufactured abroad but above all very weakened in their organisations by the attacks on public systems due to the ideology of “cost cutting”.

It would be indecent to welcome a demonstration to the advantage of what we have been advocating for a very long time, namely the relocation of survival economies: food, health, energy, education. Yet this crisis calls into question globalized systems while endangering local structures that were resisting the hegemony of the major groups. The logics are questionable to say the least: resorting to mass distribution for supplies and banning local shops when the latter are better able to regulate access by imposing a limited number of people at the same time. The result is likely to be catastrophic: small producers, bookshops, performing arts venues, small rural or neighbourhood cinemas, self-employed workers, etc., to the benefit, alas, of mass distribution which benefit fully from the confinement of consumers. 

In the face of this situation, solidarity is the essential response. Almost everywhere, people are organizing to save what can be saved: solidarity grocery stores, group purchases, conversion of stocks in deserted restaurants to make solidarity meals, support for caregivers, platforms for listening to isolated people, etc.

We have the privilege at RIPESS to work a lot by teleworking and we are preparing an April newsletter that we would like to concoct in connection with our members. We are asking you to let us know what measures you are taking to implement this solidarity, which is the revitalizing glue that binds human beings together.

Take care of yourself and others. Let’s be humanly responsible for a rapid end to this epidemic and we all know that we will then resume our work of advocacy and implementation for a solidarity economy that respects humans and the planet.

And we cannot conclude without paying tribute to all those who are on the front lines to care for, feed and accompany their fellow men and women in this dangerous adventure. May they be warmly thanked here. 

By Josette Combes

The future of Europe beyond green growth

The Corona virus crisis is dominating all the news and indeed the daily lives of many people are being constrained as governments impose strict measures to slow down and prevent a pandemic contagion.  People are forced to rethink about many things, including resorting to local consumption and production, reorganising mobility, distance / online work, reducing social and public interaction, etc.  This has some positive effects, if communities don’t close themselves and Europe doesn’t become even more a “fortress”, violently rejecting refugees and migrants (as is happening now on the boarders between Greece and Turkey).  Of course this does not mean undermining the pandemic threat – which by the way was not brought here in Europe by “migrants” but by international travelers.  Emissions have been reduced more in the last 2 months than in planned longer periods – so it is possible to actually implement climate friendly policies rapidly, if we really want it. The recent Green Deal by the European Commission seems to be going somewhat in that direction… but is it really?

The European Green Deal was launched by the European Commission at the end of last year and it became a hot topic for debate and reflection in SSE activists circles. It sounds like a gigantic plan for the urgently needed step forwards on the path to become carbon neutral continent by 2050. The main areas of the €260-300 billion per year investments are: energy and climate change, circular economy for industry, building and construction, mobility and transport, biodiversity, food and pollution-free environment. There are few new, unexpected, fresh, promising, approaches and concepts. At least fresh and promising for strategic documents by the EC. The use of terms such as “just transition”, from “farm to fork”, a praise for “biodiversity and nature” (well, very not fresh in the name of “natural capital”), or citizens involvement and protection catch your eyes.

However, when you dive more deep into the document, you realise that the whole plan is still addicted to the growth paradigm and is more of an allusion that there is a need for little bit of green and little bit of money in the current system to become more just and sustainable. In RIPESS and other SSE oriented movements, we continuously push and work for a paradigm shift that will transform our economy and democracy deficit system
So while a “greener” Europe may benefit the issue of climate change or environmental pollution and go in the right direction, there is still a lot to do for a really just and ecological transition to take place.

The European Green Deal is here to stay and we will have to address it in the next several years. Some time ago, not so far from now, it would have been a science fiction idea or wishful thinking to have even the rhetoric shift in the core institutions. After a long term and dedicated work of many activists, workers and promoters of just, fair, solidarity and sustainable concepts we have some part of it in this Green Deal. It is not enough and it not good enough nor solidarity based. So, we have to continue with our advocacy and daily based practical SSE living so that in the next years this kind of framework policy document will include more important concepts, practices and systemic change focus such as: solidarity based economy, deep democracy and participatory decision making, nature rights and ecological footprint tax policies, workers protection and commons enhancing…  RIPESS will do it, so join us!
We’d like to open a debate on this members and other networks and organisations who are working to change the economic system (and are looking forward to participate in the World Social Forum of Transformative Economies) – please read the article in this newsletter and react, send your comments and proposals!

By Drazen Simlesa & Jason Nardi from RIPESS Europe Coordination Committee

Extended Open Call for the Transformative Cities Award 2020

EXTENDED DEADLINE: 14th June at 11:59pm CET (GMT+1)

Since 2017, the Transformative Cities initiative has been celebrating collectives around the world that have transformed their community in systematic ways with the Transformative Cities People’s Choice Award.
 The winners of last year have become a global source of inspiration

  • The Our Water Our Rights campaign successfully resisted water privatization in Lagos, Nigeria.
  • In Spain, Barcelona Energia lit up people’s houses with renewable energy and stood up against corporate power.
  • In Mexico, Cooperación Comunitaria A.C. worked with the community’s traditional techniques and rebuilt their homes after an earthquake destroyed them.
  • In Kenya, the Dajopen Waste Management Project turned waste into valuable nutrients that regenerated the soil. 

 Today, begins the recruitment for new inspiring examples of transformation in 2020: an open call to find those who are the local leaders of global change. 
Maybe it’s your collective! Apply here for the Transformative Cities Peoples Choice Award 2020. Or maybe you know other collectives that should be introduced to this opportunity. Please share with them this Open Call. 

Three key stories for each category will be chosen by expert evaluators in different fields. These 12 stories will receive widespread promotion, as they want to share the most inspiring initiators with as wide a public as possible.   As a finalist of the 2020 edition your story will be included in the Atlas of Utopias 2020, which this year will feature all finalists from all the three editions so far. An inspiring mosaic of real transformative utopias

 Their goal is not to create competition between different political practices, but rather to put a spotlight on transformative practices and encourage their spread internationally

Ready, set, apply and share!

Erasmus + BUSSE project & Forum on Food Sovereignty (Poland)
BUSSE - Building up SSE

Elena Tzamouranou, who works at Dock, Greek member of RIPESS Europe, relates:

“A few days ago, we went for a 3-day trip in Warsaw, Poland, as part of the BUSSE (Building Up SSE) program we participate in. The program is a strategic collaboration of SSE actors for the development of innovation and exchange of good practices, while aiming to disseminate SSE practices and activities, providing relevant knowledge, skills and competences.

BUSSE is about to develop an innovative 4-module training program and relevant supporting material for both, trainers and trainees. The training modules consist of:

1) Development and Conversion of a vector into an SSE project

2) Empowering Communities within the Framework of SSE

3) Principles of SSE in Cooperatives

4) SSE practices based on values ​​of Food Sovereignty

The first 2 days were dedicated to the BUSSE program including working on the 4 modules as they have been formed to date, discussed challenges that arose, identified gaps and worked on improving them.

The third day we visited the Dobrze cooperative in Poland, which owns two grocery stores in the center of Warsaw, and we exchanged experiences on issues such as governance, participation, organization & operation of a food cooperative.

After that, we visited the 2nd Polish Forum on Food Sovereignty. We participated in the workshop on networking for regional and interregional partnerships. The workshop included three main axes:

1) Empowering SSE through regional programs,

2) Synergies for Food Sovereignty and Agri-Ecological Education and

3) Synergies between Alternative Food Networks.

We would like to thank our partners in the BUSSE project, Ekumenická Akademie (Czech Republic), Dobrze (Poland), Utopia (Ukraine), Ksoe (Austria) for the opportunity to learn and discuss about Social Solidarity Economy in Central and Eastern Europe and for all the experience we have gained in the above mentioned topics.”

Do you work in SSE training?

Are you dealing with the issue of food sovereignty?

Want to know more about the program and its training modules?

If yes, please go to the program page

CSA is Growing Big in the Netherlands!

By Klarien Klingen, Dutch CSA Farmer

CSA is growing big in the Netherlands! Five years ago there were only five initiatives, now there are over 90. In Flanders part of Belgium, where the same language is used as the Netherlands, the CSA network is a bit more advanced: their formal association has been existing for several years now and many CSA initiatives as well. 170 Dutch and Flemish CSA farmers and members met for the yearly CSA meeting in Deventer, NL, on the 11th and 12th of January 2020.

When we sat over dinner we discovered that the Flanders people find it very usual to ask a membership fee of 350euros per person per year to participate in a CSA initiative, where the dutch think €250 is normal. It’s just great to be able to discover those differences, speculate on where they come from (is the climate different 300 kms more north? Is that why the Flanders people can produce more veggies throughout winter?), and learn from each other.

The topic of membership fee came up several times through the weekend. It was very new for the participants of the workshop ‘CSA and solidarity’ to hear about ‘the Freiburg’ model where members put the price they’re willing to pay on a note, everything is added up, and if the total sum is not enough to cover the total costs of production (including labor!), another round will follow.

In the same workshop a new idea was presented: what if we ask members to pay for one week of vegetables the money they make in 1 hour. This could provide a whole new way of looking at pricing: the money is not related to vegetables but to labor. And the price people have to pay is very much adapted to their own capacity to pay. Let’s see where this will go.

Land is a big topic in the Netherlands, where a piece of arable land costs on average €100.000 per hectare to buy. This makes it very difficult to pay for with normal primary production. CSA can offer better opportunities of course, but to build up soil and to build up a network of members long term access to land is a prerequisite. One of the farmers of the plenary session finds it unjust is people make money over land, just by owning it. He believes money should be made over labor and not over ownership. With a group of people he bought land and together they now work on how to formalize this land free from profit.

CSA Netherlands/Flanders is a vibrant community that is developing fast and enthusiastically. We can’t wait to meet CSA initiatives to together learn and together work on our common dream: food sovereignty for all!

Skip to toolbar