"Fair trade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), fair trade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives." (Fairtrade Foundation)
As a FAIR TRADING COMPANY we believe in ensuring that the artisans who make our products get a fair wage and they work in a safe and healthy environment. We try to make sure that the community as well as the individual benefits from our trade, and we visit as many suppliers as possible to check that fair standards are being applied, for instance adequate lighting and ventilation in the workplace, no child labour and gender equality. We also aim to minimise harm to the environment by using sustainable or recycled materials in production, and shipping goods by sea instead of by air.
We monitor our performance regularly against the ethical standards set by WFTO. Click here for the 10 standards of Fair Trade set by WFTO for Fair Trade organisations.
The majority of our products are bought direct from abroad, from suppliers who are members of WFTO, or who have been recommended by other WFTO members. Many of these suppliers have been set up as non-profit organisations to enable small-scale producer groups to export effectively, and to help them develop their products for larger markets like the UK. Most producers are organised in family groups or co-operatives, often in rural areas or small towns, and are highly skilled in their craft but have little experience of selling beyond a local market.
We do buy from a few UK importers, choosing those which are genuinely committed to fair trade principles and practice. In addition we sell some UK-manufactured products, particularly if they support our environmental aims on recycled paper and glass for instance.
By buying from us, you are helping to provide much-needed jobs in countries like India, Cambodia, Kenya and Peru - for people who are often on the margins of society with little or no other source of income.
If you'd like to know more about Fair Trade, contact us via our contact form or phone us on 01904 632896.