Ranging in size from small co-operatives to large plantations, farmers and their laborers cultivate the many commodities we consume.
With the conventional trading system many agricultural producers suffer greatly when prices fall, cases in the 1980s to such an extent where buyer prices were not even covering the cost of production. Where without fair trade these people were isolated from an understanding of how to sell their produce and earn a sustainable living, with it structures have been implemented which ensure a fair deal. Fair trade agriculture is not only responsible on a financial level it also ensures that producers become more environmentally friendly supporting them to introduce systems such as fuelling from waste, intercropping and reducing the use of pesticides.
Craft has deep cultural roots. The history is long and the traditions are an integral part of history and daily life. Skills such as embroidery work, hand painting and woodcarving are passed on through generations and are fundamental to identity and way of life.
However many countries have been excluded from mainstream trading for unjust political reasons leaving thousands of workers trapped and helpless, with beautiful produce but no way of earning.
Many craft workers are women with children and/or communities in more isolated areas such as hill towns and tribal villages. Living in remote situations these workers have long been exploited due to their limited knowledge of business and education. Fair trade works closely with craft workers to truly empower them with access to resources about the wealth of their skills.
Many craft techniques are simple ways developed hundreds of years ago but still effective in the modern world. By nature this makes them environmentally friendly. Dying textiles or wood for jewellery with vegetable dyes, creating paint pigments from crushed shells and pebbles or recycling waste to weave stylish homewares are just a few examples, when it comes to fair trade handicrafts there really is very little that isn’t possible. Fair trade ensures these traditional skills and cultural identities are promoted protected and have a place in the modern world.
Fair trade producers are individuals and pioneers who have changed the lives of hundreds of people.
Support them by buying fair trade.
If you’d like to know more about the huge variety of products which can be made by fair trade artisans then please get in touch. I often find people are surprised to learn that things like fair trade packaging, waterproof labelling and screen printed fabrics ranging from canvas through to silk are possible. So perhaps you might find a lovely surprise if you’re thinking you need something for you business…
Thanks for reading,