Fair trade is more than just paying a fair wage. Fair Trade is a market-based approach to alleviate global poverty and promote sustainability. Fair Trade encompasses both economic and social development. Along with setting a fair price of goods and creating a safe working environment, it aims to improve the communities and livelihoods of the artisans.
There are many variables considered when giving artisans a fair wage, including the varying costs of production from country to country. That is why artisans are paid a living wage. A living wage allows artisans to cover basic needs, including food, shelter, education, and health care for their families, and is usually 3-4 times the wages of laborers or factory workers not covered by fair trade standards.
Artisans are paid upfront by retailers for the products that they make or grow. Artisans do not rely on a set retail price or sales to receive a fair wage. This means that they are paid whether or not the item sells in a retail store. This provides security and peace of mind — they will always be compensated for their time and talents, no matter what happens when the products reach us.
Absolutely! The global market has become a very competitive place and that has put enormous pressure on artisans all over the world to make their products cheaper and faster. Choosing to purchase fair trade is a way of saying that it’s important to you that the person who made your product is not exploited. By your action, you are investing in the dignity and empowerment of others.
It’s really YOU who helps support our artisan community (and we thank you for it!). We get to partner with over 50 organizations and are impacting the lives of artisans in 45 countries.