What Does It Mean?
Basically it is simply a social movement where people try to create better economic trading conditions for producers in the developing world. If you looked at what producers get for their products and what people in the western world pay once the same product is on the shelf in a store you would in many cases be shocked.
In many cases the problem simply comes down to multiple people and organizations involved in getting a products from one place to another. This so called supply chain is very complex when it comes to getting things from very rural and disadvantaged areas in poor countries.
But that supply chain cannot explain away the huge profits that are made all the way down to the first step up from the producers. It is usually the producer that suffers the most. And Fair Trade basically tries to achieve higher prices for the producer to enable them a standard of living that at least allows a family to have an adequate diet, shelter, schooling and access to health care.
From the point of view of the Western World, that is really not a huge amount to ask for.
How Does It Improve Lives?
The lives of producers and their families improves greatly when they have access to Fair Trade supply channels. Children are healthier and in most cases have full access to schooling, something we take for granted here.
And as soon as parents are do not have to worry about the most basic necessities their lives drastically improve as well. Small producers are able to increase their production, buy machinery and equipment, all leading to greater advantages for their societies by simply increasing the opportunities.
What Can You Do?
The simplest thing you can do is when you are shopping for groceries to look out for Fair Trade symbol. It has become very common on food products, but not so much on all other stuff that we buy. That’s what we are trying to change in the world of handcrafted art and toys.
So, by buying some of our products you will also support an artist getting a better deal for their work. Also, you can become a volunteer and help spread our message. Most of our new customers come through word of mouth, so if you find something you like, make sure you tell all your friends and family.
If you are interested in becoming directly involved in our organization then check out our volunteer page. We will not turn down anyone, as there is so much you can help out with.
Hope to see you in-store soon!