WHAT IS FAIR TRADE?
Fair Trade is a trading partnership based on trust, respect, and good communication. By purchasing fair trade items, you support a just and sustainable global economic system. You can pay to support once child and send them to school, like providing a man a fish. Or you can teach him to fish and he is empowered to take care of his family’s needs for a lifetime. Fair Trade means paying fair wages, encouraging development and adhering to environmental standards. The artisans set the price for their work so that it includes labor and materials. By working directly with the artisans, A Villager’s Hand can keep products affordable and return a greater percentage of the profits back to the artists. This provides for sustainable living for hard working artisans and their community. Fair Trade is anti-slavery and anti-child labor, and it empowers women and minorities.
HOW ARE WAGES DETERMINED?
While some countries have minimum wage standards, many do not. We use The Fair Wage Guide that provides accurate information to determine fair wages and pricing. It uses up-to-date minimum wage data for 168 countries, plus international poverty lines, to calculate benchmarks for products made on an hourly or piece rate basis. The Guide was create in 2006. To date, approximately 900 companies use the guide, and on average, the Guide leads to workers being paid approximately 20% increase in earnings above the norm for thousands of workers in their respective countries.
The data in the Guide comes from the U.S. Department of State and the International Labor Organization (ILO).
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF AN IN-COUNTRY PARTNER?
In-Country Partners act as coordinators for the village artisans. They find artisans who want to join A Villager’s Hand, assess their work for quality, and keep careful records of production, including the number of hours to make each item by each artisan, the cost of materials for the item, and then assist the Director with establishing fair pricing. In Country Partners should have basic knowledge of costing and pricing, production, quality control, documentation, packing, invoicing, delivery, buyer communication, financial management, and accounting. They will ensure that all workers are treated equally and receive equal pay for equal work. They will ensure that workers have a safe work environment and a voice in the design and production. They ensure that customs and cultures are respected. They communicate regularly with the founder/director.