At Dunia Marketplace we believe the products we buy should empower the people who make them. We know that buying fair trade products brings a world of opportunity to the makers.
Buying Fair Trade is one way you can make a big difference for people and for the planet.
What are the principles of Fair Trade? Why does it matter?
Respect for Cultural Identity
Fair Trade recognizes, promotes, and protects the cultural identity and traditional skills of small producers. Artisans focused on revitalizing and maintaining traditional techniques are supported in their work so that these techniques continue to be passed to the next generation and not forgotten.
Fair Trade is a strategy for poverty alleviation. It ensures fair wages, but it also corrects a power imbalance as producers do not have to wait 30, 60, or 90 days for payment. Makers set their price and are paid up-front. This price covers the cost of production, pays workers fairly, and still leaves enough profit to reinvest. And the income is distributed equitably. Equal pay for equal work by women and men.
So, before any sales have been made, the artisans have been paid 100%. This supports the makers as they move out of income insecurity and poverty towards economic self-sufficiency and ownership.
The Fairtrade Premium: This is what sets Fairtrade apart from everyone else. The Fairtrade Premium is an additional sum of money (above the price) which goes into a communal fund for farmers and artisans to use – as they see fit – to improve their community. Investments might be used for health, education, clean water, or any other community project. The producers decide democratically how to invest the funds.
Respect for the Environment
Responsible use of resources, eco-friendly production, and use of renewable resources (like the tagua nut, wool or bamboo), are encouraged and supported. Additional premiums are paid for organic farming, recognizing the additional work required and valuing environmental stewardship.
Many Artisans rely on available natural materials like ethically collected wood, leather, and bone, (which are often byproducts of food and farming industries). Or reusing fabric, upcycling metal and plastic, and using natural dyes when possible. Using renewable or recycled materials helps Artisans earn higher wages without compromising product quality.
No Forced or Child Labor
Fair trade never uses exploitative child labor which is a very common practice in the unregulated handicraft industry, particularly jewelry making. Their small hands are ideal for assembling small pieces. It’s also common in cocoa farming. Fair trade standards adhere to the United Nations (UN) Convention on children’s rights, and go beyond prohibition to address the root causes of forced and child labor.
Fair trade benefits children in other ways as well. It provides work close to home so parents are not far from their children, and it provides income that can often be used for education.
Ensuring good working conditions
Fair trade is committed to following worker protection laws, reasonable work hours, and healthy conditions for all. Fair trade supports workplaces free of discrimination, harassment, and forced labor, in spaces where producers participate in decision-making.
Makers organized as cooperatives allow for profit sharing, and assure their voices and concerns are represented. These groups are also supportive workplaces for women in particular. They are encouraged to grow and take on leadership roles within the group.