We make every effort to confirm that the artists are paid very fairly for their pieces and are subsequently able to maintain their cultural lives and family homes. By buying directly from the artists, the artists receive a bigger 'piece of the pie' and we are able to offer you affordable prices. We do not 'barter them down' to get the lowest price, and adhere to the principle that artists must be paid a living wage for their locale.
We are excited when our ongoing transactions offer the artist a way out of poverty. Everyone benefits when artists are treated with respect and are paid a fair price for their goods. This eliminates the necessity to leave their homeland and travel away from their families.
Our ongoing goal is to create more and more documented fair trade relationships that make a sustainable income for the artists.
If not buying directly from the artist, the item is bought with the full knowledge of who the artist is and that they have been paid fairly. We also work to establish long term relationships with the artists, thereby creating a sustainable market for them.
Fair trade is not about charity. It is a holistic approach to trade and development that aims to alter the ways in which commerce is conducted, so that trade can empower the poorest of the poor. Fair trade organizations seek to create sustainable and positive change in both developing and developed countries.
The Fair Trade Federation website is the definitive source of information on this topic. The following is from their website:
Fair Trade is a trading partnership based on dialogue, transparency, and respect. This system of exchange seeks to create greater equity and partnership in the international trading system by:
- Creating Opportunities for Economically and Socially Marginalized Producers
- Developing Transparent and Accountable Relationships
- Building Capacity
- Promoting Fair Trade
- Paying Promptly and Fairly
- Supporting Safe and Empowering Working Conditions
- Ensuring the Rights of Children
- Cultivating Environmental Stewardship
- Respecting Cultural Identity
FTF members foster partnerships with producers, because they know these connections are a highly effective way to help producers help themselves.