Wednesday, October 14, 2015
It is awesome that more and more people are cognizant of how and where things are made or at least have an interest in how and where things are made. The phrase "fair trade" sound good. I've found that at the wholesale trade shows just about every company importing form third world countries is now describing themselves as "fair trade." I'm not even sure if many of these people spouting the term even know what it means. In a competitive world, this has been challenging for Fair Trade Federation members who want to differentiate themselves from those that have not been screened for their business practices.
Fair Trade Federation has new messaging we hope will communicate to our customers (whether they be stores or end users of our offerings) our strong desire to build meaningful, trusting relationships with our producers and to act as good global citizens through all of our work - socially, economically and environmentally. The concept of 360° (degrees) Fair Trade is meant to express our desire to go beyond fair trade basics. We practice 360° Fair Trade which means we take a more holistic approach than only looking at wages and work conditions. We partner with artisans (and farmers) and make long-term commitments to help grow businesses and strengthen communities. (Dunitz has worked with the same community of beaders for over 25 years!)
Next time someone tells you they run a fair trade business, question them. Ask them if they are a member of Fair Trade Federation. Ask them to tell you about their 360 Fair Trade practices. I'm certain any of my FTF colleagues would be happy to share stories of their work and the artisans (and farmers) they support. - ND