The Ten Principles of Fair Trade
Sunday, 16 October 2016 | Joanna
The WFTO Ten Principles of Fair Trade underpin everything fair trade retailers like Accessory Fair and Aztec Arts and our suppliers are working towards.
Over the next ten weeks we'll focus on a different principle and how the producers and suppliers of the goods you can buy here are meeting these principles as a way of changing global trade for the better.
The first principle is Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers.
Fair trade is a trading partnership between consumers in the global North and producers in the global South. This broadly means what used to be called the Third World or the Developing World.
Our goods come from countries across the developing world and there are special reasons for supporting projects across Africa, South America and Asia but we have a special place in our hearts for Nepalese goods.
Since the earthquake which hit the densely populated Kathmandu area in April 2015 killing almost 9,000 people, we have been trying to help in any way we can.
Our supplier, Black Yak, local to us in Yorkshire, has been working with skilled knitters in Kathmandu for over twenty years and owns a house there. Many of the knitters have been working with Black Yak for many years and new people come along all the time to help knit and crochet, sew the fleece lining and create the quirky finishing touches we love on our winter woollies.
After the earthquake Black Yak's founder, Rupert, opened up the workshop he owns in the city to the 17 knitters and their families who had lost their homes in the earthquake. Some are still sleeping there while work continues on their houses, but they know they have to keep working to afford to rebuild.
It has been a challenge to keep orders coming while workers are trying to rebuild their homes, but it's vital to keep the flow of money going into Nepal where there is no insurance or welfare state. As fair traders we have to act as a safety net where there is none.