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Fair Trade – Good for Everyone

IMG_1318 (640x486)Since 2007, Beyond Borders has been a member of the Fair Trade Federation, at that time becoming an officially recognized participant in the global fair trade movement. We have always been committed to building equitable and sustainable trading partnerships and creating opportunities to alleviate poverty. Membership has put a stamp on those efforts. In keeping with fair trade practices, our purchasing and production choices are made with concern for the well-being of people and the environment. We work to create opportunity for so that our craftsmen and artisans may have viable economic options to meet their own needs. We engage in trading practices that honor the value of labor and dignity of all people.

Fair Trade Federation members are required to demonstrate compliance with the Nine Principles of Membership.  We are evaluated on these principles not just once to get in the door, but every single year.  The Nine Principles are as follows:

*Creating Opportunities for Economically and Socially Marginalized ProducersCaleb Belony with Casey and clan (480x640)

*Developing Transparent and Accountable Relationships

*Build Capacity

*Promote Fair Trade

*Pay promptly and fairly

*Support safe and empowering working conditions

*Ensure the rights of children

*Cultivate environmentally stewardship

*Respect cultural identity


YThere is actually a 34 page down-loadable pdf.document on the Fair Trade Federation website  which outlines very specifically The Fair Trade Federation Code of Practice. (View it here: http://www.fairtradefederation.org/fair-trade-federation-code-of-practice/ ) This is a REALLY BIG DEAL and we take our responsibilities of membership very seriously, going above and beyond the minimums required.  For example, we pay  100% for every order up front – not  simply for the cost  of materials with the rest payable on delivery. Beyond Borders sends an average of $30,000 for orders to our artists in Haiti with completed goods shipped to us in return on a monthly basis. The impact of this type of trade in the lives of the artists is enormous.   Yinder Decembre, a talented sculptor  of  beautiful sun-faced children puts it this way, “These children represent the sun shining on the future.  If I can sell my work, I can  build my house and take care of my brothers and sisters.  I have faith that everything will be okay.”

Contributed by Linda for Beyond Borders/It’s Cactus



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