Our mission is to offer income-generating opportunities to craftspeople in developing countries by following fair trade practices including paying in advance at least the market price for items, ensuring that craftspeople receive payment, and ensuring that the craftspeople work in fair working conditions. We work directly with artisans, craftspeople, and producer groups to achieve these goals and hopefully help improve the lives of some of the people with whom we share this planet.
We are members of The Fair Trade Federation.
Global Crafts was founded in 2002 by Kevin Ward, a VSO volunteer and Renice Jones, a Peace Corps volunteer, both in Kenya. Upon return to the USA they launched Global Crafts. The core of Global Crafts work is to improve the lives of artisans. While we are a 100% fair trade company, and are committed to supporting the work of 100% committed fair trade retailers, we also seek to introduce artisan products into mainstream markets.
What is Fair Trade?
We suggest you visit the Fair Trade Federation for a detailed understanding of Fair Trade. We are committed to meeting all the principles of fair trade listed below. The core of fair trade is that the artisan is the center of our mission, decisions we make are always driven by the best interests of the artisans. We work with artisans as partners trying to involve artisan partners in decisions that effect them. We work cooperatively to set prices and ensure that the price the artisans set is enough to enable them to develop a sustainable future that improves their lives. We always offer an advance to finance orders and pay balances immediately on completion. We work cooperatively to resolve any quality of production issues and never use our buying power in a way that disadvantages producers.
We are proud to be able to say that we have grown every year in terms of sales and, most importantly, purchases. We know we can only do this with the support of both producer partners and our retail partners.
Fair Trade Principles of the Fair Trade Federation
- Create Opportunities for Economically and Socially Marginalized Producers - Fair Trade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Members create social and economic opportunities through trading partnerships with marginalized producers. Members place the interests of producers and their communities as the primary concern of their enterprise.
- Develop Transparent and Accountable Relationships- Fair Trade involves relationships that are open, fair, consistent, and respectful. Members show consideration for both customers and producers by sharing information about the entire trading chain through honest and proactive communication. They create mechanisms to help customers and producers feel actively involved in the trading chain. If problems arise, members work cooperatively with fair trade partners and other organizations to implement solutions.
- Build Capacity- Fair Trade is a means to develop producers independence. Members maintain long-term relationships based on solidarity, trust, and mutual respect, so that producers can improve their skills and their access to markets. Members help producers to build capacity through proactive communication, financial and technical assistance, market information, and dialogue. They seek to share lessons learned, to spread best practices, and to strengthen the connections between communities, including among producer groups.
- Promote Fair Trade- Fair Trade encourages an understanding by all participants of their role in world trade. Members actively raise awareness about Fair Trade and the possibility of greater justice in the global economic system. They encourage customers and producers to ask questions about conventional and alternative supply chains and to make informed choices. Members demonstrate that trade can be a positive force for improving living standards, health, education, the distribution of power, and the environment in the communities with which they work.
- Pay Promptly and Fairly- Fair Trade empowers producers to set prices within the framework of the true costs of labor time, materials, sustainable growth, and related factors. Members take steps to ensure that producers have the capacity to manage this process. Members comply with or exceed international, national, local, and, where applicable, Fair Trade Minimum standards for their employees and producers. Members seek to ensure that income is distributed equitably at all times, particularly equal pay for equal work by women and men. Members ensure prompt payment to all of their partners. Producers are offered access to interest-free pre-harvest or pre-production advance payment.
- Support Safe and Empowering Working Conditions - Fair Trade means a safe and healthy working environment free of forced labor. Throughout the trading chain, Members cultivate workplaces that empower people to participate in the decisions that affect them. Members seek to eliminate discrimination based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, age, marital, or health status. Members support workplaces free from physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal harassment or abuse.
- Ensure the Rights of Children - Fair Trade means that all children have the right to security, education, and play. Throughout the trading chain, Members respect and support the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as local laws and social norms. Members disclose the involvement of children in production. Members do not support child trafficking and exploitative child labor.
- Cultivate Environmental Stewardship - Fair Trade seeks to offer current generations the ability to meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Members actively consider the implications of their decisions on the environment and promote the responsible stewardship of resources. Members reduce, reuse, reclaim, and recycle materials wherever possible. They encourage environmentally sustainable practices throughout the entire trading chain.
- Respect Cultural Identity - Fair Trade celebrates the cultural diversity of communities, while seeking to create positive and equitable change. Members respect the development of products, practices, and organizational models based on indigenous traditions and techniques to sustain cultures and revitalize traditions. Members balance market needs with producers cultural heritage.