What is Fair Trade?
Fair Trade Principle 8: Capacity Building
The organisation seeks to increase positive developmental impacts for producers through Fair Trade. Organisations working directly with small producers develop specific activities to help these producers improve their management skills, production capabilities. and access to markets.
Fair Trade enterprises impact 1 million livelihoods worldwide.*
Capacity Building is where the Fair Trade movement really stands out from other for purpose movements. Fair Trade is not just about ensuring that businesses are ethical and do no harm. Fair Trade goes a step further to proactively work with small producers to empower them to grow and build their own skills, businesses and communities.
Fair Trade enterprises are supported to teach their workers the skills they on the job, such as how to work in a team manufacturing environment. They are helped with things like how to source materials sustainably and for a good price, and then how to price their goods appropriately, including not just the materials used, but also taking into account their skills and time. They may also get help with learning simple accounting methods, so that they can run their business effectively.
Australian Designers Collaborating with Fair Trade Artisans
One of the common ways Australian businesses work with their fair trade suppliers, is to help them with designs that will sell in the Australian and other wealthier markets. Often, and Australian business will create a design, and then work with the fair trade artisans and makers to create their product, using the artisan’s traditional skills.
This focus on helping to design products that sell well in international markets, is one of the key aspects in helping fair trade enterprises to thrive. It would be very difficult for a dressmaker in Cambodia to know what dress design will sell in Sydney, in the Blue Mountains. Through close collaborative work, someone in Katoomba can buy a stylish on-trend piece, that is designed in the Blue Mountains and made by a fair trade artisan in Cambodia. They can know when buying that piece that they are directly helping the maker to continue to build their business and support their family.
Over the past 60 years of the Fair Trade movement, capacity building has enabled some fair trade enterprises to become generational businesses, which have grown to support whole communities. It is an incredibly powerful model that continues to show results.
All of the Good Things Supports Fair Trade
Our philosophy is first and foremost, to do no harm to people or the planet. Then we choose to do what we can to have a positive impact. That’s when we get the really good feels. Then we know we are nudging the dial towards a world full of optimism, joy and fun for everyone.
Our first choice is to source from Fair Trade suppliers wherever possible.