Fair Trade or Fairly Traded?
Here at Bazaar Africa we buy the vast majority of our products directly from the craftspeople who make them. We support a number of individuals, as well as small projects and groups, whose aim is to bring employment, dignity and a fair wage to their workers. Sounds very like Fair Trade, you may think? Well it is very much the same thing, only many of our producers cannot make the quantities needed by ‘Fair Trade’ to enable them to sell under their umbrella.
I am often asked if I am ‘Fair Trade’ when I sell at markets and fairs, and I explain the above, and then question why a number of people walk away, saying they prefer to buy from a ‘Fair Trade’ supplier.
Weird or what???
Some of the wonderful handcrafted items that are sold here, you will also find in a ‘Fair Trade’ catalogue. What is such a shame, is that the prices are nearly always considerable higher than those at Bazaar Africa.
I can assure you that they do not pay the crafts men and women any more than I do – probably less, for volume sales.
The end result is that if resell prices are too high, sales drop, and eventually the craftspeople lose out, as their products are no longer bought for resale.
Fair Trade do a great job, and I would not want this to be seen as a criticism
However, please also remember the smaller businesses that are doing an equally good job, and trying to promote fairly traded goods around the world, doing our small bit for a degree of fairness for others.