4 Ways Fair Trade Enterprises are Uniquely Committed to Prompt and Fair Payment

Posted: Wed. Dec 16, 2020

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 advance payment for handmade goods, or pre-finance of agricultural harvest with favorable terms.” – Fair Trade Federation Principle 5

Learn how four FTF members are uniquely realizing this principle below!

For GOEX Apparel, this principle is more impactful to their team now than ever. The exchange rate in Haiti has shifted by 50% in the last couple of months causing many companies to adjust pay, lay off workers, or even shut down. GOEX has continued to pay their employees there at the same rate even though it now costs them twice as much in US dollars.

At the GOEX factory in Haiti, they ensure pay rates are set so that all are receiving a livable wage and that their employees are paid every other week on schedule, the standard since GOEX began.

GOEX is committed to continual support of their employees regardless of what happens in the market. With the shift in the exchange rate, employees’ paychecks now go further in the local market which is especially important in times like these with more people in need. 

Sol Jewels loves to know that the women they work with are able to live a happy and prosperous life. Paying fairly and promptly is a belief they live by.

Ever since they started their fair trade journey many years ago, Sol Jewels has paid their artisan partners 50% upfront, so they have funds to start production, and 50% at completion of the order, before shipping. For their artisan partners, it would not be possible to complete the orders without the advance payment.

Through these partnerships, everyone is profiting: the artisans receiving prompt and fair payment, Sol Jewels being supplied with amazing products that sustain their business, and the customers being able to purchase beautiful jewelry, handmade in fairness with lots of love and care. 

Global Mamas determines payments through their First Class, First Time (FCFT) initiative, a plan developed by Global Mamas batikers and seamstresses, the Mamas, to address quality issues. Since the Mamas are paid for orders even if they don’t meet quality standards, Global Mamas was paying for products to be made twice over.

A team meeting was called to address this issue with all staff gathered around a heaping pile of products that did not meet export standards and did not sell in their Accra store. Many were shocked to learn of this unnecessary expense and waste and proposed a solution. Instead of making things twice, the Mamas suggested a tiered incentive plan as motivation for making products perfectly to begin with: those producing first class products the first time around would receive a significant financial bonus. FCFT was born! Aggressive goals were set by the seamstresses and batikers to receive the FCFT bonuses, and consequently, products not meeting quality standards dropped by 77%.

Due to the initiative, productivity is up, waste is down, and more money is going to the Mamas, a win-win-win situation! FCFT is still going strong to this day and has become an important part of Global Mamas culture. Global Mamas is committed to punctually paying a fair living wage and throughout COVID is proud to maintain this standard. 

Passion Lilie understands that each person’s actions have a direct impact and are working to create a world in which every person is valued. They believe in cultivating business through honesty and respect and strive to be transparent across their business through the relationships they build and how they work.

Passion Lilie nurtures economic sustainability by collaborating with partners in India who are dedicated to paying fair living wages, creating a safe and healthy work environment, and investing in the overall well-being of the artisans they employ. Sustainable change is about going beyond fair wages. They make sure their artisan partners are provided with pathways for community development to further their skills and provide greater overall opportunities.

To learn more about the Fair Trade Federation community, explore the 200+ FTF member enterprises.

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