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What is Fair Trade?


What is Fair Trade?coop-members.jpg

As the name implies, Fair Trade means trading or doing business fairly and ethically. The business model of Fair Trade empowers workers and creates a greater equity in international trade through operating with the socially and environmentally conscious principles listed below.

For us at Ojoba Collective, the words "Fair Trade" mean something more personal. We have worked with the same women in the same villages since 2003. During this time, we have witnessed the first generation of children receive an education, and observed the health and well-being of the entire family improve. We have watched whole communities rise up out of abject poverty, and have helped them tackle a number of issues ranging from malaria prevention and adult literacy to organic farming and solar technologies.

By implementing the Nine Principles of Fair Trade, we have watched the women we work with blossom into confident and empowered citizens of their communities.

 

THE PRINCIPLES OF FAIR TRADE

Create Opportunities for Socially and Economically Marginalized Producers

Ojoba Collective has empowered over 500 rural village women, most of whom were illiterate, by creating and supporting cooperatives.

Develop Transparent & Accountable Relationships

Ojoba Collective has worked with the same community in Ghana for over 10 years and have a strong working relationship with our producer partners based on honesty and trust. We also engage with our clients in a transparent and honest manner.

Build Capacity through Communication & Financial and Technical Assistance

Through investing in education, healthcare, sustainable energy, micro-credit and organic farming and climate resiliency, Ojoba Collective has improved the community in Ghana where we operate.

Promote Fair Trade through Raising Awareness with Customers & Producers

We share our stories of our work in fair trade with all of you and hope it inspires you and makes you want to pass it on!

Pay Promptly and Fairly

If we didn't do this, we wouldn't be in business for over a decade, and we certainly wouldn't be able to live with ourselves! 

Support Safe & Empowering Working Conditions

The Ojoba Women's Cooperative has, since its beginning in 2003, welcomed women regardless of tribal or religious affiliation. We regularly offer safety training and provide safety equipment.

Ensure the Rights of Children

ALL of the children of cooperative members are in school. We also have the first two young women entering nursing college! When we first arrived, more than 10 years ago, most parents could not afford to put their children in school due to the school fees. The tide has turned!  We have remained firm on no children working after school or any time in our manufacturing facilities.

Cultivate Environmental Stewardship

We have implemented some solar technology at our manufacturing facilities and also use biofuels. We have provided training in agroforestry and organic farming techniques, and planted trees.

Respect Cultural Identity

 We work with  the Fra Fra tribe of northern Ghana. The production of shea butter, and other plant oils has allowed the women to stay in the village and keep their culture alive. In the past, many had to travel away from their families to find menial work after the end of farming season.

 

For more information please visit: www.fairtradefederation.org and www.wfto.com

 

To read an article in the Portland Tribune on Ojoba Collective and Fair Trade click here:

The Business of Fair Trade

 

 

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