Fair-Trade, why it matters!

Fair Trade Federation Fair Trade Verified

Another year is in the books and 2020 is upon us. For us at Ella Ember, 2019 has been a very important year. One of the main things we have achieved in 2019 is the membership to the Fair-Trade Federation. 

To become a member, applicants must submit thorough documentation describing the organization’s relationships with producer partners and efforts to provide good work conditions, fair wages, safety, environmental sensitivity, financial transparency, and more.

Completion of this rigorous screening process provides an important mark of distinction not only for us as applicants, but also for shoppers interested in supporting an entire business for its fair-trade practices rather than simply purchasing a fair-trade product.

One of the FTF main goals is to give craftspeople and farmers who are living in areas of extreme poverty the opportunity to earn a living by selling their products in North America. To do so, the FTF wants to make sure that the commercial relationship formed with them honors the nine Fair Trade Federation principles which focus on fair wages, worker safety, transparency, and more. Read all nine principles at www.fairtradefederation.org/principles.

For us, being members of the FTF validates and support all the work we’ve been doing throughout all these years, economically, socially, and environmentally. This is why we decided to apply to the FTF Membership.

Furthermore, the FTF principles resonate with our main objective as a company, which is to give Bolivian artisans, mainly women of indigenous background, the opportunity to work from home and make a fair and reasonable income, while they take care of their kids.

At Ella Ember, we negotiate fair wages with our base of Bolivian artisans, and we train them regularly to achieve high quality standards in their production. We work hand-in-hand with them to create healthy and safe workspaces, where there is zero tolerance for child labor and any kind of forced labor. We support our artisans in their journey as parents, providing training in healthy eating habits, teaching them to grow their own food, and other similar topics

As a business, we also care about the environment. Because of this, we strive to create a business culture that generates little or no waste. From our production to our administrative practices, we know that small changes in our actions can have a significant impact on our environmental footprint. That is why we are very mindful in the use of electric energy and water, and why we recycle alpaca yarn leftovers, paper, and cardboard boxes, among other things.

For our customers, our membership at the FTF means that every time they buy one of our products, they are not only buying a product that was carefully handcrafted by highly skilled artisans. They are also directly supporting our Bolivian artisans, who are mostly women and mothers, and our efforts to improve their standard of living.

While our customers may not be able to travel to Bolivia to see the positive effects of their purchase by themselves, they must know that their purchase choices improve the livelihood of our artisans, their children, and their communities.

As Chris Solt, Executive Director of the Fair Trade Federation, says: “Ella Ember’s acceptance into the Fair Trade Federation means that they are meeting some of the highest standards in the fair trade movement. We’re so happy to welcome them to the FTF community!”

We, at Ella Ember, couldn’t be prouder of our membership at the FTF. After all, it recognizes the accomplishments of many years of hard work, ours and that of our artisans.