This week sees the launch of this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight, every year companies, organisations and supporters get together to celebrate and raise the awareness of Fairtrade issues. Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
The sales of fairtrade chocolate, bananas, tea and coffee all continue to rise in popularity as people get to have the best quality produce for reasonable prices. The farmers can plan their crops secure in the knowledge they will get a decent price for their produce. Everyone wins.
As more and more products are adding to the Fairtrade label we can also list our beautiful Fairtrade urns, made by a workers in China, the factory was started, in part to provide steady employment for farmers in a remote area of China. The World Fair Trade Organisation inspector had this to say about the factory:
“We talked privately with most of the workers and found them to be very satisfied with their job, working conditions, treatment and pay/benefits. Craftsmen are paid for each article they make and their resulting monthly salary is significantly above similarly skilled craftsmen in the area. In addition, the work is steadier, and they have the option of taking time off to plant or harvest crops.
The non-skilled workers also said they were very satisfied with their pay and working conditions. They are paid more than the local non-skilled wage and their working month is not as long. Women, of whom there are five working in the factory, only work 16 to 17 days a month. Their pay is about 60% higher than the local wage for women in that area. The factory also employs women to prepare meals for the workers. The factory provides three meals a day to the workers at no charge and provides adequate dormitory facilities for those workers who wish to stay at the factory to extend their working day.
The factory was clean, well lit, had clean sanitary facilities, and safety equipment. The factory does not use any hazardous or caustic chemicals, so there are no safety or protection issues. The manager of the factory had set up a computer room for employees to use and provide some instruction and training for computer use. This was apparently an initiative of the manager. The workers seemed to enjoy playing Chinese mahjong more than using the computer, which fits in well with the overall cheery atmosphere in the factory. The manager also said that he had two meetings each month with all the workers to talk about the work and to get input from the workers.”
It’s good to know that you can make fairtrade choices even when it comes to cremation urns.
For more information about Fairtrade Fortnight and what you can do to get involved visit http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/