|About Fair Trade
|About Fair Trade
Fair trade is a global movement working towards an equal, just, and sustainable world. The movement operates through organizations united under one umbrella with the goal of helping millions of small producers around the world to earn a living fairly and allowing them to live their lives with dignity. The fair trade movement develops a new type of trade that is based on dialogue, respect, transparency, and long-term commitment. It focuses on improving the living conditions of farmers in developing countries and caring for their future.
The movement, which is active in 58 countries, was started in protest of the failure of conventional trading. As a result of this failure, millions of people around the world are unable to sustain themselves despite their hard work, some earning less than two dollars a day. With such a minute income, these people are unable to meet basic needs such as hygiene and have minimal access to medical and educational services.
As a solution to these unfair conditions for workers, the fair trade movement began in England and the United States in the 1950s and 60s, mostly with handmade products. In the year 1973 fair trade coffee was brought to the Netherlands for the first time while the Netherlands controlled Indonesia and was using the local population for its own needs. In the year 1988 the first fair trade certification organization was established in the Netherlands and was named “Max Havelaar” after a fictional character who opposed the exploitation of workers in Dutch colonies. Since then, the movement in Europe has continued to grow rapidly in terms of public awareness, imported products, and its influence over society.
About fish, fishing rods, and lakes
The project Achoti – Fair Trade Store is an innovative economic initiative, the first of its kind in Israel. It combines economic empowerment for women from the geographical and social periphery in Israel, and education for alternative consumerism, according to the values of fair trade.
Many organizations work to provide women with different paths to financial empowerment. However, these paths do not provide a holistic solution to the woman who struggles to survive in poverty with daily financial stress. While other organizations have focused on giving these women fish and fishing rods, we have realized that there is also a need to create the lake -- because otherwise where will the women fish?
The time has come not only to prepare women to develop businesses and economic initiatives, but to create a real platform that will constitute a stable and safe frame for them in the long run. This is how the idea for the store was created; a place where women could sell their products to the general public.
The women in this project are all amazing people. They come from a rich and diverse world of knowledge, heritage, culture, and experience. They all possess skills and talents that they have acquired during their lives such as embroidering, sewing, cooking, weaving, sculpting, and more. We help them to turn these unique skills into a real business. Moreover, with Achoti – Fair Trade Store, we offer them a real platform for promoting their business.
Achoti Model – Fair Trade:
Achoti – Fair Trade Store was started as a part of The Fair Trade Project that aims to instill values and practices of fair trade in Israel and promote an exploitation and slavery-free economy while considering the existing resources.
The Fair Trade Project, founded by Achoti, was meant to turn the neoliberal economic pyramid upside down, to place the producers on top, to promote their socioeconomic visibility, to distribute their products, to assist with their livelihood, and to offer the Israeli society a place to buy products where fair and non-exploitative work conditions are used.
In Europe and the US fair trade is based on importing products from financially impoverished areas and countries in order to support the fair livelihood of producers. However, in Israel, the Fair Trade Project is based upon values and principles that are adjusted to the local economy and reality, with a focus on supporting local producers and emphasizing the multicultural visibility that is characteristic to Israel and to excluded arts.
Establishing a Coalition of Fair Trade Organizations
In the year 2008 Achoti founded the “Organizations' Coalition for Promoting Fair Trade in Israel” in order to construct a definition, principles, goals, and objectives to help establish the strategy for fair trade in Israel and to create a shift in consciousness among consumers in Israel. These include: 1. Creating a definition of fair trade in Israel which fits the local situation and is based on the Jewish value—the impoverished of one’s town comes first or “charity begins at home” which can be achieved through an ultimate commitment to feminist values and a focus on community. 2. Bringing the values of fair trade into consumers' awareness in Israel. 3. Marketing the approach of fair trade in Israel to relevant audiences abroad.
The coalition examined in depth the definition of fair trade as it exists and applied in Western countries while adapting it according to the socioeconomic conditions in Israel. The Coalition convened for a conference and formulated a document defining fair trade.
Main Principles of Fair Trade in Israel as Formulated by the Coalition in Israel:
1. Creating socioeconomic opportunities for talented producers who have been excluded from the economic system due to their gender, ethnicity, nationality, or socioeconomic class.
2. Deliberated preference to products produced by people from the geographical-ethnic-socioeconomic periphery, while abiding international laws.
3. Fair and just trade relationships with trade partners and preference to producers who supply information about the producing process and its conditions.
4. Promoting social justice and feminist and environmental values.
5. Extremely high quality of products and their packages while using transparent, fair and unbiased advertising.
6. Creating ongoing relationships with the producers, promoting their financial independence, and continuously working to improve the products.
7. Fair product prices which cover costs of production and fair payment in advance to producers. Equal pay for women's and men's work.
8. Promoting gender equality and preference for activity that promotes solidarity between women as producers and as consumers.
9. Healthy and safe work conditions for producers.
10. Prohibiting child labor according to the UN convention and the Israeli law to guarantee that their participation in the workforce does not hurt their safety, their welfare, and the time dedicated to education and play.
11. Encouraging work patterns that consider environmental issues and use environmentally responsible production methods.
Achoti – Fair Trade Store Centers
Achoti – Fair Trade Store: 4 Shlomo HaMelech St, Tel Aviv
Achoti in the Port: 26 Hangar St, Tel Aviv
Achoti in Abu Gosh: Shtiley Har Plant Nursery, Hemed Interchange (next to the roundabout)
These centers, established between 2009 and 2011, sell products such as arts, crafts, fashion, and food. The products are made by women producers with ethnicities ranging from Ethiopians, Mizrahis, Arabs, Bedouins, immigrants from the Former Soviet Union, and more.
The store sells products from around Israel handcrafted by women who face poverty and problems with daily sustenance. These women hold a range of knowledge and producing practices and the store functions as a platform for their personal and financial empowerment. The centers offer a unique shopping experience supplemented by the gain of acting for the community, for a just society and economy, and for a healthy and non-exploitative environment.
Straying far from the contemporary economic pyramid, with the wealthy at the top and the producers at the bottom, in fair trade stores the pyramid is virtually turned upside down. The producers are located as the top of the pyramid with the other groups – the organizations, businesses, and of course the consumers, strengthening them.
The consumerist world today hides the producers, they do not have a name or a face, and they are unknown to the consumers. In Achoti – Fair Trade Store every customer knows not just the name of the producer but also their story.
A Media Marketing Campaign for Consuming Fair Trade Products
The campaign was initiated with the purpose of implementing fair trade values among the general public, and encouraging socially-aware consumerism while creating social motivation for purchasing fair trade products and emphasizing the benefits that purchasing such products offer the consumers.
Raising the awareness of consumers is mostly achieved through intensive public relations activities. As a part of the project marketing was increased in several channels: articles in newspapers, television, and online. With the creation of the Facebook group “Achoti – Fair Trade”, users of the site are able to view news items from the media and learn about upcoming events concerning fair trade and groups that promote products and producers.
This project aspires to combine collaborations of women's communities who have traditional creative capacities with a modern design process. This process needs to respect, value, and preserve the women's abilities and the culture they stem from, while simultaneously working to develop new applications and markets for these women and design a line of products that can appeal to many audiences.
Fair branding for fair trade – this process is done through critical observance of corporate brands. Developing a brand for a fair trade product is supported by the principles of the system.
The multisystem approach combines fields of art, culture, economy, and feminism and includes activities of product branding experts as well as partnerships with marketing and sales specialists which creates public visibility of the women's products.
The major increase in the scope of fair trade and financial empowerment activity in Israel by feminist and environmental organizations as well as busine
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