uSisi Designs cc is a proud member of the World Fair Trade Organization and fully aligns itself with the 10 principles that govern the Fair Trade movement. Having first joined the organization in 2010, the business has been positively impacted by being a member of the WFTO through trading with other fair trade organizations. This has increased our export turnover and become a great bridge in gaining market exposure in the export market. Back home, implementing the processes and ensuring that the business is closely aligned to the 10 principles has improved work practices and general organizational structure.
Our current Fair Trade partners are based in Germany, USA, France, Sweden, Austria, Australia and South Africa. Companies include GAFPRO, FAIR MONKEY, BRIDGE TO AFRICA, EZA, OXFAM Australia, Mahatsara, Dix Sept and GEPA among others.
We are currently undergoing the guarantee system and will soon be doing the audit, after which time uSisi Designs will be a fully guaranteed member of the World fair Trade Organization.
WHAT IS FAIR TRADE
Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South.
Fair Trade is more than just trading: it proves that greater justice in world trade is possible. It highlights the need for change in the rules and practice of conventional trade and shows how a successful business can also put people first.
The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) is a global network of organizations representing the Fair Trade supply chain. Membership in WFTO provides Fair Trade organizations with credibility and identity by way of an international guarantee system, a place of learning where members connect with like-minded people from around the world, tools and training to increase market access, and a common voice that speaks out for Fair Trade and trade justice - and is heard. The works and achievements of its members make WFTO a global authority on Fair Trade and a guardian of Fair Trade values and principles.
WFTO’s route to equity in trade is through the integrated supply chain. Practices used across the supply chain are checked against the WFTO Fair Trade Standard, a set of compliance criteria based on the 10 Fair Trade Principles and on International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions.
The WFTO operates in over 70 countries across 5 regions (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America and the Pacific Rim) with elected global and regional boards.
TEN PRINCIPLES OF THE FAIR TRADE
WFTO prescribes 10 Principles that Fair Trade Organizations must follow in their day-to-day work and carries out monitoring to ensure these principles are upheld:
Principle One: Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
Poverty reduction through trade forms a key part of the organization's aims. The organization supports marginalized small producers, whether these are independent family businesses, or grouped in associations or co-operatives. It seeks to enable them to move from income insecurity and poverty to economic self-sufficiency and ownership. The organization has a plan of action to carry this out.
Principle Two: Transparency and Accountability
The organization is transparent in its management and commercial relations. It is accountable to all its stakeholders and respects the sensitivity and confidentiality of commercial information supplied. The organization finds appropriate, participatory ways to involve employees, members and producers in its decision-making processes. It ensures that relevant information is provided to all its trading partners. The communication channels are good and open at all levels of the supply chain.
Principle Three: Fair Trading Practices
The organization trades with concern for the social, economic and environmental well-being of marginalized small producers and does not maximize profit at their expense. It is responsible and professional in meeting its commitments in a timely manner. Suppliers respect contracts and deliver products on time and to the desired quality and specifications. The organization maintains long term relationships based on solidarity, trust and mutual respect that contribute to the promotion and growth of Fair Trade. Fair Trade recognizes, promotes and protects the cultural identity and traditional skills of small producers while avoiding duplicating designs/patterns of other organizations.
Principle Four: Payment of a Fair Price
A fair price is one that has been mutually agreed by all parties through dialogue and participation, which provides fair pay to the producers and can also be sustained by the market. Where Fair Trade pricing structures exist, these are used as a minimum. Fair pay means provision of socially acceptable remuneration (in the local context) considered by producers themselves to be fair and which takes into account the principle of equal pay for equal work by women and men. Fair Trade marketing and importing organizations support capacity building as required to producers, to enable them to set a fair price.
Principle Five: Ensuring no Child Labor and Forced Labor
The organization adheres to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and national / local law on the employment of children. The organization ensures that there is no forced labor in its workforce and / or members or homeworkers.Organizations who buy Fair Trade products from producer groups either directly or through intermediaries ensure that no forced labor is used in production and the producer complies with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and national / local law on the employment of children. Any involvement of children in the production of Fair Trade products (including learning a traditional art or craft) is always disclosed and monitored and does not adversely affect the children's well-being, security, educational requirements and need for play.
Principle Six: Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment, and Freedom of Association
The organization does not discriminate in hiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, HIV/Aids status or age.
The organization takes into account the special health and safety needs of pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers. The organization respects the right of all employees to form and join trade unions of their choice and to bargain collectively. The organization ensures that representatives of employees are not subject to discrimination in the workplace.
Principle Seven: Ensuring Good Working Conditions
The organization provides a safe and healthy working environment for employees and / or members. It complies, at a minimum, with national and local laws and ILO conventions on health and safety. Fair Trade Organizations are aware of the health and safety conditions in the producer groups they buy from. They seek, on an ongoing basis, to raise awareness of health and safety issues and improve health and safety practices in producer groups. Working hours and conditions for employees and / or members (and any homeworkers) comply with conditions established by national and local laws and ILO conventions.
Principle Eight: Providing Capacity Building
The organization seeks to increase positive developmental impacts for small, marginalized producers through Fair Trade. The organization develops the skills and capabilities of its own employees or members. Organizations working directly with small producers develop specific activities to help these producers improve their management skills, production capabilities and access to markets - local / regional / international / Fair Trade and mainstream as appropriate.
Principle Nine: Promoting Fair Trade
The organization raises awareness of the aim of Fair Trade and of the need for greater justice in world trade through Fair Trade. It advocates for the objectives and activities of Fair Trade according to the scope of the organization. The organization provides its customers with information about itself, the products it markets, and the producer organizations or members that make or harvest the products. Honest advertising and marketing techniques are always used.
Principle Ten: Respect for the Environment
Organizations which produce Fair Trade products maximize the use of raw materials from sustainably managed sources in their ranges, buying locally when possible. They use production technologies that seek to reduce energy consumption and where possible use renewable energy technologies that minimize greenhouse gas emissions. They seek to minimize the impact of their waste stream on the environment. Fair Trade agricultural commodity producers minimize their environmental impacts, by using organic or low pesticide use production methods wherever possible.
WHO CAN JOIN?
Are you committed to 100% Fair Trade? Do you believe we need to change the way the world does business? Join us and become part of the authentic voice of Fair Trade.
Membership is open to any organization that has Fair Trade at the heart of all its activities. The WFTO also welcomes individuals with a commitment to Fair Trade.
As a WFTO guaranteed member organization you have the privilege to:
WFTO Product Label
The WFTO Product Label is an organizational label that can be used on products. WFTO member organizations that successfully passed the WFTO Guarantee System have the option to use the WFTO Product Label to differentiate their products as Fair Trade in the market.
Global and Regional networks
The world’s only network of artisans, farmers, producers, brands and businesses. Our membership represents the Fair Trade chain from production to sale, spread across five regions.
A Voice in Fair Trade
Advocacy and campaigning, World Fair Trade Day and policy impact through our cooperation with other major Fair Trade bodies.
Favorable credit & payment facilities
Access to the Shared Interest Clearing House program and other support and business services.
WFTO global and regional conferences focus on networking, capacity building and discussion and decision-making on our global strategy.