The Holy Land Handicraft Cooperative Society is a Fair Trade Organization. We were also the first organization in the Arab world to quality for and benefit from IFAT (International Fair Trade Association) membership.
What is Fair Trade?
Fair trade is an organized social movement which promotes equitable standards for international labor, environmentalism, and social policy in areas related to the production of labeled and unlabelled goods, which may range from handicrafts to agricultural items. The movement focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries.
Fair trade's strategic intent is to deliberately work with marginalized producers and workers in order to help them move from a position of vulnerability to security and economic self-sustainability. It also aims at empowering them to become stakeholders in their own organizations and actively play a wider role in the global arena to achieve greater equity in international trade.
Key Fair Trade Principles
Fair trade advocates generally support the following principles and practices in trading relationships:
• Creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers
Fair trade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Its purpose is to create opportunities for producers who have been economically disadvantaged or marginalized by the conventional trading system.
• Transparency and accountability
Fair trade involves transparent management and commercial relations to deal fairly and respectfully with trading partners.
• Capacity building
Fair trade is a means to develop producers’ independence. Fair trade relationships provide continuity, during which producers and their marketing organizations can improve their management skills and their access to new markets.
• Payment of a fair price
A fair price in the regional or local context is one that has been agreed through dialogue and participation. It covers not only the costs of production but enables production which is socially just and environmentally sound. It provides fair pay to the producers and takes into account the principle of equal pay for equal work by women and men. Fairtraders ensure prompt payment to their partners and, whenever possible, help producers with access to pre-harvest or pre-production financing.
• Gender equity
Fair trade means that women’s work is properly valued and rewarded. Women are always paid for their contribution to the production process and are empowered in their organizations.
• Working conditions
Fair trade means a safe and healthy working environment for producers. The participation of children (if any) does not adversely affect their well-being, security, educational requirements and need for play and conforms to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as the law and norms in the local context.
Fair trade actively encourages better environmental practices and the application of responsible methods of production.
IFAT is a global network of Fair Trade Organizations. Their mission is to improve the livelihoods and well being of disadvantaged producers by linking and promoting Fair Trade Organizations, and speaking out for greater justice in world trade.
VISION : Arab Fair Trade Network
As the first organization in the Arab world to qualify for and benefit from IFAT membership, we seek to share our experiences with other groups of farmers and artisans in the region. We aim to be a part of creating awareness that leads to action with regard to Fair Trade in Palestine. Our goal is to promote IFAT membership to aid Palestinian artisans and producers in marketing through international fair trade channels. Additionally, we are working with other Arab Fair Trade Organizations to establish a working network that will hopefully lead to an Arab Fair Trade Region.