Why Fair Trade? It's a question we're often asked. The answer is simple - when we've traveled the world, we've seen how other people live; the good and the bad. We've been through most of Europe, Greece, Israel, Egypt, India, Burma (now Myanmar), Thailand, and Ghana, Africa. It was this last trip, to Ghana, that started the journey to a Fair Trade shop.
In our travels, we got off the hotel/tourist track and tried to get to know how local people lived. We learned that the protections we take for granted do not exist in other countries. Child labor is common, with wretched conditions and long hours for low pay. Young women are often forced into marriage (unlike in our country, this can be just another form of forced labor for no pay) or sweat-shop labor with few options for a better life. Healthy, bright, young people end up having few options for building their own future; and the future that is selected for them (to benefit others) can be quite bleak.
When the women and men have an opportunity to create their own businesses by creating beautiful products from local materials or growing local crops, and are paid fairly for their hard work, they have a chance at a better life. Fair Trade shops like ours purchase goods only from artisans and crafts people who are being paid fairly people to support the possibility of a better life. You are now a part of that. Be proud of your purchasing choice!