What is fair trade?

There is no single definition of fair trade, though it is generally accepted that fair trade is about ensuring safe working conditions and equitable trading terms for artisans and producers. Learn more about fair trade here

back to top

Why focus on fair trade and economic empowerment?

We believe that economics, education, health, and gender equality are all inter-related. Empowered women lead to healthier and better-educated children and communities. Improved health produces more effective schooling and a more productive workforce. Better educational opportunities create higher-paying jobs and a more open and just society.

back to top

What is the fair trade certification process for handcrafted products?

Currently, there is not a fair trade certifying body for crafts. Fair Trade USA certifies many commodities like coffee, tea, and chocolate. However, given the individuality of each type of craft, and the range of raw materials and tools needed for production, certification for handcrafted products is not a feasible prospect at this time. We are a member of the Fair Trade Federation, which is a competitive and strict peer-reviewed federation of organizations dedicated to upholding fair trade practices. The Fair Trade Federation identifies the following nine principles for fair trade organizations to uphold:

  • Create Opportunities for Marginalized Producers
    Develop Transparent Relationships
    Build Capacity
    Promote Fair Trade
    Pay Promptly and Fairly
    Support Empowering Working Conditions
    Ensure Children's Rights
  • Cultivate Environmental Stewardship
    Respect Cultural Identity 

back to top

How do you ensure that your products are fair trade?

We work with all our partner organizations to determine fair living wage standards and ensure fair trade practices for each community. We communicate with multiple individuals in each artisan group so that checks and balances are inherently built into the process. Periodic visits by GGP staff and trusted colleagues in international development who reside in the countries where we work also contribute to our information gathering efforts. 

back to top

What makes GGP different from others retailers selling fair trade crafts?

We differ from other retailers in four key areas:

1) We work with small artisan communities. Producer groups with greater capacities can often find access to a variety of markets. We are committed to working with the most marginalized and rural groups with small production capacities that are often just starting to bring product to market.

2) We are a not-for-profit, dedicating all our profits to supporting our community-based partner organizations. We work closely with our partners, providing capacity-building grants and technical assistance in their production processes, organizational operations, and social change agendas.

3) Our partners all pursue community development work. Our artisan groups all hold community development as a key facet of their work. Income generation is a critical issue, but is often more successful if funds and efforts are also invested in community building programs such as access to education, health services, child-care, and the advancement of human rights and social justice.

4) We share the stories of our artisans and their community organizations. Our website is dedicated to providing educational resources to consumers regarding the countries and communities in which GGP products are made, the techniques of production used, and the lives of the women who create the products you purchase. 

back to top

How does GGP find and choose its artisan partners?

Global Goods Partners' founders are veterans of the international development world. Many of GGP's artisan groups come through our founder's work in international development and referrals from other trusted development colleagues and organizations. Prospective groups can also apply to work with us through our website. GGP's priority is to find strong women-led community groups with quality handmade products that have the potential to be marketed in the U.S.

Our artisan partners are community-based organizations, social enterprises, and artisan cooperatives that pair the production and sale of handcrafted items with local development programs to improve the quality of life in their societies. 

back to top

Why focus on women?

Women and children often suffer disproportionately from economic, environmental, political, and social hardships. When women receive the tools to learn a craft, manage their finances, or start and run a business, they gain experience, confidence, practical skills, and economic independence. These skills and experiences enable women to move beyond achieving simple economic improvements to making a real positive impact on the well-being of their families and their communities. 

back to top

Where else can I find your products?

In addition to our online fair trade store, our products are also available in retail stores across the country. If you are interested in selling our fair trade wholesale products, click here.

back to top

What percentage of my purchase goes to the artisan?

Costs built into the price of each product include: international shipping and customs, warehousing and shipping products to customers, photographing products for the website, developing and enhancing our site to better showcase our artisan partners, representing our partners' work at trade fairs, and investing in product development and technical support. All of our work is in support of our community-based partner organizations, with 100 percent of proceeds from product sales reinvested in our partners' mission and operations. For a breakdown of where sales revenue goes, visit our Impact page. 

back to top

How and when are artisans paid?

As a fair trade organization, we pay our artisans 50 percent of the product cost when we place an order so that our groups can purchase the materials they need for production, and 50 percent when the order is delivered. GGP assumes the cost of all inventory that doesn't sell; all of the artisans are paid upfront for their work regardless of whether it sells or not. 

back to top

How can I learn about the impact of my purchase?

Our website is packed with in-depth information about our community partners, the unique challenges they face, the techniques they employ in their craft, and the ideas behind socially responsible shopping. Visit the Impact section of our site for additional information. 

back to top

How can I support GGP’s partners without making a purchase?

We appreciate your desire to help in any way. We accept tax-deductible donations at any amount for artisan support programs. This includes our grants program that provides critical funding in areas such as healthcare, education, and emergency services. 

back to top

Stay Informed