Fair Trade Program

The program has been implemented locally within Idaho, with the participation of Native American women at Duck Valley Indian Reservation who create bead work and other hand-crafted items.

Women from Duck Valley in the Fair Trade program

A network was established with other organizations that already work with migrant, immigrant and native women. This connection was made to help recruit women who are interested in the fair trade program.

Under fair trade practices, producers receive a fair wage for their products. They are paid according to their country's minimum wage. Since minimum wage is not always enough to cover basic expenses for food, shelter, education, and health care for their families. Fair wages do not mean that consumers are paying soaring prices for these products. Since fair trade distributors bypass exploitative middle people and work directly with producers, they are able to cut costs and return a greater percentage of the retail price to the producers.

How can women benefit from fair trade?
  • empowers women to build their self-esteem so they can improve their living standard.

  • brings dignity through the achievement of owning one's own business and being one's own boss.

  • offers the opportunity to native, migrant, and immigrant women to advance by using their talents and skills, either in bead work, pottery, crochet, etc.

  • an option for professionals who come from other countries and are not able to practice their profession and bring with them other special talents and skills which they can use to improve their economic status.

  • gives opportunities to widowed, divorced, and simgle mothers who have skills that they can use for their own benefit.

  • teaches important leadership and organizing skills, enabling self-reliant grassroots-driven development.

  • guarantees a living wage in the local context and offers women opportunities, particularly to the most economically disadvantaged.

  • can offer an alternative livelihood for small producers, generating a new source of income and employment. This generally improves the status of women, increases their self-esteem and expands their role in the decision-making process within the household and community. It also gives them a sense of greater freedom and security.