Fair Trade Program

WOCA is in the process of becoming a certified Fair Trade Federation member. The program has been implemented locally within Idaho so far, with the participation of Native American women at Duck Valley who create intricate bead work, with WOCA serving as a distributor.

Women from Duck Valley in the Fair Trade program

A network will be established with other organizations that already work with migrant, immigrant, and native women. This connection will be made to help recruit women who are interested in the fair trade program. WOCA's role is to recruit women with skills and introduce them to the framework of the program and will be introduced to Keziah Sullivan from Ten Thousand Villages, with whom they will be working directly at first. WOCA will not receive any payment for its role and will only serve to facilitate the networking.

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 decisionmaking process within the household and community. It also gives them a sense of greater freedom and security.