Central to our values
From the outset, we defined four key values which we wanted to live by.
These are still at the heart of everything we try to do, namely:
- Create special products which people will cherish
- Make Fair Trade a way of life
- Minimise our environmental footprint
- Be honest and open in all our communications
This video will tell you more about how we got into Fair Trade in the first place, and what sort of things are involved.
Guaranteed Fair Trade
The first furniture company in Europe
You can probably tell from the fact that we have called our company ‘The Fair Trade Furniture Co Ltd’ that Fair Trade is pretty fundamental to our beliefs and values.
The Fairtrade mark that is now so familiar in the UK is not available as a system for furniture, so from the outset we aligned ourselves with the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), which sets out 10 guiding principles to help bring about a more positive approach to trading between the developed and developing world.
Having become full members of WFTO in 2012, we then put ourselves forward for their new guarantee system process in 2015 and completed this successfully in November 2016. This involved a detailed independent audit of ourselves in the UK and our producer partners in Indonesia.
As a result of passing the audit, we are now allowed to put a Guaranteed Fair Trade label on our products, meaning that the principles of Fair Trade have been correctly applied from supplier through to the customer. Learn more about the specific principles in the section that follows.
You can also find out more about the excellent work that WFTO are doing at:
10 key principles of Fair Trade
The WFTO sets out ten clear principles on which the Fair Trade guarantee system are based:
- Use trade to reduce poverty, creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers
- Operate with transparency and accountability
- Trading practices which emphasise the well-being of producers
- Payment of a fair price, set by the producer
- No child or forced labour
- Encourage equal opportunity, non-discrimination and freedom of association
- Ensure safe and healthy working conditions
- Focus on building the capacity of the supplier
- Active promotion of Fair Trade
- Commitment to the environment, and sustainable practices.
The principles can be studied in more detail at this link: WFTO 10 principles
Who Benefits from Fair Trade?
Everyone benefits: our suppliers, their workforce and the consumer.
Our suppliers benefit from:
- Regular advance payments to ease their cashflow
- Prices fixed by them so they can afford to pay decent wages and make a profit
- Training and support when they need it for skills development and better working conditions
The teams who work for our partners benefit from:
- Wage levels above the local average and moving towards the concept of a living wage
- Good working conditions and employment benefits
And as consumers, we benefit from a direct connection with the people who made our furniture and the knowledge that they have been well paid for their skill and labour.
As our partner, Deddy Heriyanto puts it: “We feel like we have a brother overseas. We have partners who give respect to us even though we are small business. We feel our works are appreciated in a proper way. Thank you very much.”