Recently, one of our customers contacted us questioning us about our Bolga Baskets and whether they are Fair Trade.
Because we thought you might be interested, here is our response...
Hi and thanks so much for your call. I really appreciate it. It always amazes me to see the claims that some make (that only one basket company in Ghana treats women fairly!). Anyway, we take a lot of pride in how we work with the women, families and communities that make Baraka Shea Butter and the baskets that we bring to North America.
We looked at Fair Trade but when we saw the many thousands of dollars it would cost each year we asked who would pay for that? We didn’t want our customers to pay. We didn’t want to give less to the communities so we could claim to be treating them fair and we couldn’t take less for our own margin or we couldn’t stay in business. So, we decided to just continue to do all we could for the women, families and communities, to share our story openly and honestly and trust that the way we do our business would see us through.
So far, although we sure aren’t getting rich, we are very happy. We are able to put many thousands of dollars into the hands of women and families, are able to directly support education and development and are able to connect with many wonderful customers across North America. For us, that means we are successful (although sometimes our banker wouldn’t agree! :)
Here are some links you may find interesting:
A recent blog post on the joy of buying the baskets and interacting with the women who make them.
The page on our website that talks about some of the work we do to support development and communities.
I’ve also used my ‘day-job’ footer below and you can see and read about some of the other work that I do around Corporate Social Responsibility. Thanks again and please let me know if you have any questions.
President & Founder, CSR Training Institute
Professor of Practice in Corporate Social Responsibility, McGill University / ISID