5 Ethical and Fair-Trade Products in Indonesia

Fair-Trade Products

5 Ethical and Fair-Trade Products in Indonesia

The concept of Fair-Trade Products was pioneered in 1998 by Edna Ruth Byle as a means of solving the world’s trading problem. Trading is most often financially beneficial, but it can also be detrimental. The issue is that trade losses are frequently the result of unfair trade governance. Injustice in trade governance occurs not only at the micro-level but also at the macro level, as is the case with global free trade. This is where Fair-Trade came in to reorganize the corrupt trading system.

Fair-Trade Products

Fair-trade is a social movement that aims to help producers in developing countries benefit from better trading activities while also promoting environmental sustainability. It supports the process of sustainable development by offering better trading conditions and fulfilling the rights of marginal producers and workers. Members of this movement advocate for higher export prices as well as higher social and environmental standards. Fair-trade mainly focuses on commodities or products that are typically exported from developing countries to developed countries but are also consumed in developing countries.

Fair-trade products range from whole foods such as bananas and coffee beans to home appliances and jewellery.

Fair-Trade Principles

According to World Fair Trade Organization, there are 10 principles that fair-trade companies must comprise. They are:

Graphic by WTFO Europe
  1. Create Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
  2. Transparency and Accountability
  3. Fair Trading Practices
  4. Payment of a Fair Price
  5. Ensuring no Child Labour and Forced Labour
  6. Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment and Freedom of Association
  7. Ensuring Good Working Conditions
  8. Providing Capacity Building
  9. Promoting Fair Trade
  10. Respect for the Environment

Through these principles, it is acknowledgeable that Fair Trade is so much more than economic activity: it demonstrates that greater justice in global trade is possible. It emphasizes the need for change in policy and practices of traditional trade and demonstrates how a successful business can also prioritize individuals.

Fair-Trade Certifications

Fair-Trade Products Certifications
Photo by: Indo Asia

Flocert mentioned that Fairtrade certification is a product certification system that certifies the social, economic, and environmental aspects of production against Fairtrade Standards for Producers and Traders. The Fairtrade system tracks the product’s purchase and sale process until it is consumer packaged and labelled. In 63 countries and counting, the Fair Trade CertifiedTM seal represents thousands of products that are working to improve millions of lives and protecting land and waterways.

There are around 2400 companies worldwide certified with Fair Trade, making up to 20% of the world’s companies. Before getting certified, some terms and conditions need to be fulfilled. Financial capacity is one of them. Hence, not all businesses that did not get the mark is not practising Fair-trade principles.

5 Fair-Trade Companies in Indonesia

In Indonesia on its own, around 25 fair-trade sealed companies are promoting a wide range of fair-trade products. Below are 5 of them:

1. Mitra Bali

Mitra Bali as a company that sell fair-trade products
Source: Mitra Bali

Mitra Bali is a business located in Bali, Indonesia that offers fair-trade homewares and miscellaneous. They are actively assisting marginalized craft producers in understanding and developing a fair trade model. Their strong belief in fair trade is reflected in the structure and business style of their organization.  Agung Alit, as the founder, along with the team make sure that there is clear dialogue, equality, and a sense of mutual respect all across the manufacturing processes.

2. Koperasi Kopi Wanita Gayo (KKWG)

Koperasi Kopi Wanita Gayo as a company that sell fair-trade products
Source: Suara Gayo

Koperasi Kopi Wanita Gayo (KKWG or Kokowagayo) is the only women’s cooperative in Southeast Asia that is included in the international women’s coffee farmer organization based in Peru, South America, namely the Organic Product Trading Company (OPTCO) Cafe Femenino.

Rizkani Melati, the representative and founder of Kokowagayo, stated that all employees of this cooperative are female coffee farmers, with a total of 409 people managing 342 hectares (ha) of land. Kokowagayo’s market is 70% in the United States, 20% in Europe, and 10% in Australia.

3. Apikri

Apikri promotes fair trade by empowering micro and small handicraft producers. Apikri is one of the firsts Indonesian fair trade organization founded in 1987 by 25 small producers of handicrafts and NGO activists who assisted them.

Selling fair-trade products, they aim to be a fair trade voice that empowers micro-small handicraft communities in Indonesia, with the mission of improving business capacity building for micro and small handicraft producers, facilitating market access for micro and small handicraft producers, strengthening micro and small handicraft producers and more.

4. East Bali Cashews

East Bali Cashews as a company that sell fair-trade products
Source: Bali Spirit

East Bali Cashews began with a hope to reduce the carbon footprint of cashews nut while also providing economic opportunities and empowering the people of Desa Ban, an underprivileged neighbourhood in East Bali.

They have expanded quickly from a few stores in Bali to the global markets in Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. With every sale, the creation of over 400 jobs in East Bali is enabled and secured. The majority of those positions are held by previously unemployed local women who now have a personal source of income as well as access to education and professional development.

In the following future, they are shooting for a greater social impact by improving the area’s first preschool that they have established, develop professional talent, and implement farming improvement projects.

5. Muntigunung Community Social Enterprise

Muntigunung Community Social Enterprise as a company that sell fair-trade products
Source: Muntigunung

Employment for former beggars, high quality, fair prices, environmentally conscious and healthy. With these 5 principles, Muntigunung Community Social Enterprise has been standing strong as one of the most successful Fair-trade businesses.

Muntigunung was one of Bali’s deprived neighbourhoods in 2004. It was desolate and bore no resemblance to Bali’s lush and tropical vibe. Families had no access to water and had to walk for four hours on average to get water. There were few job opportunities, and the intense long dry season prevented agricultural produce cultivation for the majority of the year.

Since the enterprise enters Muntigunung, the community begins to flourish. Profits from the sales of their fair-trade products are reinvested, which creates employment opportunities in the community. Working and earning a decent wage instils pride and allows families there to stay together and improve their life quality.

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