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13th May 2011

What is fair trade?

Fair trade is about helping producers in developing countries through a market based approach. It is about guaranteeing that standards are being implemented regarding working conditions, wages, child labour and the environment. Hathay Bunano is a member of the Ecota Fair Trade Forum, the body for Fair Trade in Bangladesh, which is a member of the World Fair Trade Forum. Hathay Bunano can therefore be described as a Fair Trade Organisation.

There’s lots of background on Fair Trade on wikipedia at

But for us it’s more than just meeting the standards that are set. It’s about helping women so that they can work and providing the support they need to enable them to be able to work. Whilst the vast majority of our production centres are in villages in rural locations, we also have a centre in a slum area of Dhaka and here we have a creche and a pre-school so that women with children can bring their children with them and they will be cared for and educated while their mothers are working. It’s about having a doctor associated with the centres so that women can access reliable healthcare when they need it. It’s about helping women get their children into school when they are old enough to go; helping them fill out the forms if they are illiterate or semi-literate and going with them to the school to ensure the application is safely received and processed. It’s about using the facilities we have to help them, like downloading and printing the school books for them from our head office at the beginning of the school year. It’s about being there for the women when they need a little extra help and support whilst at the same time respecting their choices.

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