Fair Trade

Bholu Pty Ltd Fair Trade Standards

Bholu Pty Ltd proudly operates and adheres to the 10 Standards of Fair Trade for the operation of a business and carries out continuous monitoring to ensure these standards are upheld.

1. Creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers.

Fair Trade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Its purpose is to create opportunities for producers who have been economically disadvantaged or marginalized by the conventional trading system.

The production and handwork of Bholu Pty Ltd is operated in both urban and rural communities.  Each of the designs and techniques of copyright of Bholu Pty Ltd utilize a specialized traditional craft carried out by Gujarati women in India.  By incorporating traditional techniques and handicraft Bholu purposefully provides these communities and specifically the women, with sustainable incomes and independence.

2. Transparency and accountability

Fair Trade involves transparent management and commercial relations to deal fairly and respectfully with trading partners.

Bholu Pty Ltd works in conjunction with a manufacturer based in Gujarat, India who deals directly with the women on behalf of the company. We have completely transparent negotiations and together work on the women’s wages and working standards, which are all periodically monitored and assessed in line with the above principle.

3. Capacity building

Fair Trade is a means to develop producers’ independence. Fair Trade relationships provide continuity, during which producers and their marketing organizations can improve their management skills and their access to new markets.

The work that Bholu Pty Ltd provides to the women and their team leaders is based on strict routines and business practice. There are production deadlines and strict handwork/product quality standards, which must be adhered to. Consequently the women are indirectly learning project management skills.  They need to be organized and responsible which provides them with key transferable skills allowing their horizons to be broadened in a general business sense.

4. Promoting Fair Trade

Fair Trade Organizations raise awareness of Fair Trade and the possibility of greater justice in world trade. They provide their customers with information about the organization, the products, and in what conditions they are made. They use honest advertising and marketing techniques and aim for the highest standards in product quality and packing.

Bholu Pty Ltd promotes Fair Trade as it’s main business philosophy. The products and branding would not be what it is without the promotion of Fair Trade and the support our production provides to creating a sustainable income and trade for women in particular communities.

Bholu Pty Ltd provides FAQ’s on all printed material, postcards, company promotion and website content in the promotion of Fair Trade. We are entirely transparent with our customers and media and regularly answer questions about the women, their work conditions and our association with them. With all our products we supply postcards detailing the story of the product, information about the communities, how it was made and how the purchase of the product directly affects these women.

5. Payment of a fair price

A fair price in the regional or local context is one that has been agreed through dialogue and participation. It covers not only the costs of production but enables production which is socially just and environmentally sound. It provides fair pay to the producers and takes into account the principle of equal pay for equal work by women and men. Fair Traders ensure prompt payment to their partners and, whenever possible, help producers with access to pre-harvest or pre-production financing.

The price we pay the women for their hand embroidery is negotiated in conjunction with our manufacturer and with team leaders in each community. The price negotiated is above average for this kind of work and is in every respect a fair price. The above average price ensures we are achieving the best results, maintaining the high quality of craftsman ship and encouraging more time and care to be spent per piece.

A higher fee is paid to each community’s team leaders who have additional responsibilities in co-ordination, distribution of work and monies paid to the women.

The women are only permitted to work for Bholu Pty Ltd once a bank account has been established. This is compulsory in order to work, as it encourages saving of money. Importantly it means the money paid to the women is in cheque form not cash, which means the money cannot be pilfered or stolen and prevents corruption within the families, workers and communities. A bank account will be set up by the manufacturer, if a woman wishes to work but does not have the immediate banking facilities.

A strong, honest and non-corrupt payment system has been set up for this purpose and the women are paid monthly on approval of the goods and a thorough quality check of the hand work. If there is a quality problem, the women will be asked to rectify the handwork and return it to receive the quality check before their payment is approved.

6. Gender Equity

Fair Trade means that women’s work is properly valued and rewarded. Women are always paid for their contribution to the production process and are empowered in their organizations.

The philosophy of Bholu Pty Ltd is based upon gender equity. The women’s work is highly valued and rewarded. Their work is done around their every day house work and promotes independence and empowerment by means of earning an income. Their contribution provides the basis for Bholu products and the company’s identity in the wider community.

7. Working conditions

Fair Trade means a safe and healthy working environment for producers. The participation of children (if any) does not adversely affect their well-being, security, educational requirements and need for play and conforms to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as the law and norms in the local context.

The women complete their handiwork in their own homes, which are safe and healthy. They either work outside or inside with natural light or are aided by electrical lighting. The women work between 7-8 hours a day, allowing them time to also complete their domestic duties.

8. Child Labour

Fair Trade Organizations respect the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as local laws and social norms in order to ensure that the participation of children in production processes of fairly traded articles (if any) does not adversely affect their well-being, security, educational requirements and need for play. Organizations working directly with informally organised producers disclose the involvement of children in production

Children are not involved in the production of products for Bholu Pty Ltd. They are however involved on a much more joyous level, by being provided with the opportunity to participate in artistic workshops, giving them a time to laugh, play and be creative. The children’s drawings are used as part of the designs and aesthetics for the products.

In relation to the production of the individual products and embroidery Bholu Pty Ltd does not permit the employment of women or children under the age of 20. The women are aged between 20 and 50 years of age. There is no upper limit on the age of women who can participate in the traditional craft, however, due to the intricate nature of the skill the more eldery tend not to continue practicing embroidery.

9. The environment

Fair Trade actively encourages better environmental practices and the application of responsible methods of production.

The environments in which the women work are safe, private and community based and are often in their own homes and done within groups of women, which also encourages a social and safe network.

10. Trade Relations.

Fair Trade Organizations trade with concern for the social, economic and environmental well-being of marginalized small producers and do not maximise profit at their expense. They maintain long-term relationships based on solidarity, trust and mutual respect that contribute to the promotion and growth of Fair Trade. Whenever possible producers are assisted with access to pre-harvest or pre-production advance payment.

Bholu Pty Ltd has at its core the intention to positively impact marginalized communities by establishing, monitoring and maintaining a company that has responsibly priced products.

This report was compiled and last updated with inspection on location in India by the Company Directors, November 2008. Photographic documentation and statements of the working conditions can also be provided on request.

For any further enquiries or questions in regards to the Fair Trade Work Practise and Conditions of Bholu Pty Ltd, please contact us.