On 13 May 2017, World Fair Trade Day, people in the Fair Trade supply chain, supporters and consumers worldwide went out and formed human chains to show their support for Fair Trade and the planet. Learn how you can be an Agent for Change!
What does "fair trade" mean to Serrv?
As founding members of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) and the Fair Trade Federation (FTF), our values align with the principles to which these organizations are committed.
Fair trade icons courtesy of the WFTO.
Value #1: Creating opportunity
Part of our mission is to support artisans and farmers with opportunities to grow and develop independence. We do this in a number of ways, including skills trainings, educational programs, grants and loans to help expand businesses, and support for other needed development projects. With a goal of economic self-sufficiency, we help our partners move away from income insecurity.
Value #2: Honest relationships
Relationships mean a lot to us, and we take great pride in knowing our artisan and farmer partners on a personal level. Some of our partnerships have lasted over 25 years! We are passionate about working together to overcome the challenges they face and supporting ideas that will help them grow stronger. Through ongoing communication and frequent visits to workshops and communities around the world, Serrv maintains mutually respectful and transparent relationships with our partners.
Value #3: Community investment
Our partners make it a priority to invest in development projects that benefit the greater good, and as a result, sustainable communities have been built on the ripple effects of fair trade. We've supported successful schools, community wells, health centers and clinics, anti-trafficking programs, solar energy and more over the years.
Value #4: Pay fairly and promptly
Our partners always set the price for their products, confirming accuracy and fairness. We work to ensure all of our partner artisans and farmers earn a fair wage. Serrv promptly pays in full for each order, with a 50% advance payment when requested so materials can be purchased to produce the order. We also prioritize ordering consistently from our partners, so artisans and farmers are more likely to have a sustainable, reliable income throughout the year.
Value #5: Prevent child exploitation
Children have the right to security, education, and play. Throughout the trading chain, we adhere to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as local laws and social norms. Our partners have a strong focus on educational opportunities and actively encourage artisans and their families to send their children to school.
Value #6: Women's rights
Because women in areas where Serrv works suffer astonishing degrees of discrimination and lack of opportunity, we emphasize empowering women artisans and supporting their development in self-sufficiency and independence. Fair trade creates workplaces that cultivate participation in decisions, educational programs focused on women's health, and environments where women can network and support each other. Many artisans are able to work on products in their homes, which allows women to care for their families or perform household duties as needed.
Value #7: Safe Working conditions
By fair trade standards, a safe and healthy work environment is required for our artisan and farmer partners, free of forced labor. On an ongoing basis, our partners work to raise awareness of health and safety issues or practices within their organizations, and ensure artisans and farmers participate in the decisions that affect them.
Value #8: Expand market access
At Serrv, we open the market for our artisan and farmer partners to you, our customer, and continuously develop our efforts to increase sales. But our intentions don't stop there – we also strive for our partners to expand their product design and marketing tools to attract additional international buyers by providing assistance at gift shows, product and design recommendations, and updates to marketing materials.
Value #9: Mutual respect
The long-term relationships Serrv maintains with our partners are based on mutual respect and understanding the challenges we each face. Because we are all working towards the same goal of empowering artisans and farmers, together we are able to find solutions through effective communication and collaboration.
Value #10: Earth stewardship
At Serrv, we take pride in our respect for the environment. We work with our partners to ensure that our products are made responsibly, with sustainable materials and production techniques. Many of our partners are active in environmental projects within their communities, including sustainable harvesting of materials, waste water treatment, reforestation initiatives, environmental education programs, and others. We also import the vast majority of our products by sea, which takes longer but has much less of an impact than air freight.