Friday, February 6, 2015

Trade AID on Etsy

The campaign for Fair Trade has not really been of great interest until recent times when the world has started to feel that the original creators of an art or craft, or farmers of a product, should be the ones to benefit more from their talent and work. Ghana is blessed with such creative talents as we tend to see more original genuine handiworks created by the people.

Local basket weavers working on their handicrafts

The Upper East Region is one of the ten Regions in Ghana and is home to very talented craft makers. These craft producers use a lot of their time and energy to produce many very beautiful and attractive products. These crafts range from straws products like fruit baskets, waste paper baskets and pot baskets, to leather products like bags and footrests, to very neatly woven fabrics and then of course to traditional smocks, which are symbolic of northern Ghana.

Trade AID Integrated seeks to improve the livelihood of these craft men and women through trade by opening their markets to the international world and also improving their capacity. It is in light of this that Trade AID has decided to sell these wonderful products on Etsy.com.

Etsy is an online shop for selling arts and crafts products directly to customers all across the globe, eliminating the need for the crafts producers to sell their products through middle men. The use of middle men tends to mean that the original crafts producers don’t receive a fair price for their goods because these traders need to make a good profit when they sell the products on. Therefore when TradeAID sells a craft product on Etsy, the producers get a much fairer price. (You can see our shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TradeAID?page=1)

This week we went out to the artisans who are beneficiaries of the e-selling to find out how they felt about it and the response so far has been great. So many of these craft producers are now getting a lot more money and orders.
The basket weavers responding to our questions
about the benefits of Etsy

As it is clear from this e-selling that Fair Trade can really help crafts people in Bolga, we have also been out to educate students on Fair Trade at the Zuarungu Secondary School and the response was massive. The students were engaged and responded positively to our questions, so we hope that these students will go a long way to educate their parents and others on the benefits of Fair Trade and on Bolga becoming a Fair Trade Town. We will be doing more sensitisations like this next week, so watch this space to find out more about it then!

Felix Ayambire (In-country volunteer)

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