Frequently Asked Questions about Global Conduct & Fair Trade
Your questions on postage, our returns policy and payment options should be answered on our Purchasing pages. Please contact us if there is anything else that you are unsure of as we will happily add more questions and answers to this page. We love questions – it keeps us in touch with you!
How do we know you are not just using the “fair trade” tag as a marketing ploy?
Good question – Look at our website, our products and our producers – we have formed relationships with these people that we hope will last a long time. We are a member of the Fair Trade Association of Australia and
At the end of the day we believe very strongly in what we are doing. It is an exciting concept to run a commercial business in this way and one which we can thank several international companies such as The Body Shop, People Tree and World of Good for leading the way so fearlessly.
How do you really know that your producers operate using fair trade principles?
We are purchasing and importing directly from the source. Over 90% of our producers are members of IFAT and therefore we know that they are subject to the IFAT code of practice and external review of their operations. There are only a few of our producers that we have not personally visited to view their operations. They are all either IFAT members or otherwise well established in their fair trade credentials. Our FAIRTRADE Label certified products are sourced from licensed Fairtrade importers and are guaranteed by the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO).
How can we learn more and spread the word about fair trade?
Visit our links page for lots of fair trade resources. Tell your friends about fairly traded handicrafts and Fairtrade certified products.
We would like to incorporate some aspect of fair trade in our own business but we don’t know how?
An easy starting point is to buy Fairtrade coffee and tea for the lunch room and seek out some yummy Fairtrade chocolate for Friday afternoon staff treats!!! Another way is to incorporate a fair trade product as part of a promotion, Xmas gifts for clients or in your packaging. If you are interested in developing a specific product for your business allow us to assist and together we can help provide another regular income stream for a fair trade group. We’ve got lots of ideas and seen some great things – sharing resources and product sources is a basic principle of fair trade and we are happy to share our expertise and experience!
Do you supply wholesale products?
We are currently developing a specialised wholesale operation, please contact us for further details on the progress of this.
Are you looking for new suppliers or product ideas?
Always, if you know of a group and/or product that we may be able to work with please let us know and we will follow up on it.
Some of your prices seem expensive, I thought overseas craft was cheap in both price & quality. I have seen crafts for sale a lot cheaper in markets when I travelled.
The cheap in quality tag is one that unfortunately had a lot of truth in it –a truth created by a lot of cheap & nasty craft work that flooded the world markets in the 1970’s & 80’s. This was made worse by unscrupulous middle men paying next to nothing to the producer, who then could not possibly afford to use top quality raw materials or take the time required to make a quality product using tried & true traditional techniques. Remember - we all had a batik shirt that turned a whole wash load purple! Our suppliers are very aware of this and have worked very hard to overcome this reputation. You can still find “cheap” craft all over the tourist markets of the world – this is not where we are buying from and unfortunately it’s highly unlikely that the makers of these items would see even a fraction of what tourists are charged for them. Our suppliers are all incredibly professional in regards to the high quality of the raw materials used, their craft techniques, product design, quality control and marketing. They have their own costs to bear, in addition to paying the artists a fair wage and supporting their social, educational and environmental programs.
When you purchase a handcrafted item from Global Conduct you are buying an exceptional hand made piece that we have picked from literally thousands of available products. Some of our products can have hundreds of hours work invested in them – how much would you expect to be paid for this type of work?
We also have costs to run a successful business – if we don’t make a profit, we go under and our suppliers lose your custom. Shipping and customs charges can add significantly to the base cost of our orders. Interestingly we have found that some groups in certain locations (The Nepal Fair Trade Group – being a perfect example) work together exceptionally well. This can help to reduce their costs by bulk purchasing of raw materials and our costs by combining shipments to reduce shipping and customs fees.
Do you contribute by way of donation to any of the producer groups?
Yes, we have since 2009 provided funds to a womens embroidery group in Kolkata (Tiljala Panchanna Gram Mahila Samiti Society) to provide them with further assistance in their building program. Another organisation in Kolkata (Sasha) partnered with us and provided further grant funding to the project. We chose this particular small group because we knew we could see tangible physical results from the funds we have provided to them. These results not only directly benefit the female members of the co-operative but also flow on to benefit their children and extended families. A mother with sustainable employment equals children with food, education and tangible futures. We do not really see this money as a donation - more a recognition by us of the skill and enterprise of the women and a token of our gratitude for their connection with us.
Many of our producers deliberately do not accept donations. Whilst they may have started out requiring grants and donations to become established they now do what they do, to be in business and to be sustainable – not to rely on charity. Charity is not a way out of poverty, equitable trade is!
We pay a premium price for quality goods. We do not “haggle” or press our suppliers to lower their pricing. From the money received for the goods the producer groups pay the artisans (who may even be shareholders of the co-operative), purchase more materials, develop new products and techniques and carry out their own social, health, education and environmental programmes. They often also support other co-operatives and fair trade producers in their supply chain for packaging products or raw materials. You can find out more about our producers and their work on our Producers page.
|Fairtrade Organic Tielka Tea|
|Kashmiri Chainstitch Cushion Cover - Miro Alien|
|Multi Coloured Knit Bag|
|CD - Women of Africa|
|Leather Ziparound Purse - Batik Border|
|Leather Satchel - Red Stencilled|
|30% OFF - Handloomed Cotton Butti Cushion Cover - Black|
|Leather Ziparound Wallet - Batik Border|
|Feltie - Laptop or Book Sleeve (Large)|