La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE
Below, you will find the main features of the cooperation between La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE and the craftswomen/men on Madagascar.
Creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers. Capacity building.
Madagascar is, in economic terms, one of the poorest countries in the world. 77,84 % of the population live in extreme poverty (below the international line 1,9 USD/day) according to the 2017 figures from the World bank. At the same time, the country has a rich culture and, considering economic poverty, highly educated population.
In order to give concrete economic support and secure good communication, the craftswomen/men are visited yearly. The cooperation was established in 1995 and includes approx. 30 informal groups.
*Loans is given to the craft producers. This is of outmost importance for the economically poor, but in craft-skills rich, to be able to make use of the talent. The loans are interest-free, paid before the start of production and amounts to the total value of planned production.
*Regular orders within the framework of a long-term commitment. This is the basis for the craft-producers economic security and skill development.
*Export-administration: In cooperation with a local firm, La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE provides with export administration and ensures local tax-payment . This gives the opportunity to craft producers without a registered firm (i.e. genuine micro-producers in the informal sector) to be the suppliers.
Payment of a fair price. Transparency and accountability.
*Focusing on value-added products. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE does not trade with raw materials. In the colonial trade system, Africa was the supplier of raw materials. We work for change.
*Product-development and a price decided in dialogue with the craftswomen/men, not middle-men.
*La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE AB´s Accounts and Annual Report is audited by an Approved Public Accountant and available to anyone as an official document at the Swedish Registration Office. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE is non-profit. Voluntary contributions makes reinvestments possible.
*Reporting to the World Fair Trade Organization according to the standards and monitoring system for Fair Trade Organizations since the introduction of the system in 2003. Certificate renewed 2005, 2007 (2007 also approved through external verification), 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016
Environment and working conditions
*Madagascar has an environment with a unique flora and fauna. It is of outmost importance that this is protected and preserved. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE support environmentally-friendly, small-scale craft production based on locally available raw materials.
*Recycling: In the capital Antananarivo, used metal cans is the material for making crafts. As the town has no recycling plant for cans, the craft production is actually alleviating an increasing waste/pollution problem. The same applies to plastic waste, which is used by artisans to make beads.
*Only Öko-Tex certified dyes are used for raffia, sisal etc fibres in the assortment.
* The leather is vegetable tanned with lime and mimosa leaves, free from chrome.
* Only genuine craft made in studio or home -- none from factory.
*Before each shipment, all products are controlled and approved by the ministries concerned with culture and environment: Ministère de la Culture et du Patrimonie, Ministère de l' Environnement et Fôrets. The products are certified by the Ministère de la Promotion de l'Artisant as handicrafts (produits fait à la main).
*All products are shipped by sea from Madagascar to Sweden.
Gender Equity. The rights of the child.
*ca 75% of the artisans are women. All producer group responsible are women (with one exeption) or a woman together with a man.
The overall coordination is made by women.
*Children do not, for obvious reasons, participate in the work
Promoting culture and traditions
*Family traditions is the foundation for the craft skills owned by the individual. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE support that these skills are practiced, preserved and with pride can be passed over to the next generation. The arts and craft items are bearers of culture. La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE promotion support that the items, in addition to be practical and aesthetical, also create understanding and respect for the craft producers´ culture internationally.
Development: Strategic direction
La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE has had environment in focus since start. The development suggests that this will be further enhanced. Climate change is of major importance, not the least from a perspective of fairness: The poorest countries are the ones that have contributed the least to the ongoing climate change, but they are the worst hit by its consequences.
Postal address: La Maison Afrique FAIR TRADE AB, Trustorps gård, 311 65 Vessigebro SWEDEN