Fair Trade Sports, Inc is the first sports equipment company in the US to launch a full line of eco-certified Fair Trade sports balls, ensuring fair wages and healthy working conditions for adult workers.
As part of Fair Trade requirements for sports balls (PDF), the working conditions in these units (ventilation, lighting and access to safe drinking water) are being improved each year.
The key component of Fair Trade criteria, however, is that the workers in these centers receive a substantially increased wage for all soccer balls and other sports products ordered under Fair Trade conditions. These wages are calculated, if it were applied for all their work, to meet the basic needs of a family, and would allow the children to go to school instead of having to work.
Furthermore, a basic health care program is provided for all those involved in the production of Fair Trade sports balls, a first for this type of employment. And in order to reduce the workers’ dependency on the ball-export production (which can be seasonal), micro-credit loans are offered to improve the village economy and to provide alternative or additional income opportunities to the workers.
To finance these changes, a Fair Trade premium is also placed on the price of each unit. And as with all other products that carry the Fair Trade certification, compliance with these criteria is subject to constant independent monitoring. The Fair Trade certification does indeed guarantee a better deal for all producers.
In the case of Fair Trade soccer balls, the price of every ball includes a premium that we pay (but do not pass on to you, the consumer), which contributes to the healthcare and micro-credit programs described above, the improvement of working conditions, and above all, ensures that whoever stitched your ball has received a fair wage.
We believe this gives an entirely new meaning to the term, ‘customer satisfaction’!
Fair Trade products are catching on. Many people now know it’s socially responsible to buy Fair Trade products. After all, the ultimate goal, as explained by Fair Trade USA, is to alleviate poverty in communities around the world. But did you know that Fair Trade also stands for quality?
Fair Trade couldn’t survive without quality. Even the most socially-conscious consumers don’t want to spend money on poorly crafted goods or bad-tasting coffee. Producing quality products helps Fair Trade-certified farmers and workers compete in the global market.
Spend two minutes to check out Fair Trade USA’s third film in the new micro-doc series that helps explain Fair Trade in less than two minutes. This time focusing on farmers in Rwanda and how they are investing their premium funds in quality control initiatives.