Our Fair Trade Principles and Policy

JEDI Internationial, Ltd. is a socially and environmentally responsible service provider, exporter, manufacturer and adviser. We practice fair trade in all interactions with employees, suppliers, customers and other stakeholders.

The following principles represent our social and environmental responsibility policy in the management and daily operations of our business:

Definitions:

Fair trade – Our working principles and business policy, defined in this document, in the general lines of WFTO guidelines - with modifications related to our principles and work environment1.
Team members Shareholders, directors, artisans, specialists, employed full-time or part-time, paid by wages or by-the-piece.
Partner artisan workshops – Our long-term suppliers of artisan product lines.
Subcontractors – Businesses or persons performing specific non-routine work.
Suppliers – Other suppliers, for example packaging producers and shipping companies.
Sustainable family income – Income for a family of four to meet it's basic needs, and save for larger purchases.

Acknowledgement:

Our fair trade principles are based on the » 10 Principles of Fair Trade by the WFTO, with details adapted to our company mission and specific situation in rural Thailand. These are the principles we live and work by. We not seek, and we do not exhibit third party accreditations, certifications or labels.

We:

1. Create Opportunities

a) It is our purpose to help create higher income and a better standard of living in Thailand's less advantaged population segments, especially in our rural farming area of northern Thailand, through accessing new markets for handmade, environmentally responsible artisan products. Most often, the products we represent are made by artisans who are members of rural farming families.

b) Through service provision, domestic sales, export sales and manufacture we provide employment and income for those who may not be able to work on the fields, yet can improve their earnings by artisan craft. The women and men we employ are elderly persons, single mothers, landless farmers, migrant workers, farmers in low /off-season, persons who need to watch over children (when this can be done while they work), un- or underemployed or those who have better skills in artisan craft than field work.

c) Employment opportunities are provided by us directly as well as through the partner artisan workshops whom we work together with in the long term. These are also small-scale family businesses, mostly in Chiang Mai valley's farming area.

d) We share our experiences in production and sales with partner artisan workshops, subcontractors, other suppliers and customers. We nurture positive, long-term relationships in order to lower the thresholds of sharing and solving issues that mutually affect our businesses.

e) We are a fully independent small business enterprise. Our purpose of creating opportunities for income generation and empowerment stands at an equal level with sustainable operations. Profit is not a main goal. We are not aligned with any religious or party-political cause.

2. Protect the Environment

a) The products that we work with are selected specifically on the criteria of environmental preservation. Our foremost focus is on products made of bamboo such as bamboo umbrellas, bamboo hand fans, bamboo folding hats, bamboo candles and other bamboo products. Bamboo is a strong, local, natural and quickly renewable material. We also trade in products made of other environmentally responsible materials, such as mango wood and handmade mulberry paper.

b) The production processes for our products must be environmentally sound. The environmental impact of waste must be considered and waste minimized. No harmful waste must be emitted to the environment. Whenever possible, low energy-use appliances, tools and machines must be used, and the use of renewable energy should be considered.

c) Only to a small extent we might work with products that do not have any special environmental aspect. We do not represent products that we deem environmentally damaging in terms of materials or production processes.

d) We engage our partner artisan workshops, subcontractors, suppliers and customers to apply these environmental principles.

3. Trade Fairly

a) We are honest, straightforward and transparent in all our interactions.

b) We start each relationship with a new team member, partner artisan workshop, subcontractor, supplier or a customer with the intention of maintaining a long-term relationship. Long term cooperation is a prerequisite to communicate effectively, share information and understand each others needs and outlooks.

c) Prices by partner artisan workshops, subcontractors and suppliers should reflect all actual costs including the cost of the owner's own labor and administration input, and a reasonable margin. We discuss prices that we deem either higher or lower than market prices, historic prices and our estimates.

d) Products and services of partner artisan workshops usually contain materials, labor and administrative inputs. Workshops and subcontractors receive a down-payment of up to 60% of the order value, if this is needed, with balance payment directly upon delivery according to purchase order. We fully pay product samples according to the same principles, if from available stock with the full purchase price.

e) We operate, and our partner artisan workshops cooperate with a quality assurance and control system that aims to minimize losses for them as well as ourselves that might arise from quality issues such as wrong products, faulty products or missing an agreed delivery deadline.

f) We consult with our partner artisan workshops in case we receive an order cancellation or in case we must reject a produced order due to quality issues. In case of order cancellation we pay for work already done and materials purchased. For rejections, for example quality issues, wrong product or missed delivery deadline, the amount of compensation is mutually discussed.

g) We set a reasonable price for sale of our products to customers, which includes costs and a reasonable sales margin, and expect our customers to do the same.

h) We aim to work together with other workshops that have a good track record in fair artisan relations whom we work together with less regularly, in order to produce orders that cannot be produced by any single workshop and to increase the total volume of sales and income opportunities for the area.

i) We promote and protect the cultural identity and traditional skills of artisans and their hand crafted products. We do not engage in duplicating designs or content copyrighted to or used by others; we expect the same from other parties.

j) Designs and content sent us by our customers, suppliers or other parties belong exclusively to them. We keep the designs and content of our customers, suppliers and other parties confidential. We do not use these designs or content on our own account, unless our use has been explicitly authorized by the customer, supplier or other party. In case we wish to publish any comments that customers send to us, we always ask for the customer's explicit approval first.

4. Pay a Fair Price

a) Salaries, wages, remuneration by-the-piece and subcontract amounts are mutually discussed and mutually agreed upon.

b) Team members who we employ full-time or part time on daily or monthly basis receive a wage in the amount of, or higher than the current minimum wage. Wages are furthermore based on skills and dependability.

c) Team members who perform work that is remunerated by-the-piece are on equal wage basis with those who receive wages on daily or monthly basis. They receive a calculated hourly, daily or monthly wage commensurate or higher than the current minimum wage. This is a calculation based on average worker skill, speed and manufacture quality.

d) Team members paid by wages or by-the-piece receive equal pay regardless of gender, gender-preference, allegiance, nationality or origin. Specifically women, men and other genders, as well as Thai, Burmese and other nationalities, or persons of other origins are paid the same wages or by-the-piece prices for work of the same value. This also means we pay Burmese team members the same wages as local team members when we employ them.

e) We aim to provide work remuneration that covers, or more than covers the “Sustainable Family Income”, the income needed to properly sustain a family of four in our area.

f) We endeavor to convince all team members who qualify to participate in the government sponsored social security plan, which contains both health insurance and pension provisions, unless the employee is already covered elsewhere. The monthly amount is equally shared among employee and employer. Social security health insurance is relatively inexpensive yet sufficiently effective to avoid potentially ruinous medical costs.

g) In case offered salary, wage, remuneration or product price is deemed too low or too high by either party, we mutually discuss the reasons. In case there are reasons for adjustment, it is done in mutual agreement.

5. Comply with the Law

a) We adhere to all government laws and regulations. We pay our taxes as an important contribution to the development of the country, the province and the municipality. We renounce those who make the people's money disappear through the practice of corruption.

b) We fully comply with and aim to exceed the provisions of the labor law, including hiring /severance provisions, minimum wage regulations, holiday and vacation leave, sick leave, child labor and forced labor laws, pregnancy provisions, occupational health regulations and social security /health care options for employees.

c) We do not engage in, and do not allow partner workshops, subcontracting artisans, their subcontractors, or suppliers to engage in forced labor or child labor. While children below 15 years are prohibited from work by law, children between 15 and 18 years old may by law work (or train a skill) under certain conditions with reporting to and monitoring by the labor inspector. Any such involvement in production must not adversely effect children's well-being, security, educational requirements or need for play.

6. Ensure Equality

a) We treat all persons equally. This is regardless of gender, gender-preference, religion, political or union affiliation, ethnic group, nationality or origin. This goes for all aspects from hiring to remuneration and promotion opportunities.

b) We take into account the health needs of women in regard to pregnancy, and make it easier for team members who must take care of small children. When appropriate, we maintain a crèche where small children can rest or play where they can be watched over at the work place.

7. Engage Stakeholders

a) We are transparent in working with all stakeholders. We operate and work in a participatory manner with our team members, customers, partner artisan workshops, subcontractors, suppliers, educational organizations and public offices. Major decisions are made in participation with team members and partner artisan workshops, and when appropriate with customers.

b) Participatory processes with team members, partner artisan workshops, suppliers and clients at times involve exchange of information that is deemed confidential. We keep such information fully confidential; we expect the same in return.

8. Ensure Good Working Conditions

a) We ensure a safe, healthy working environment. We follow legal working hours, break time provisions and occupational health standards, and encourage all present at the premises to pursue a positive working atmosphere.

b) We aim to maintain a harmonious, positive working team and strive for low turn-over of employees regardless of full-time, part-time or persons working by-the-piece.

c) We work with our partner artisan workshops and suppliers to follow the same practices.

9. Build People Capacity

a) We train team members in technical skills or administrative skills when they require it, and want it. Training is not solely geared at job training but also at individual empowerment in personal life. Most team member training is in-house.

b) We work with and advise partner artisan workshops, subcontractors, suppliers and clients, in product development, process improvement, and managerial matters regarding implementation of fair trade.

c) We provide environmental advice to partner artisan workshops, subcontractors, suppliers and clients, or endeavor to connect them with appropriate technical organizations for environmental issues that come to our attention.

d) Education being essential for individual and social income creation, we contribute to the improvement of local primary and secondary education whenever this is possible.2

10. Promote Social and Enviornmental Responsibility

a) We show our principles of fair trade through our actions.

b) We promote our ideas, principles and policy of fair trade through discussion and publication whenever this is possible and appropriate. We discuss and promote fair trade with team members, partner artisan workshops, other workshops, subcontractors and customers.

c) We show our fair trade principles and policies on our web site, where they are viewed by customers, potential customers, team members, partner artisan workshops, suppliers, competitors and the public at large.

d) We provide professional advice to artisan, business, government and non-government entities intending to enhance their social and environmental responsibility principles and practices.

Modifications:

We reserve the right to modify or improve these principles at any time.

Footnotes

1. Main differences with WFTO fair trade principles:

  • a) JEDI places the "Environment" into a top position.
  • b) JEDI moves the WFTO's second placed heading "Transparency & Accountability" into seventh place as "Engage Stakeholders", that is working with all stakeholders in an open, participatory manner. The WFTO's approach of prove it with paperworks does not apply to us. Additionally, the administrative (control) requirements for external accreditations, certifications and product labels are incompatible with our team-oriented work culture and atmosphere, and financially infeasible for independent small enterprise. Never mind those accreditations, labels, and administrative barriers enabling closed loop circuits.
  • c) JEDI replaces the heading concerning Child Labor and Forced Labor with a heading regarding complying with existing laws, and specifies these two important subjects as part of proper lawful conduct. Our replacement heading covers other important relevant issues. One of these is corruption, a major contributor to social inequity and environmental degradation.
  • As part of the last heading "Promote" JEDI gladly provides the WFTO with professional advisory services to improve its principles and implementation processes to attract more independent family artisan businesses as part of their fair trade membership base (if that is an intention, and when that is requested).

2. The construction of this sentence has a well-known precedent. Which one?