What is Fair Trade? It encompasses many things (check out all 10 principles at the far bottom of this email), but in a nutshell it means respectful relationships. Products are purchased from disadvantaged groups using fair and socially responsible practices. Another component focuses on sustainable relationships with partners to help them generate a consistent income. Global Crafts has longstanding relationships with cooperatives in Haiti; we are committed to these artisans and are working closely to continue to get product shipped out to the United States so artisans and their families have a livelihood.
Our friends in Haiti are facing some real challenges at the moment. The political unrest in Haiti is making it difficult for Haitians to go to work and even go to the store for food. Protesters are setting fire to businesses. Know that your purchases of the beautiful art are making a real impact. Read below for the account of what happened to Caribbean Craft this last week.
In the middle of the night, Caribbean Craft received a call that their company was on fire. Nine cars at the Avis lot behind their facility had been ignited. The fire spread to their warehouse damaging finished product that was stranded (shipments couldn't leave because roads were blocked). There was no electricity (they have been relying on generators since 2010). It will take a while to clean up and start working again.
"We are all very much affected. Yesterday was a very bad day. People took to the streets again, spent their time breaking into businesses, burning... However, we are staying positive, have to roll up our sleeves and keep moving forward. Many people are depending on us. Letting them down would simply be terrible but believe me, in this context, it's really difficult."