From the village to the global market: Fairtrade handicrafts in Indonesia

The Forum Fair Trade Indonesia (FFTI) is working to promote Fairtrade in Indonesia and to improve market access for local producers so they can compete fairly in the economy, earn a better price for their products and work their way out of poverty.

Almost half the population of Indonesia lives below the internationally defined poverty line of less than NZ$3 a day. Many of them live in rural areas, with little support or access to the resources they need to improve their lives.

Challenging injustice

Fair Trade Forum Indonesia recently took part in Inacraft 2011.
With Oxfam’s support, the Forum Fair Trade Indonesia recently took part in Inacraft 2011, one of the biggest and best craft fairs in Asia.

The recent growth in tourism in Indonesia has led to an increase in sales of local handicrafts and an increase in work opportunities for local people. But it’s often the middlemen and the tourist shops who profit from these sales. The producers get little from the trade, despite their hard work and remarkable craft skills.

“FFTI is challenging this injustice. The Fairtrade system is all about a more equitable relationship between consumers and producers, and making sure producers get a fair deal,” says Kadek Lisa Ismiandewi of FFTI.

With the help of the Fairtrade model supported by FFTI, craft producers in Bali working with the Mitra Bali group now receive 50 per cent of the total payment for their products up front and are promptly paid a percentage of the fair sale price, which is agreed with the craft producers. Producers also receive training in how to develop their businesses.

Putting people first

With Oxfam’s support, the FFTI recently took part in Inacraft 2011 in Jakarta, one of the biggest and best craft fairs in Asia. It was the perfect opportunity for small-scale producers to show their unique products, to explore new market opportunities and to raise awareness of Fairtrade in Indonesia.

“Fairtrade is still a relatively unknown concept in Indonesia, so to take part in such a high profile event was a big step forward,” said Kadek Lisa Ismiandewi. “Many of our members displayed their unique, beautiful, handmade products such as crafts made from recycled products, crafts made with kancu leaves, pottery and jewellery. We had a very positive response.

The Oxfam Unwrapped gift of microfinance can help turn business plans into reality.
Runner crafted by FFTI member Pekerti Nusantara.Available at Trade Aid.

“Fair Trade proves that greater justice in world trade is possible,” adds Lisa. “It highlights the need for change in the rules and practice of conventional trade and shows how a successful business can also put people first.”

Buy Fairtrade crafts

A selection of unique Indonesian crafts, including those crafted by member organisations of the FFTI, can be found on sale at Trade Aid shops here in New Zealand.

 

Helping develop sustainable livelihoods

The Oxfam Unwrapped gift of microfinance can help turn business plans into reality.
The Oxfam Unwrapped gift of microfinance can help turn business plans into reality. .

The Oxfam Unwrapped gift of microfinance will provide a small amount of money so a woman can buy the basic materials and tools needed to turn her business plans into reality.

And with some business skills training added in, she can take the first steps in securing a long-term income for her family.