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Siesta / Our Fair Trade Policies and the Ten Principles of Fair Trade

Siesta has been trading for over 35 years during which time many things have changed. We started importing from Mexico and Guatemala in 1983 when we sold our goods on a market stall. Now we import from many countries around the world and we sell both on a wholesale basis to customers throughout the UK and Europe, and through our own shop in Canterbury.

This period of time has also seen the growth in public interest in fair trade and Siesta has been involved in this for many years. Siesta has been a member of BAFTS (the British Association for Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers) for over 20 years and we are also a BAFTS recognised Fair Trade importer.

After many years of trading, we are proud of the fact that we have established good and long lasting relationships with our suppliers. In many cases, we have become good friends with our suppliers – but there is much more to it than that. Most of our suppliers are small family businesses employing only a few people so we try and keep them in continuous work and we also help develop new products with them thus enabling their businesses to grow alongside ours.

In virtually every case, we pay our suppliers for orders in advance, thus preventing them from possibly having to borrow money to start the order. We agree on prices with suppliers, rather than imposing prices. We do not allow the exploitation of children nor discrimination against gender. We try to ensure that working conditions are good by local standards and that raw materials are from renewable resources.

We have over the years helped local communities with numerous projects ranging from educational investment to building much-needed toilets for families. However, like the majority of our suppliers, we are a business and not a charity, and we hope to make a difference through mutually beneficial trade - accepting that the small amount of business we do is not going to radically change the world.

Nevertheless, we take comfort from the fact that we have over the years, built up a business relationship with people from all parts of the globe which is based on mutual respect and trust rather than exploitation. Over the years we have been privileged to meet and work with some wonderful, skilled people and visit some truly amazing places.

We hope that by trading with our producers we are helping them to achieve economic self-sufficiency, whilst simultaneously bringing to our customers the skills and crafts of other cultures.

The Ten Principles of Fair Trade:

  1. Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
  2. Transparency and Accountability
  3. Fair Trading Practices
  4. Payment of a Fair Price
  5. Ensuring no Child Labor and Forced Labour
  6. Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment and Freedom of Association
  7. Ensuring Good Working Conditions
  8. Providing Capacity Building
  9. Promoting Fair Trade
  10. Respect for the Environment