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Fair Trade

This is the beginning of an idea that might become a business proposal. It is really an aggregation of ideas that were inspired by visits to Ten Thousand Villages retail shops in various cities of the U.S. The ingredients we can build upon for Palm Beach County (PBC) include:

This initiative, if successful, will be a wholesale (and maybe retail) trade organization. It's challenge will be to have available sufficient high quality craft, art and clothing inventory to make it worthwhile for retail shops to cooperate while also providing for covering its overhead. It is expected that it's merchandise will come both from developing countries and from artisans from developing countries who have migrated to this country, especially Palm Beach County.

The Fair Trade Federation has 150 members. Most are wholesalers (mostly Americans) who work with producer groups in developing countries, sometimes tiny producer groups. The largest member does about $3M in annual sales. Most members are about empowering small producer groups of artisans. The Fair Trade Federation is in Washington DC and has a very small staff, but they can help.
Fair Trade Federation
Ten Thousand Villages (200 stores around the U.S.)
The Crafts Center
Aid To Artisans

The link below does not mention "fair trade", but it is a very interesting story about a coffee cooperative in the Mbozi district of southwestern Tanzania called Mshikamano Farmers Group and its president David Robinson, son of the famous American baseball player Jackie Robinson.
Washington Post article on David Robinson, Mr. Coffee.

Here's information about the Guatemalan-Maya Center in Lake Worth, Florida.

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