Fair Trade Premium Lifts Income of Garment Workers
Fair Trade certification for Apparel and Linens is the first social, economic and environmental standard that directly benefits the farmers who grow the cotton and the workers who sew the garments. Garment workers all over the developing world face injustice when it comes to getting paid. Buyers constantly demand lower prices for goods and facility owners continue to comply with these demands by cutting costs. This means that workers endure severe, arbitrary pay cuts and sometimes receive no pay at all. The Fair Trade movement aims to eliminate situations like these by ensuring a fair price for products as well as additional sources of income to support workers. A powerful aspect of the Fair Trade Apparel and Linens program is the establishment of a Fair Trade premium for garment workers. This is an additional source of income that is earned for each Fair Trade garment sold, and can be worth up to 10 percent the cost of the product.
Workers decide themselves how they want to use the money from the Fair Trade premium-it can be distributed as a cash bonus to individuals or it can be pooled in a community fund that invests in important programs such as:
- Housing allowance of 5 percent of wages
- Free transportation to and from the factory
- Interest free loans of up to six months wages
- Three subsidized canteens
- Eye operation camp- worker's and families can get cataract surgery for free
- Ten percent annual bonus regardless of factory profitability
- Two weeks per year festival leave
- Medical care
- On-site training center
- Education of children of all workers up to university level
Thus, the Fair Trade premium allows for unprecedented benefits for workers in Fair Trade facilities! Learn more here.