El Buen Amigo and Latin American Cultural Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to promoting fair trade practices and build awareness about issues of economic justice. We believe that fairness and accountability are beneficial not only to the people which produce our handmade products, but to the environment and the worldwide economy as well. Our mission is a just and sustainable future with dignity and hope for all.
The Fair Trade Philosophy and Fair Trade Practices
Our non-profit storefront embraces the fair trade philosophy in everything we do. By purchasing our crafts, clothing, jewelry, pottery, coffee and other fair trade products directly from indigenous artisans and farmers, we ensure they are justly compensated for their time and work. In addition, fair trade practices provide craftspeople with the knowledge about how to take advantage of the global economy and build skills that will help their communities flourish.
Benefits of Fair Trade vs. Free Trade
Fair trade provides many advantages to the free trade system, which can create unchecked competition for raw materials and view workers strictly as a replaceable means of labor. Rather than selling their goods to businesses that resell them for higher margins and keep the profit, organizations such as our fair trade store are focused on empowering artists and farmers from developing countries, not merely seeing them as a means to obtain products for low prices. In addition, fair trade practices encourage shoppers to be more conscious about the source of the products they purchase, which creates meaningful connections between producers and consumers of goods, an element that is often missing in depersonalized supply-chain focused business models.