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Ten Thousand Villages is a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). WFTO is a global network of fair trade organizations. WFTO's mission is to enable producers to improve their livelihoods and communities through fair trade. WFTO is a global network and advocate for fair trade, ensuring producer voices are heard.
More than 350 fair trade organizations in 70 countries form the basis of WFTO's network, and membership is growing steadily. Approximately 65% of WFTO's members are based in the South (Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America) with the rest coming from North America & the Pacific Rim and Europe.
WFTO members have the concept of Fair Trade at the heart of their mission and at the core of what they do. They come in many shapes and sizes and represent the fair trade chain from production to sale. Its members are producer cooperatives and associations, export marketing companies, importers, retailers, national and regional fair trade networks and financial institutions, all dedicated to fair trade principles.
Ten Thousand Villages is a long-standing member of the Fair Trade Federation (FTF), which is an association of businesses and organizations who are fully committed to fair trade. FTF strengthens the capacity of its members, encourages the exchange of best practices, and raises awareness about the importance of choosing fairly traded products and supporting businesses committed to fair trade principles.
Divine Chocolate is the world's first farmer-owned fair trade chocolate brand. Since 1998, Divine has delighted chocolate lovers with irresistible treats made from the "best of the best" cocoa from Ghana. Purchasing Divine is a guaranteed way to make the world sweeter for the farmers of Kuapa Kokoo Farmers' Cooperative; they not only receive a fair trade price and premiums, but also co-own Divine Chocolate. With two seats on the board of directors, Kuapa Kokoo farmers have a strong say in the company and a true voice in the global marketplace.
Ten Thousand Villages and Divine Chocolate are natural partners, with a shared commitment to bridging the gap between North American consumers and the producers of goods we enjoy so much.
Equal Exchange is a Massachusetts worker-owned cooperative dedicated to fair trade, small-farmer co-operatives and to sustainable agriculture. Besides helping to blaze the trail for fair trade coffee in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s, Equal Exchange now also works with tea, cocoa, sugar, almond and pecan farmer co-ops. Approximately 90 percent of Equal Exchange products are certified organic.
When Equal Exchange was born in 1986, the three co-founders—Rink Dickinson, Jonathan Rosenthal and Michael Rozyne—found some of their inspiration in the pioneering work of Ten Thousand Villages. Ten Thousand Villages was one of Equal Exchange's first customers, and remains one of its most important.
Level Ground Trading Ltd. was founded by Hugo Ciro in 1997 as a response to trade inequity and a lack of communication between producers in developing countries and North American consumers. The company is a recognized Fair Trade Organization (FTO), and a direct importer, wholesaler and roaster of coffees, naturally dried tropical fruit and cane sugar.
Ten Thousand Villages has been purchasing coffee from Level Ground since 1998. Doug Dirks, who is responsible for Public Relations at Ten Thousand Villages, visited Level Ground coffee farmers in Colombia in December 2007 and was very impressed with the close relationship that Level Ground has with farmers who own small farms in very remote places in Colombia.
SERRV is a nonprofit organization that promotes the social and economic progress of people in developing regions of the world by purchasing and marketing their crafts in a just and direct manner. It has been creating a strategic marketplace based on fairness for almost 50 years.
SERRV and Ten Thousand Villages are often considered pioneers of fair trade. Some Ten Thousand Villages stores sell products from SERRV. Ten Thousand Villages and SERRV share an amicable relationship founded on the commitment to expanding fair trade in the U.S. on behalf of artisans around the world.
Putumayo World Music was established in 1993 to introduce people to the music of the world's cultures. The label grew out of the Putumayo clothing company, founded by Dan Storper in 1975 and sold in 1997. In the past 15 years, the record label has become known primarily for its upbeat and melodic compilations of great international music characterized by the company's motto: "guaranteed to make you feel good!" Ten Thousand Villages customers have access to this wonderful exploration of world cultures through music as a result of our collaboration.