Our artisans, our priority; our reason for existence.
BFTA existed for artisans’ need for survival and ever since the start aims at achieving a steady life for its marginalized producers and their families.
We work with different groups: Family-owned Olive Wood workshops, Women (from home and refugee camps) working with Embroidery, basket-weaving, Jewelry and Recycled Glass, and disabled groups working with Felt Wool (Ma’an Lil-Hayat), Recycled Papers (Al-Basma Center) and Al-Malath Center (Olive Wood products).
Although artisans produce beautiful products, there are very limited sales here in Palestine. The instable political situation we are living in reflects badly on those trying to achieve a stable income especially if they solely depend on tourism. Since tourists are discouraged from visiting our country, BFTA came up with an alternative solution. We need to export; we need to reach out for international markets in hopes that we will be able to provide marginalized producers with a stable source of income.
The way we work is highlighted with our Fair Trade flag, and we proudly wave this flag as we continue to emphasis and highlight the importance of ethical work starting from the workshop the products are made in until the moment it reaches the end-customer.
We constantly come up with ways in order to educate our artisans/producers on the fair trade principles. We have recently had a peer visit which helped us in having a clear monitoring system and an audit visit from the WFTO ensuring that everyone’s work is being down under the name of Fair Trade. It worked very well for us, now we are official members of the World Fair Trade Organization working with producers who respect and follow the Fair Trade principles. Besides from stabilizing our artisan’s incomes, we are on the road to minimizing harm in our environment, ensuring a healthy work environment on every level and encouraging education so that one day our artisans are able to market their own products.
In order to empower our artisans, we offer them courses in order to boost their skills and knowledge. The type of courses we have previously offered include: Computer IT courses, English courses, Embroidery and basket-weaving courses for women, Quality control and product-finishing courses, product-pricing courses, Environmental health and safety courses, and Fair Trade Awareness.
If you are interested in learning more about particular groups, feel free to browse through this section. Under “Artisans and their Handicrafts” you will find a drop down boxes for each producer groups we work with.
Thank you for your kind support !!