Fair Trade is not just a marketing badge for Swazi Indigenous Products (SIP) ¡§C it is a way of life. SIP is 100% owned by its raw material suppliers and the prices it pays to them for seed kernels match the best on the continent.
SIP is a full member of WFTO ¡§C the World Fair Trade Organisation and also a founder member of SWIFT, the Swaziland Fair Trade Network.
Within a globalised economy, buying most Fair Trade labelled cosmetics ensures that some of the ingredients give a fairer return to rural producers. However, while producers are selling mainly raw materials and the majority of the value addition still takes place in the developed world, real opportunities for empowerment of rural producers remain limited.
While SIP also sells marula oil through this route in order to generate more rural income, its main focus is on building its Swazi Secrets brand. Retaining the value adding activities in Swaziland enables higher levels of skills development as well as higher local earning potential.
Swazi Secrets began life as a project to help poor rural Swazi women to generate income from the natural products that grow around them. It is now owned by its Member Groups of rural suppliers and expanding its horizons to also assist them in a number of social developments, in particular the formation of Self Help Groups and a Rural Livelihoods Programme.
We do not yet carry a Fair Trade logo on our products but are planning to apply for Fair Trade and Natural Cosmetics certification during 2011.
Throughout our operations, we make the following pledges:
To rural women : To pay a fair price for raw materials and to push value adding activities as far as possible into rural communities
To the environment : To ensure naturally grown raw material supplies and sustainable wild harvesting of our natural resources
To our staff : To create a working environment that encourages dynamic teamwork and individual development
To our customers : To supply high quality products and total customer satisfaction
To Swaziland : To build a vibrant natural products industry for Swazis to be proud
of, using local suppliers whenever possible
To our donors : To provide excellent development value for all donor investment.