The Role of Ethical Trade in Today’s Thai Handicraft Production

Quality Thai handcrafted products are an ideal addition to any retail store or boutique, and there are many reasons why these pieces are so beloved. However, when you enjoy handcrafted products, you may begin to wonder about the ethical trade for handicraft production. Knowing that you have purchased a handcrafted item from a business that uses the most ethical practices for production will make it even more special. Here we take a look at why ethical trade is important for today’s wholesale handicraft production and the key principles that are followed.

The Importance of Ethical Trade

Fair trade is vital for businesses as well as consumers because it protects everything from the employees to the environment. Not only does it protect the quality of the products, but it also allows the artisans to enjoy their quality of work life. Additionally, it helps businesses build positive relationships with one another on a global level while still being respectful of different cultures.

On top of being of value to the life of the employees, it will also help keep many of them motivated because they are being treated fairly. Businesses that apply these ethical trade practices will notice the work production improve in many places. Plus, when potential employees see that the business has a code of ethics that they follow when it comes to trade, they will be more inclined to be part of that handicraft production process.

The Key Principles of Ethical Trade

There are a few primary principles of ethical trade that all complement each other and work together to provide the positive benefits for employers, employees, and consumers from all over the world. Having opportunities for producers that are disadvantaged is one of the principles. We also focus on having concern for the social and economic well-being of our artisans, enforcing no child or forced labor and promoting fair trade and payments, which are also going to be key when it comes to ethical trade.

More principles of ethical trade include no discrimination, working conditions that are good, and respecting the environment in the production process. Capacity building is a principle that will help handicraft production because organizations of all sizes will be able to help one another and have more access and capabilities.

The Reason Why the Ethics Code Began

Many international organizations work to improve the way people do business across the globe and to ensure that developing countries are treated justly. They are committed to transparency and ethical trade in all areas of handicraft production. One of the main reasons the organizations began was due to the fact that many artisan households relied on the handcrafted items they were producing to provide a living for their family, but they had limitations.

To correct these issues, organizations such as the World Trade Organization have taken the initiative to create the principles that will protect everything like gender equity and fair payment to labor practices that protect children and adults.

MonkeyPod Asia is proud of our Chiang Mai artisans and the ethical trade practices that we participate in. We encourage suppliers to hire disadvantaged groups, such as middle-aged women that are excluded from the workforce due to their age, populations that come from diverse ethnic groups, and families that live in remote areas by allowing them to work at home and have the opportunity to raise their children. Through sustained international trade, we aspire to preserve the cultural values of Thai arts and crafts so that the artisans can continue to share their valuable craftsmanship with the world.

Originally published at on August 15, 2017.

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