In partnership with rural remote, primarily indigenous women in Fiji, we work towards building a thriving women-led value and supply chain that's market-driven, consistent, and helps elevate women's agency in their communities as leaders and decision-makers. We have primarily built our model from scratch, and many women's groups we work with are beginning to mid-level skills. Although we have some master artisan groups in our network of partners, our principal focus was and is reaching remote rural women not included in Fiji's formal sector. Therefore, our model is a long-term partnership with indigenous artisans and their communities along the entire value and supply chain.
In the following, we outline how we develop our pricing structure in great detail. If you're in a hurry and want the express version, wondering how much artisans are paid for their work, here is the gist of things:
How much of the product price goes to the artisans?
On average, artisans earn 50-90% of the wholesale cost of our products. The variation is dependent on whether the artisan provides the raw materials for production or the organization provides it in addition to the amount of the post-village output is required for the product to be complete.
On average, artisans earn 25-50% of the retail cost of our products. The variation is dependent on whether the artisan provides the raw materials for production and the amount of post-production output is required for the product to be complete, the cost of marketing the product direct to customers through paid ads on social media and e-commerce sites, online order fulfillment, shipping and logistics, biosecurity certification and customer service.
We pay fair prices to our artisans based on the average labor hours for each product, cost of raw materials, and a 25-35% profit margin. On average, our hourly rate for labor is 55-65% above Fiji's minimum wage. Calculations for raw materials used for production (provided by artisans) are according to the median market value. Artisans receive their cash payments at the village gate, which saves them between 30-70% of the gross monthly earnings to access the market. Women are paid individually for their work, and payments are receipted and signed off. Prices paid to artisans are reviewed with artisan groups annually through a Memorandum of Understanding process. Artisan groups elect their Village and District Coordinators at this time. Finally, all purchase orders issued display buying prices listed per item.
What It Means to Sell at Village Gate
How does the "Fiji context" impact the program?
It means we provide strategic support for indigenous women artisans to help address the traditional pain points of remote rural women earning income from their homes in addition to other needs based on their context. Our program investment includes but is not limited to;
- Village Coordinator Leadership Stipends
- Provide village-based training and pay trainer stipends to instructors within different villages
- Provide essential equipment to establish production of different production collections
- Product Development & Design with experts from overseas markets
- Marketing of goods: photography, graphic design, video production, e-commerce optimization marketing specialists
- Paid advertisements on Facebook, Instagram, and Google
- Order fulfillment: staff to place and receive orders, post-production finishing, tagging, packing, shipping, and customer service
- Biosecurity treatment and certification
- Subsidize transport of goods to market
- We buy imperfect products for up to the first year of production of a new collection to encourage production.
- Provide disaster recovery support when needed, including food rations, planting material for food seed bank establishment, hygiene kits, and essential building tools post storms
- Other capacity support includes leadership development training, conflict resolution training, gender equity, social inclusion training, first responder training, food processing training, and basic irrigation training.
How does our program align with Fair Trade Principles?
As an Economic & Leadership development program, we are committed to ethical operating practices, including our pricing model of goods purchased by women in our partner communities.
We follow fair trade pricing standards, which includes the following principles:
- Long-Term Direct Trading Relationships
- Payment of Fair Prices
- No Child, Forced or Otherwise Exploited Labor
- Workplace Non-Discrimination, Gender Equality, and Freedom of Association
- Democratic & Transparent processes
- Safe Working Conditions & Reasonable Work Hours
- Investment in Community Development Projects
- Environmental Sustainability
- Traceability and Transparency