Ten Thousand Villages is a nonprofit, self-supporting alternative trading organization (ATO). ATOs are non-governmental organizations designed to benefit artisans, not to maximize profits. They market products from handicraft and agricultural organizations based in low-income countries. They provide consumers around the world with products that have been fairly purchased from sustainable sources. ATOs put fair trade into practice and campaign for more equitable terms of trade for artisans from low-income countries. Ten Thousand Villages is a member of the International Fair Trade Association, (IFAT), a coalition of Third World handicraft and agricultural organizations and ATOs from both the North and the South.
Fair trade is better than aid - it builds a sustainable future on artisans own abilities.
- Fair Trade is trade that people can count on. Fair Trade is committed to developing long term business partnerships, ensuring a consistent and reliable source of income for artisans and farmers.
- Fair Trade empowers women. Fair Trade means that women's work is properly valued and that
they are empowered to take leadership within their organizations.
- Fair Trade protects the environment. Fair Trade supports practices that minimize environmental impact by using reclaimed or recycled materials, encouraging organic production, and limiting shipment of product by air.
- Fair Trade means fair pay and safe working conditions. Fair Trade products are made by adults working in
safe and healthy environments where they receive a fair wage and have a voice in how their workplace is run.
- Fair Trade connects with other cultures. Fair Trade products reflect and preserve the distinct traditions and cultures of the people who make them.
- Fair Trade builds sustainable local economies. Fair Trade gives artisans and farmers control over their future by allowing them to stay in their communities and to build their own businesses.
- Fair Trade supports capacity building. Fair Trade provides a means through which to develop independence, improve management skills, and increase access to new markets.
- Fair Trade supports community development. Fair Trade supports workplace structures where workers invest in better housing, healthcare, and education for their communities.
- Fair Trade means high quality goods. Trade crafts are often made by hand, allowing artisans to give greater attention to detail and resulting in higher-quality products.
- Fair Trade give you a choice and a voice. Fair Trade allows you to access high quality products while making a conscious decision to support people who produce the things that you buy.
In addition to products brought into Canada by Ten Thousand Villages we also sell a selection of food items imported from producers by Level Ground, (BC) and JustUs Coffee Roasters (NS). These products include coffees, teas, chocolate, sugar, chutneys and jams.