Our mission

Our mission

Article written on March 04, 2019.


Fair Trade is a system that supports the sustainable improvement of producers' livelihoods by continuously trading crops and products produced in developing countries at reasonable prices. Conventional unilateral international cooperation and financial aid has the problem of being influenced by the convenience of the donor and lacks continuity. In contrast, Fairtrade is a form of international cooperation that is familiar to us as consumers who can purchase products that we like.

Fair Trade

Recently, I have been talking a lot about
Fair Trade.

How did I come up with this idea?
in this article.

Table of Contents
Why was I born in Japan?

Why Fair Trade in Folk Art?

The process of fair trade

What do the current intermediaries do?

Activities I would like to do in the future

After traveling around the world
I have seen developing countries such as Africa.
I have been thinking a lot.

One of them is.

One of them is the reason why I was born in Japan.

I believe that each and every person has a reason for living.
I think we all have a reason for being born in this place on this wide earth.

When I think about it.
From the moment I was born, I was on the winning side, in this overly blessed environment, climate, and overly civilized country.

Why was I born in this country?

I thought.
I was born to give jobs to people in developing countries, where the climate and environment are harsh and there are physically few jobs.
I thought I was born to give jobs to people in developing countries, where the climate and environment are harsh and there are few jobs.
When I walked around developing countries such as Africa, I was strongly impressed.

It is true that many of them have loose ideas about work and are different from other countries, or lack knowledge due to lack of education, and are not used to being employed.
There are also many countries where people don't need money to get by.
However, not everyone is like that, and there are people who want to work but can't, and I want to reach out to those people, even if it's just a little. (This may be a world of self-satisfaction, though. I really thought about it a lot before I came to this point. Is it good for the person? Wouldn't it be a nuisance? I also wondered if it was worth the trouble :)

I walked around the world.
The environment in developing countries is really terrible. There are cities located thousands of meters above sea level.
The winters are extremely cold, the summers are extremely hot, nothing can grow in the arid areas, and when it rains, there are huge floods.
It's really hard to live in such a country every day.
I was born in Japan, and I just think it's amazing.

I guess they don't have many jobs.

I don't think it makes sense to work in Japan for Japan anymore.
Economic development is very, very important to live in peace.
But Japan is too developed.
The standard of happiness has become too high.
I don't want to work for the sake of economic development.
I just want to live.

Of course, I love Japan too.
It's not that I don't like it, it's just that I'd rather leave it to the people who work for the company to work for Japan.
I don't mind working for Japan, but I don't mind working for other countries. It's not that I don't like it.

It's not that I thought that people in developing countries are unhappy or that all of them are poor.
In fact, they seem to be happier than people in Japan, where money and material things are abundant.
So I don't want to make them especially happy or wealthy or develop them at all.

It's just that
I just wish I could give a little work to those who are currently in need of work and who are living day to day.

Anyway, there are not enough jobs in the world today.
That's why they go to different countries as immigrants and commit crimes.
The reason why they become immigrants is because of the bad environment in the country.

And why did I decide to do fair trade in folk art?

In the world today, NPOs, JAICA, and other international cooperation organizations are spreading the word. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and other NPOs are spreading around the world.
These organizations are mostly volunteers.
They build schools, provide education, and do various other activities. (I heard that the money comes from the government, so it's not completely volunteer work.)

I met some of these people during my trip.
I was quite attracted to them. I was simply attracted by their personalities.

They went out of their way to take risks for the sake of the poor people in small villages.
I was fascinated by their character.
I really respected him as a human being.

At that time, I wondered if I was doing something for those people by traveling the world, sightseeing, and taking pictures.
I felt like I was doing something for them.

What can I do for them?

Education is impossible, building schools is impossible.

You can't build schools.

I can buy folk crafts and sell them in Japan, which is common in developing countries.

But if we can buy folk crafts and sell them in Japan, as is often the case in developing countries, it will benefit the people in no small way, don't you think? I came up with the idea.

I've always been interested in handmade goods, and I was actually doing it in Japan (making iPhone cases).
As I traveled, I actually saw the things that these people made, and I was impressed by their high quality.
I was interested in what they were doing in Japan.
I felt that there was a lot of charm to them.

At least, I, as a Japanese person, who can make more money than the local people, can buy them and sell them in Japan.
I thought there was something I could do to help spread the word that there is great art in developing countries.

Rather, I thought, what can I do that those people can't do?
(This is because Japanese passports do not require visas for almost all countries, while passports from developing countries do, and I have the financial resources to buy an airline ticket.)

The process of fair trade

The reason I came up with the idea of fair trade (trading at a reasonable price)
The reason I came up with the idea of

When I was thinking and researching about purchasing in my own way
When I was thinking and researching about buying

When I was buying and selling the products
producers (especially in developing countries) and
consumers in developed countries.
I found out that the prices between them are quite different. (especially coffee beans and cotton).
This is because the intermediaries in between buy the goods from developing countries at an underpriced price, hire people, and sell them in developed countries at an overpriced price.

I thought that was something different.

Isn't it strange that the people in between are the ones who win the most?

At the very least, I think the producer should be the one to win.

Intermediary > Consumer > Producer

I also thought about the reason why this is the case.

The intermediary also has to earn money to live and provide for his family.
They have to pay for transportation, lodging, and the time they spend buying, and if they own a store, they have to pay for the wages, and if they hire people, they have to pay for the labor.
And if you can sell it at a higher price, you sell it at that price.

That's very understandable.
It's not wrong at all.

But if everyone did that, it would escalate into a win-win situation for the middlemen.

So, when I thought about the differences between the intermediaries and me, I came up with the following

1. I don't want to make a living at it.

2. I don't own a store.

I don't think of buying as a hardship.
3. I don't mind buying things, and I don't want to add transportation costs because I can do it while traveling.

I realized that these three things are different.

So I thought I could do fair trade. So I did.

By selling the products in Japan at a balanced price
The producers get paid, and the consumers
And consumers can get the products with less money.
As a result, the product will spread.
I think it will increase the workload of producers.

Producers = middlemen = consumers

And I don't think that the value of these products will decrease just because they become too widespread.
If they become too widespread and the workload increases too much
If they become too widespread and the amount of work increases too much, the producer can raise the price at that time.

So the value will rather increase.
I don't think the value of handicrafts will ever go down.
As long as they are making good products, they will continue to rise.

And then...

I may not have a lot of money left in my pocket, but

However, I will be able to study, see, and share handicrafts from all over the world.

I hope this will lead to my current work
I'm hoping that this will lead to ur.

Also, I would like to express my gratitude to the people I met during my trip.
I also hope that I am able to give back to the people
I think I'm doing my part.

This is the reason why I decided to do fair trade.

However, the problem that arises is

But the problem that arises is the loss of jobs for the middlemen who make a living by selling at high prices.
But the question that arises is, will the intermediaries who make their living by selling at high prices lose their jobs?

What about the work of the middlemen?

That's the problem.

The problem is that they don't want to buy what they are buying.
For example, things that are already too widespread in Japan. For example, things that are already too popular in Japan, or things that are overpriced locally.
I'll leave those to them.

I don't have a lot of money.
Basically, I buy things that are not like that.

And I don't think that my activities alone will have any impact on the whole country.
I don't think it will affect the whole country.

And last but not least

What activities do you want to do as a fair trade
And lastly, what I would like to do as a fair trade

I'd like to gradually shift to ordering from the locals instead of buying.
I would like to gradually shift to ordering from the local people.

For example

Collecting used clothes
Especially western shirts and denim shirts.
and have them embroidered by local people.
We will exhibit and sell them in Japan.
Considering the greatness of embroidery techniques overseas and
The number of embroidered shirts is decreasing.

However, this is not an easy task.
You need to have a relationship of trust with the producer.

That's why
I need to visit the place repeatedly in the future.

I'm now buying not only from developing countries.
If the product is good, I buy it.

The first thing I want to do is to let people know what I'm doing.
Right now, I'm building the foundation for that.
I need to let more and more people know that I'm buying.
I need to let more and more people know that I am buying.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)