Our team consists of our hardworking board members, volunteers, producers, and our valued customers.
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Our Fair Trade Store Volunteers
There are currently 35 people on the list of volunteers who usually work one four hour shift per week. When added up, this amounts to approximately 5800 hours volunteered per year! The store offers volunteers (and customers) a calm and happy atmosphere. We have volunteers who have been with the store for the whole 31 years, others for just a few months. Volunteers range in age from 18 to 82 years of age. Volunteers cross generations in families and across the oceans with temporary visitors to Victoria. Volunteers not only work in the store, they also purchase the products that we sell.
Our volunteers proudly support a successful venture
Our Fair Trade Store Board Members
Our board members team order products from various countries, undertake pricing sessions, disperse grants, and coordinate outreach community work.
Leslie is one of the store’s board members and has been volunteering within it for 11 years. She is responsible for ordering our products from Southeast Asia, and has impacted the lives of many. “I was motivated to volunteer at the store after spending many years travelling and working in third world countries,” says Leslie. “I am happy to be part of a great team of volunteers whose aim is to sell products from these countries making a difference to the lives of the disadvantaged in those areas.”
Susan used to be a board member, and she has been a crucial part of this store for over 30 years. She has been concerned with global inequality since she worked as a CUSO volunteer in the early 1970’s. In the early ’80s, Susan was part of a group that started selling fair trade coffee (produced by Bridgehead). The group decided they’d like to go further into supporting fair trade artisans so they opened a store in Victoria- thus beginning our beloved Global Village Store! Susan and her mother were both a part of this store.
Trisha is a board member for the Global Village Store and has been volunteering for 13 years. She orders products from Bangladesh and India including CDs, coffee, cards, and chocolate, and fills up the store with her big smile and contagious laugh. Trisha worked with her good friend Mavis, teaching at Tillicum Elementary School. One day Mavis said, “when you retire, you should volunteer at Global Villages.” And Trisha said, “okay.”
Fair Trade Store Producers
Since 1988, the store has helped create employment for impoverished craftspeople in over 40 countries by providing an outlet where they can sell their goods for a fair price.
CORR-The Jute Works is a registered Fair Trade Trust producing and marketing handicrafts. CORR was incepted in September 2, 1973. It is also a pioneer member of World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) previously known as IFAT.
CORR’s aim is to provide rural marginalized women with work at home. CORR provides the means of income generation for these groups of women through producing handicraft items made from locally available raw material jute and other things such as grass, leaf, cane, bamboo, clay. During its last 40 years journey, CORR continues to upgrade the socio-economic condition of poverty-stricken rural women artisans. The producers receive fair wage for their work.
The producers are organised in cooperative groups. They are fully autonomous in managing group affairs with the assistance of CORR’s Education Team as required and follow the cooperative principles. At present, there are 220 co- operative groups with 4856 female and 160 male producers in 16 districts of Bangladesh. In the field, volunteer supervision of production by group leaders and regular follow up visit by the Education Department ensure that the women receive a fair distribution of job orders.
Global Village Store purchases products from CORR bi-annually. Products include: terracotta items (banks, waterers, foot massagers), jewelry, hammocks, bags and baskets.
HEED (Health, Education, and Economic Development) Handicrafts of Bangladesh is a Fair Trade Organization and was established in 1978 with the aims of creating jobs and employment for the poor and marginal people, specialized in handicrafts production, using locally available environment friendly resources. HEED provides training and education to improve producer’s skills on products and market. The activities of HEED are operated as a sustainable self-financed project under the guideline of the HEED Board. The main products are: Hand-loom Products, Leather Products, Clay Products, Straw Art Products, Hand Made Paper Products, Wooden Products, Bamboo Products, Recycled Materials Products, Date-Leaf Products, Palm-Leaf Products, Hogla-Leaf Products, Jute Products, Recycled Glass, Ceramic, Cane Products, Embroidery Item, Palm Fiber Products, Tin Sheet Products & Christmas decoration Products etc.
Target Beneficiaries: More than 10,000 artisans of 300 groups from all over the country are the target beneficiary of HEED Handicrafts. About 60% female in the gender ratio.
Victoria Global Village Store buys a variety of products bi-annually from HEED, including: hand-loomed products (silk scarves, napkins, purses, pencil cases, wallets, rugs), baskets, and greeting cards.
BaSE (Bangladesh Shilpo Ekota, which means United Artisans of Bangladesh) is a non-profit Guaranteed Fair Trade organization of Bangladesh set up to co-ordinate and promote the handicraft products of various female manufacturing groups out of the main stream, especially those working in the South-West. Since 1999 BaSE is a member of WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization)
United in BaSE, these groups produce various types of handmade items, such as Palmleaf Basketry, Jute Macramé, Nakshi Embroidery, Women’s Clothing and Accessories.
BaSE is owned by women producer groups and total over 10,000 producers (99% are women). BaSE is organised in 17 producer groups and have over 3,000 products. The producers are from marginalised communities.
BaSE uses local natural raw materials and products are 100% Natural, Biodegradable, Recyclable. They purchase all the raw materials direct from the farmers or producers and avoid medium/brokers.
Victoria Global Village began purchasing from BaSE in 2019. Their products are well made and are of excellent quality. We purchase from them: jute products, baskets, greeting cards, and recycled sari bags
Fair Trade Store Customers
Our customers are from all walks of life. People who shop at our store are often people who have traveled the world and want to see the products from where they have been.
“I shop fair trade because I believe in supporting people and recognizing the work that goes into making the objects and art we appreciate every day in our lives.”
“It feels good to know that your money is going to someone who will benefit, and we also feel it’s important to support craftsmanship and artistry.”
“I shop here every year especially at Christmas so the kids understand fair trade and circumstances of others around the globe. I shop here regularly for gifts and cards–they are unique, beautiful, and meaningful”