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19
Dec

Global Crafts 8

   Posted by: admin   in

This is a faithful account of correspondence between Renice Jones of Global Crafts
and Martin Rizzi, a friend of the craftswomen of Tecalpulco and Taxco El Viejo.
In Purple Text are Comments I have added later to clarify what is being discussed.

18 December 2017 

Renice Jones (Global Crafts): This is the first we’ve heard that we are not paying a fair price and this is a serious concern for us.  The prices on the website were never the prices we were supplied. In hindsight, we should have insisted on reviewing costing analyses as most fair trade suppliers see before buying.

  My comment: On the two visits of Caitie, I know the craftwomen showed her what is involved in making the jewelry, took her to where they purchase their materials and they took her to the market to show her the cost of tortilla dough, baby shoes, medicine and thirty more products that the country people will buy.

Renice Jones (Global Crafts): But as Art Camp was once an FTF member, we assumed that they understood about fair trade pricing.When Caitie first visited, she brought a sample costing sheet and worked through the costing of a product with the women. To ensure we are paying a fair price on any future orders, we will need costing for each product type and can supply a template.

So the buyer (Global Crafts) sent an inspector (Caitie) so that the supplier should declare it’s costs. What’s the mystery? The craftspeople already supplied this data to Caitie, who inspected them at their own expense on two occasions a few years ago. Artcamp is a social process, trying to get work for it’s members.  Is Renice saying that she needs to have the cost value to insure she is paying a fair price?
And that Caitie, in two separate visits of inspection, wasn’t able to ascertain whatever data she required?

Renice Jones (Global Crafts): We pay in pesos but the prices are in USD so the number of pesos paid for a product significantly increased in the last year.

My comment: But the cost of everything in Mexico went up 25% across the board in January 2017 (the famous Gasolinazo, see Wikipedia). And whenever there is any peso devaluation, the prices for the items poor Mexicans buy always jump at the same time, so they have NOT received any such boon as imagined.

 I can provide Emi with our accounting of what we ordered and what we paid if that will help her with the women.  We pay into Cerina’s account when previously we paid into Paula’s account.  I do not understand how the women can accuse Emi of embezzlement if the artisans are getting the money directly.

The agreement with the designer was $500 for providing designs, reviewing samples, providing input for improvements, and if necessary, visiting during production.  Needless to say, the thought of a designer was so poorly received and the criticisms of her work so vile, I determined I had made a mistake and I shelved the project, adding items to our order that we hadn’t previously purchased instead.

 My comment: Hey! Just a minute. There was nothing “vile”. What was vile? That’s not right. Play fair! Don’t attribute bad emotions onto me, please. My criticism is valid. The Texas designer lady used jewelry design software. She is obviously not a jewelry-maker herself because critical values were omitted from what was given to these craftwomen who made the pieces anyway at their own time and expense, notwithstanding the difficulty of working with such incompetent computer-generated “drawings”:

Silversmiths of Taxco have a certain prejudice: they think that jewelry designers should be jewelry makers. This lady is NO jewelry designer. Not by local standards. Let any competent jewelry designer decide whether she is or not. Neither were the artsans paid for the work they did, nor were they given a production order.

Renice Jones: I am at a loss how this could end positively but as a fair trade organization we do need to insist on costing for each product so we can be confident that we are paying the appropriate price.

 Martin Rizzi: (my reply at the time (Dec 18, 2017): What is it that you don’t know about their costs? When Caitie was here, she was taken to where the women purchase materials, she spent hours with them in their home production shops. Caitie could see that these are poor people. The kind of pieces Global Crafts gets from them have about two dollars of materials. The artisans get the difference up to the $3.50usd average that Global Crafts pays them. What is the mystery? Are you looking for a way to fault the artisans for their getting paid too low? The problem was caused by your cutting their production orders.

Jewelry that is made as part of a social-enterprise effort;
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of real benefit to artisan producer group
and community
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This is Fair Trade Jewelry.

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