The organization Fair Trade dealers have about 40 dealers around the country. How is it to be a Fair Trade Retailer? Why did you start the stores and began to engage in Fair Trade movement? I visited one of them selling just products with great commitment in Jacksonville, FL.
Agneta J. is 68 years old and retired. She started her small shop Anni’s Fairtrade five years ago, she also usually call for “your mobile store”. She buys the goods from the importer The House of Fair Trade and resells at various locations around Jacksonville, FL. She has no permanent place to sell on without selling the goods when she has the time and where she has space.
From preschool to Fairtrade retailer
Before Agneta was retired, she worked as a preschool teacher for 35 years and was a member of various associations, including the City Mission, without being directly active. She met through their jobs many people from different countries, which made her interested in everything from refugee to justice issues. Therefore, human rights are still her main interest. She says that she has always been interested in solidarity but that her interest in fair trade grew by her children who have been working with Fairtrade for many years. She felt certain it is important to support but that she as an individual human being should be able to do more than just donate money to any association.
“I can break even, but it’s not supposed to go plus’
Agneta tells that she developed and get pleasure from their work because she likes to learn new things and meet new people. She had never worked with economics or commerce before, but by selling Fairtrade products, its membership in the Fair Trade dealers and the cooperation with The House of Fairtrade she has learned such things which she sees as a benefit of being a dealer.
Agneta selling Fairtrade goods a bit cheaper than what they usually cost because she did not pay any store rental. However, she can imagine that people who come to the square want to buy cheap goods as possible. She says, however, that people rarely complain about the prices, she always explain that they are new and Fairtrade, and as most people understand why they cost more. “I can break even. Plus or minus a few hundred dollars every year. It’s not supposed to go plus. However, sales are better and better every year, “says Agneta.
When I asked her if she believes that her store has contributed to a major change during the five-year period, she shakes her head.
“No, I find it difficult to say that in my little shop could do in five years. However, of the individuals I know and have time to talk to and meet again, where I can see the difference. And when I go into a store, I find many Fairtrade requirements and qualified products. “
Agneta’s goal with the store is that more people will act fairly and she also tries to contribute to Fairtrade outside its own operations. She usually visit newly opened stores and ask the staff if they sell Fairtrade products. She believes that if enough people ask, they will begin to sell more equity products. She believes that there are many who are aware of and interested in fair trade today. Even older people know what it is for anything. This is not a generation issue. Society is more open to many plans today do Agneta.