Ten Thousand Villages

From Academic Kids

Ten Thousand Villages is a program of Mennonite Central Committee started in 1946 that pioneered the concept of fair trade by buying crafts directly from artisans in the developing world and paying a living wage.

The program started when Mennonite Central Committee volunteers brought embroidery by women in Puerto Rico back to sell in the United States. The crafts were popular and the program grew to include crafts from Haiti and Palestinian refugees. In the early 1970s Mennonite Central Committee made the initiative an official program. In 1996 the name of the program was changed from SelfHelp Crafts to Ten Thousand Villages.[1] (http://www.tenthousandvillages.com/index.asp?area=aboutus&page=history.asp)

Today Ten Thousand Villages has over 180 stores across North America and is a member of the Fair Trade Federation and the International Fair Trade Association. Ten Thousand Villages sold $15 million worth of fair trade goods in the United States and another $3 million in Canada between March 2003 and April 2004 (Garriga, 2004).

Sources

Garriga, Maria. New Haven, Conn., fair trade shop owners pay Third World artisans fairly Knight Ridder Tribune Business News. Washington: Dec 26, 2004

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