As a WFTO Fair Trade Organization, the Chol-Chol Foundation has pledged to adhere to the following fair trade standards:
1. Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers: We provide non-profit commerce opportunities for approximately 180 artisans in the Araucanía region of Chile, with the objective of leading them from financial insecurity to economic self-sufficiency.
2. Transparency and Accountability: The transparency of the Chol-Chol Foundation is consistently monitored and held accountable by our sister organization in the United States.
3. Commercial Relations with Artisanal Producers: We maintain these relationships through: a revolving commerce fund, the generation of a fair trade sales price for all products, fixed pay within 30 days of receipt of products, and a 50% advance pay for special orders. In addition, we invest our financial gains in training, microcredit for raw materials, and promotional activities.
4. Payment of a Fair Price: Our textile product prices are established and agreed upon during meetings between the Chol-Chol Foundation and the artisan association. Non-textile artisans are paid the artisan’s asking price.
5. Ensuring Good Working Conditions: Artisans work in environments that they find protected and comfortable, and where production processes aren’t harmful to their health, such as their home, during hours defined by themselves. Furthermore, in respect to child labor, children are able to participate in the production process if they like, in order to learn the trade, however are never forced to work and are not permitted to participate when it would interfere with schooling or other activities.
6. Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Freedom of Association: We are constantly striving for gender equality in the Mapuche culture through equally valuing and rewarding the work of women. They are always compensated for their contribution in the production process and are empowered within their associations.
7. Providing Capacity Building: The Chol-Chol Foundation promotes the organizational development of the artisan association. Through the direction of the association’s leadership team, the women are able to take an active role throughout the production and commerce processes: setting and maintaining quality standards, managing revenue, labeling products. In addition, the association participates in various commercialization initiatives, led both by themselves and the Chol-Chol Foundation, as well in the product design process.
8. Promoting Fair Trade: The Foundation has as a goal to recognize, promote, and protect the Mapuche cultural identity through valuing the ancestral techniques of spinning, naturally dyeing, and weaving wool. We involve the producers in activities that raise awareness about their products and foster communication with global, Latin-American, national, and local fair trade networks (Sures / Fair Trade Federation / WFTO), and with government and private companies (Pro-Chile / Smithsonian, National Museum of the American Indian). We also disseminate information regarding the fine arts throughout our stores and various media outlets.
9. Respect for the Environment: The artisans supported by the Foundation base their production processes on a manual that teaches environmentally safe practices of using native species. Following the guidelines of this manual, the producers utilize all local raw materials and ancestral techniques.