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A Single Spoon Supports Dozens of People - The Meaning of Fair Trade

A Single Spoon Supports Dozens of People - The Meaning of Fair Trade

October happens to be Fair Trade month. But Fair Trade is an idea to embrace every month. Fair Trade is a movement worth supporting. The growing awareness of and demand for Fair Trade products is a global trend and vitally important improvement in our society today. It is a reminder that we can be global citizens without being global opportunists. We can make conscientious choices by the products we purchase. We can support companies that support the principles of fair and respectful commerce. 

bambu brand logo

We make bamboo products for the home.  We started Bambu with the idea of engaging with skilled craftspeople to produce a quality product in exchange for a fair wage.  More than that, we sought to establish relationships beyond merely a transactional arrangement. Something for the long term. That's a part of business and fair trade principles that is sometimes overlooked. Business that is enduring and sustaining helps improve lives of people on the other side. 

The word “fair” can mean different things to different people. Fair trade is about more than just paying a fair wage. It means that trading partnerships are based on reciprocal benefits and mutual respect; that prices paid to producers reflect the work they do; that producers share in the decisions, that health and safety concerns are addressed, and that products are environmentally sustainable and conserve natural resources.

Fair Trade is a Balance
Creating Quality Products, Improving Lives, Protecting the Environment


Fair Trade organizations are helping lift the lives of millions. And as consumers, we have more opportunities than ever, to make conscientious choices about the products you buy, and the companies you support. 

This Spoon Supports Dozens of People

Bamboo Spoons

We celebrate Fair Trade month all year long. And all the people who provide their talents and passions in exchange for a living wage, a safe working environment and well-being. For us, to the farmers who harvest the bamboo, to the people who transport the bamboo culms from the forests to the workshops, to the dozens of carpenters and craftspeople who cure, cut, shape, sand, and finish our products. 

Which goes back to our credo when we originally started. Proudly made in China. 

Fair Trade Hands

It may be a bit of surprise to learn that bambu is not fair trade certified. The reason is Fair Trade does not yet have a protocol to evaluate a business like ours. The focus for Fair Trade audits and certification has been historically focused is on food, and cotton. And primarily products whose resources are sourced in other countries. While we source our renewable materials 'locally' in China (we operate from our base in Shanghai), our type of products are not designated for Fair Trade certification.

Bambu is a sustainable business. We call ourselves a renewable ideas company. Since our inception, we have operated under the guidelines of Fair Trade principles.

  1. Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
  2. Transparency and Accountability
  3. Chain Responsibility
  4. Payment of Fair Prices and Wages
  5. No Child Labor
  6. Working Conditions
  7. Health and Safety

Fair Trade Original of The Netherlands is one of the largest and strictest businesses sourcing ethical products since 1959. Fair Trade was interested in our brand. They reviewed our bambu business, visited three of our core producer groups and audited our business supply chain. In 2012, bambu became the first business operating in China, in sixty-two years to be accepted into the Fair Trade Original company. Their approval was testament to how we do business. 

The Green Business Network that certifies businesses that are committed to using business as a platform for social change and who operate a “values-based” business according to principles of social justice and environmental sustainability.

Certified Green Business

Bambu has earned the highest level of achievement earning a Gold Level for how we run our operations and facilities, and how we source raw materials, and how we produce our products.

Bambu has been creating products for nearly 14 years. In many cases, the company is still working with the same workers. We have become an important part of their lives. 

bamboo forest farmer