In May 2019 Ethical Consumer searched One Village's website for information on its company ethos. In its best buy questionnaire from April 2019, the company responded that One Village sold handcrafted products directly supplied by producers such as workers’ cooperatives, societies and NGOs that shared the company’s values as an essential part of their purpose.

On its website, the company listed the following working principles:
"1. All articles come from partner enterprises which strive to build up the quality of life of the community. These enterprises are workers' associations or cooperatives, societies for the common good, or are generally accountable to the community.
2. Articles are finished products, significantly hand made.
3. Articles are an expression of the style or cultural tradition of the makers, so far as market conditions allow.
4. Articles are of good quality, well designed and carefully made.
5. Articles are made with respect for the integrity of creation. Materials and processes are selected with regard to their environmental impact.
6. Articles are to enhance the quality of life of the customer.
7. All producers are paid equitably a realistic rate for the job which, as a minimum, takes account of the local cost of living and the skill involved.
8. Working hours and the work environment are consistent with the wellbeing of producers.
9. One Village adds to prices when market conditions allow and when producers' organizations are able and willing to use this extra payment effectively to benefit the social progress and wellbeing of the community.
10. Products are sold in ways which honour producers and customers, and which enhance public appreciation of the craft, and of the skill and humanity of the producers.
11. There is continuity of selling, so far as producers wish to sell and market conditions allow.
12. Payments are made not later than due times. Working capital is advanced to producers when appropriate and when resources allow.
13. The business is run efficiently and effectively in line with principles outlined here, legitimate business costs and salaries are paid, and any remaining profits are re-invested for the common good in work consistent with these objectives and principles."

The company explained that it did not consider its products, or any sold in markets in the global North, "fair trade" because "the slogan 'fair trade' is misleading and unhelpful because in reality the struggle for justice and for truly fair relationships has not yet been solved".

According to its website, the company followed the FINE definition of fair trade: "a trading partnership based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers especially in the South".

It also said it followed the standards set by IFAT, which became the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) in 2008. One Village was not listed as a member on the WFTO website but according to its response to the additional questions, several of its larger suppliers were audited members of the WFTO. Smaller suppliers self-certified that they adhered to the company’s standards. One Village monitored this self-certification through its close and long-term relationships and visits with suppliers.

Therefore, although not all of the company's products were certified Fairtrade, the company was considered to sell only fairtrade products and offer a social alternative. It received a positive Company Ethos mark.

Reference:

www.onevillage.org (15 May 2019)