BaSE & Fair Trade Principles.
BaSE is committed to upholding the highest standards of Fair Trade and social enterprise practices. We have been an active member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) since 1999, and in 2015, we became a Guaranteed member after the launch of the WFTO Guarantee System (GS).
The WFTO GS is a unique system that combines Fair Trade and social enterprise verification into one comprehensive framework. The system is designed to verify that an enterprise is mission-led and focused on the interests of its producers and that this commitment is reflected in the enterprise’s structure, systems, and practices.
The WFTO GS was created by experts and pioneers from the Fair Trade movement, ensuring that it is credible, clear, and affordable. By becoming a Guaranteed member of the WFTO, BaSE has demonstrated a commitment to ethical and sustainable practices in all aspects of operations.
We are proud to be a part of the WFTO community and to uphold the principles of Fair Trade and social enterprise in our work. Our membership in the WFTO and participation in the GS is a testament to our ongoing commitment to transparency, accountability, and responsible business practices.
Creating Opportunities for Economically Marginalised Producers
At BaSE, we recognize the challenges faced by economically disadvantaged women in remote areas of Bangladesh, where opportunities for employment and socio-economic mobility are often limited. This is why BaSE’s primary goal is to provide employment opportunities for women, particularly those from marginalized groups, to improve their socio-economic status.
Our producers are primarily women, with 99% of them coming from disadvantaged backgrounds. Women in Bangladesh, like many societies around the world, face significant discrimination in all aspects of life.
Through our work, BaSE seeks to provide a supportive and empowering environment for women to learn new skills, generate income, and become self-sufficient. By focusing on empowering women, BaSE aims to contribute to the development of more equitable and sustainable communities in Bangladesh and beyond.
Transparency and Accountability
At BaSE, transparency and accountability are central to our operations. The organization operates under a General Body, consisting of member representatives from the producer groups, and an Executive Committee that is elected every two years. The Executive Committee is responsible for policymaking and strategic planning to develop and grow the organization.
Each producer group has an elected representative who tracks production and savings. The representatives form a decision-making body for the group and are responsible for electing a Chairman, a Secretary, and an accountant, as well as appointing individuals in charge of Quality Control.
BaSE ensures transparency and accountability by supporting each group in developing and implementing their own system. Our management team regularly follows up with the groups to ensure compliance with these standards.
Fair Trading Practices
BaSE carefully evaluates each order and plans production accordingly, creating a provisional schedule for shipments. To ensure open communication, any producer group can add a discussion point to the agenda for the regular meetings, which BaSE uses to address any issues and concerns.
Additionally, BaSE establishes an Advance Payment fund that provides 50% of the payment in advance to producer groups upon receiving the production work order. This fund helps to support the financial needs of the producer groups, who may face challenges with access to credit.
Once the goods are delivered to BaSE, we clear all remaining production payments, ensuring timely and fair compensation for our producers. BaSE is committed to fostering strong relationships with our producer groups through transparent and fair business practices.
At BaSE, we maintain a fair wage policy, ensuring a minimum of 20tk per hour for working wages. As our producers work from home and combine their craft work with their family responsibilities, it is considered a part-time job.
The artisans decide on the product price, but we negotiate to establish a competitive price. Each producer group has wage books to record payments, and each group is responsible for setting prices for their items. BaSE monitors and checks this process, although the criteria may vary among groups.
Ensuring no Child Labour and Forced Labour
BaSE takes a strong stance against the exploitation of workers and is committed to maintaining ethical labor practices. In line with this commitment, the organization ensures that child labor or forced labor does not exist within its operations.
BaSE’s producers work primarily from home, allowing them to balance their work with their family responsibilities. Occasionally, producers’ children may assist with their mothers’ work as a means of contributing to their family’s income and supporting their education expenses. It is important to note that such assistance is voluntary and does not involve any form of exploitation or abuse.
Commitment to Non-Discrimination, Gender Equity, and Women’s Economic Empowerment and Freedom of Association
At BaSE, we ensure that women and men have equal opportunities and enjoy the same rights. Our producers are free to leave and organize on their own. We have many examples of producers who trained and worked with BaSE, and later became successful self-employed entrepreneurs.
Ensuring Good Working Conditions
Most of the BaSE producers work at home. Besides carrying out their household activities they also manufacture their goods with joy and enthusiasm. BaSE producers regularly visit the center to collect and submit work orders, while regular home visits by the BaSE team ensure good working conditions and safety measures.
Providing Capacity Building
At BaSE, we are committed to empowering our producers with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace. That’s why we regularly conduct training and workshops on a wide range of topics, including Information Technology, Sample Development, Production Management, Quality Control, Product Costing, Accounts, and Financial Aspects.
Our expert trainers work closely with each participant to ensure that they understand the material and can apply it to their craftwork. Our training sessions are hands-on and practical, with real-world examples and exercises that give participants a chance to practice and hone their skills. We believe that these training sessions are critical to the success of our producers, and we are proud to offer them as part of the BaSE program.
Promoting Fair Trade
BaSE is committed to promoting Fair Trade principles throughout Bangladesh and beyond. Through our work, we strive to educate people at all levels about the importance of fair wages, safe working conditions, and sustainable business practices.
Our producers are ambassadors for Fair Trade in their own communities, raising awareness and promoting the benefits of ethical business practices. We also observe World Fair Trade Days, which provide an opportunity to engage with the wider community and promote our message of Fair Trade. By working together, we believe that we can create a better, more equitable world for everyone.
Climate Action and Protection of the Environment
At BaSE, we are committed to using local raw materials and promoting sustainability in all aspects of our operations. Our products are handmade, natural, biodegradable, and recyclable, reflecting our commitment to minimizing our impact on the environment. We also strive to operate our facilities in a sustainable manner.
For example, our warehouse is fully powered by solar energy and uses rainwater to meet our daily needs. This system not only helps us save on electricity bills but also reduces our carbon footprint, further contributing to our sustainability efforts. By promoting sustainable practices in our operations and our products, we hope to inspire others to join us in creating a more environmentally friendly future.
Award & Recognitions.
BaSE takes pride in delivering award-winning products and works that have earned the trust and loyalty of our valued customers. Our unique and innovative offerings have set us apart from the competition, and we are committed to pushing the boundaries of creativity to provide even more exceptional products and works. We constantly strive to exceed our customers’ expectations and deliver unparalleled quality and service. At BaSE, we are dedicated to enhancing our customers’ experience by providing them with exceptional products and works that stand the test of time.