Chapters

Fair
trade

Restoring
balance in global trade

Fair trade is one of the three fundamental pillars VEJA is build on. Cotton and rubber are purchased directly from producers in Brazil and Peru. We sign 1-year contracts with them and set a market-decorrelated price. It's one of the ways to ensure more equitable and dignified commercial transactions.

Since our first trip to Brazil, we have created strong commercial bonds with our different partners, based on dialog, transparency and respect. It was when we were working for Alter Eco and Tristan Lecomte in 2003 that we decided to start VEJA.

The goal: to forge a new path where exchanges between producers and consumers become more balanced.

Meeting with cotton producers

Ceará

© Ludovic Carème, 2016

Tristan Lecomte

Pioneer of fair trade in France

© Photographer unknown

What does fair trade mean in real-world situations?

Rubber producer

© Ludovic Carème

For VEJA, it means working directly with producers and thus cutting out the middleman. It also means pre-financing harvests as much as 40%. In other words, we buy organic cotton a year before it's transformed into sneakers.

At the beginning of the year we agree on the price of cotton signing an annual contract with the producers. That way, the producers know how much they will earn from the harvest before planting a single seed.

We also set a market-decorrelated price per kilo of organic cotton or rubber to make sure producers can live decently and reinvest in their farm.

We increase producer income.

Trip to Brazil with clients in 2011 and meeting with producers
People's Rag,Prive Joke,Mood and The Next Door.

In 2004, we started this kind of partnership in the Northeast region of Brazil with ADEC (Associação de Desenvolvimento Educacional e Cultural de Tauá), our long-standing partner in organic and agro-ecological cotton farming.

Farmers are organized into associations who share their cotton harvests and transformation costs.

On top of that, we pay a 2,50 R$ collective premium per kilo of harvested cotton. This premium is pooled and allows associations to finance their operations.

Evolution of the organic cotton price

(R$/KG per year)

In 2017, on average, we purchased our cotton for twice
as much as market price.