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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


© 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 50%. 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.

This year VEJA is paying R$ 24.77 per kilo of cotton. We increased the incentives for the producers who use agroecological practices, and kept the bonus for the associations.   

In 2021 we paid R$18,72 which includes the bonus for the producer and the associations to continue supporting their operations.  

In 2020, VEJA paid R$17,70 in total per kg of cotton lint, almost 50% more than the market price.  

Evolution of the organic cotton price

(R$/KG per year)

@Studio VEJA

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

Amazonian rubber bought by VEJA

(kg per year)

@Studio VEJA

Today, the market price per kg of CVP (semi-processed rubber) is R$2,50.
VEJA paid a total of R$10.50 to rubber tappers in 2021. This price includes a bonus for quality and Social and Environmental Services (PSES).
As part of Fair for Life certification, associations and cooperatives receive an additional bonus of R$0,45 per kg of CVP (semi-processed rubber) produced in 2020 to invest in development projects. This rubber was certified Fair for Life in 2019 thanks to the support of VEJA to improve the living conditions of the rubber tappers and protect the Amazonian forest.

The final price paid per kilo of CVP (semi-processed rubber) represents 400% more than the market price.