Bethlehem Fair Trade Artisans
Bethlehem Fair Trade Artisans (BFTA) is a non-profit NGO established in 2009 by Palestinian artisans. The organisation works to spread the fair trade message in Palestine and links Palestinian producers to global fair trade markets. In 2015, BFTA became the first guaranteed member of World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) in the Middle East.
BFTA‘s mission is to empower the most vulnerable producers in Palestine, support them to become active agents in their own livelihoods, and develop their social rights and their communities. BFTA supports Palestinian women, by increasing their market share in the domestic and global markets, increasing their incomes, their decision making role at home and in the community, and enhancing their social standing.
While working with producers specializing in ceramics and olive wood, BFTA promotes and celebrates the Palestinian culture and traditions, sharing the stories of ancient craft techniques with the world. BFTA became an umbrella of major support for: 53 family-owned olive wood workshops, ceramics and blown glass factories, 50 women’s cooperatives and groups working with a muriate of crafts, including 5 groups employing differently abled persons and women in refugee camps.
Artisans are offered courses in order to improve their skills and knowledge, such as computer IT courses, English courses, embroidery and basket-weaving courses for women, quality control and product-finishing courses, product-pricing courses, environmental health and safety courses, and Fair Trade Awareness.