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Abdul Sattar - Transporting Ethics Overseas

ETHLETIC Football Stitcher

Abdul Sattar is 40 years old and lives with his large family, his mother, his wife Rifatbibi, six daughters and two sons in a tiny brick house in Sahowali village. Two of the children attend school and therefore received a school pack paid for with Fairtrade funds, containing 32 notebooks, 48 pencils, erasers and sharpeners, with a total value of RS 750. Both parents and their daughter Kanwal, one of the school girls, were also given free glasses at an eye camp organised by the Fairtrade joint body.

Out of 111 Vision workers attending, 50 received glasses and 16 were referred for operations. Kanwal is 12 years old and in the 5th grade; English being her favourite subject. Her father Sattar specialised in repairing Fairtrade balls, for example, where a panel has been wrongly inserted or a seam is not 100% straight. He is paid on a daily basis, with a monthly total of RS 7000; the new government minimum wage. As he is the only income earner in their household, other benefits paid for by Fairtrade premiums play a large role. For example, the family's grocery bill of about RS 1000 per month is about 3% cheaper than before.

The quality of the products at the Fair Price shop at Vision, started with Fairtrade premium money, has also significantly improved. The joint body has decided that after the start-up period, it should no longer be subsidised with Fairtrade premium money - but the Vision management in effect continues to do so as it does not charge for rent, electricity, nor the part time sales assistant. Sattar also can use the factory bus, which is paid for through the Fair Trade scheme, to get to work and back - though sometimes he prefers to ride his bicycle. Were he to use public transport; up to 1/7th of his income would be spent on overcrowded and slow public buses.

The main benefit of Fairtrade, of course, is the higher wages. At Vision, non Fairtrade stitching wages range from RS 45 to RS 80, depending on the quality of the ball, the higher quality balls take longer to stitch - the average is RS 60. For Fairtrade balls the lowest wage is RS 65, going up to RS 80, too. Unfortunately, only a small number of Vision's orders are Fairtrade, less than 4%, which is why only a small number of stitchers benefit from the higher wages. Vision has also introduced a new improvement in the preparation of the stitching panels, which allows for faster stitching, an important improvement considering that each ball takes 720 stitches to make.

Check out our range of eco, Fairtrade footballs here to help families such as Abdul’s, and others like them.

Published 11/10/11

Photo(s) ® M.Kunz Fair Deal Trading
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