Fair trade – at the forefront of Swaziland’s creative sector
The notion of fair trade has, over the years, become paramount to the development and overall success for both developing and developed countries. Swaziland is one of the developing countries that is passionate about applying fair trade policies and principles within its ever-growing and dynamic business sector. It is for this reason that the Kingdom of Swaziland established the Swaziland Fair Trade (SWIFT) member-based nongovernmental organisation, specifically tailored to improving trade relations.
SWIFTS vision is to see Swaziland gain global recognition as a fair trade country supplying world class, ethically produced products in order to uplift Swazi communities and ensure sustainable socio-economic empowerment for all its members.
SWIFT further aims to build the capacity of Swaziland’s handcraft sector so as to improve the economic performance within this sector. To date, SWIFT has contributed to the revenue increment of over 5000 handcraft producers.
For those looking to visit the beautiful Kingdom of Swaziland and explore some of the exceptionally unique handcrafted art this country has to offer, take some time to visit any of the 25 member groups within the SWIFT umbrella such as; Ngwenya Glass, Swazi Candles, and Gone Rural.
Renowned for being one of Swaziland’s leading tourist attractions, Ngwenya Glass is known for working with 100% recycled glass, producing everything from glasses to vases. The factory also provides an exceptionally informative tour, where visitors can see first-hand how these unique works of art are created, from raw material to final product.
Swazi Candles is in the business of locally producing vibrant handmade candles from traditional parafin wax as well as 100% organic soya candle tea lights. Swazi Candles has a wide product range which includes wax encased LED lights, pure vegetable glycerine soaps and marula oil body balm. With a permanently employed, talented team of 45 people and a passion for providing a quality of life in the workplace for employees, Swazi Candles remain on a consistent growth path.
Working with over 750 talented artisans, Gone Rural primarily produces grass woven products such as baskets, place mats, fruit bowls, and jewellery. These products are supplied to hundreds of retailers, both domestically and internationally, allowing them to increase the incomes of all artisans and invest in community development projects.
SWIFT believes that this initiative, with the assistance of all its members, can significantly build the capacity of the handcraft sector in Swaziland and result in improved economic sector performance both locally and internationally, resulting in increased revenue and wages for Swaziland handcraft producers and companies.
Hand crafts are among the few unparalleled experiences tourists will revel in. The Kingdom of Swaziland is filled with a wealth of interesting and significant things to do and to witness for all looking to discover something new.