Mitra Bali Fair Trade Organisation – Bali, Indonesia
Mitra Bali is based in Indonesia and has been actively participating in Bali’s economic and social development since 1993. The organization works to empower a large group of handicraft producers; including ways to help producers develop their businesses. In addition to this, Mitra Bali has an environmental programme which includes replanting albesia (blalu) trees as a sign of its concern for Bali’s natural environment, which it feels is being destroyed by investors hungry for land. Mitra Bali say: “We know that what we have done, are doing, and will do is still far from our hopes and dreams . . . that is why we must continue this process and then another world is possible,”.
As a member of the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) and a non-governmental and non-profit organisation they act as a market and export facilitator for small craft producers such as wooden cats. Without direct access to the Bali road arteries, it is difficult for those producers who have little working capital to access or even accept large orders without a fair deposit and prompt payment for goods. Yet, the contribution of these artisans to the development of the island is substantial. Their artistic output represents the visible face of Balinese Culture, which, ironically, helps to draw tourists and buyers to Bali.
Mitra Bali works within a framework of around 100 producer groups employing over 1.000 men and women. The head office works with 31 employees.