On Fish, Fishing Rods, and Lakes
The Achoti Fair Trade Shop is an innovative economic initiative – the first of its kind in Israel – combining the economic empowerment of women from Israel’s geographic and social peripheries with education for ethical consumerism according to the principles of fair trade.
Many organizations have worked hard and long to provide channels of economic empowerment to women. These channels, however, offer no holistic response to the woman living in poverty and daily economic distress. While others have focused on providing fish and fishing rods to those women, we believe that there is also a need to create the lake, or these women will not have a place to fish.
The time has come not just to train women to grow businesses and economic initiatives, but to create a safe and stable framework over time. Thus, the idea of a shop emerged – a place where women can sell their products to a broad audience of consumers.
The women bring to this project rich experience, expertise, tradition, and culture. Most of their talents and skills – embroidery, sewing, cooking, weaving, sculpting, etc. – have been acquired over a lifetime. We help them translate their distinctive expertise into a real business, and the Achoti Fair Trade Shop provides a platform for promoting this business.
About the Achoti (Sister) Fair Trade Shop
The Achoti Fair Trade Shop is a unique commercial enterprise that showcases the rich diversity of cultures and traditions in Israel through many dozens of products. It is the first store in Israel that operates according to the international principles of fair trade: Sales revenues are almost entirely channeled back to the producers, and the balance is re-invested in the project. All products are hand made in fair and safe working conditions, and use environmentally friendly materials.
The Achoti Fair Trade Shop was founded by Achoti (Sister) – For Women in Israel in cooperation with 16 social justice organizations that operate throughout Israel. The entrepreneurs in the shop hail from diverse cultural groups in Israel.
The products in the shop include a range of ceramic figurines, embroidered bags, woven rugs, high quality home and kitchen products, colorful cushions, braided napkin holders and place mats, embroidered linens, fashion items, a range of food products (olive oil, honey, jams and jellies, liqueurs, za’atar spice), holiday gift packages, as well as original jewelry, games and gifts for children, books, and much more. The Achoti Fair Trade Shop offers its customers a non-routine shopping experience – beautiful, high-quality products combined with smart, responsible consumerism.
In the Achoti Fair Trade Shop you can enjoy socially responsible shopping as most of the profits go directly to the hundreds of women entrepreneurs. All products are hand made from environmentally friendly materials, and were created in fair and safe working conditions. The Achoti Fair Trade Shop offers a unique and enjoyable shopping experience with the added value of benefiting the community, promoting a more just society and economy, and ensuring a healthy environment.
About Fair Trade
Fair trade is an international movement that envisions a sustainable global economy based on equality and justice. The movement unites diverse organizations with the common goal of helping the millions of small producers around the world, women and men, earn a living fairly and live in dignity. The fair-trade movement advocates a new type of commerce based on dialogue, respect, transparency, and long-term commitment. It focuses on improving the living conditions of farmers in developing countries and concern for their future.
The movement, active in 58 countries, arose in response to the failure of conventional commercial practices that do not allow millions of people to make a living despite their hard work, and in protest of the fact that so many people in the world survive on less than $2 a day, which does not allow for minimal hygiene, medical care, or basic education.
The Achoti Fair Trade Shop was an outgrowth of the Fair Trade Project, which sought to instill fair trade values and practices in Israel, promote an economy free of exploitation and enslavement, and ensure consideration for environmental resources.
The Fair Trade Project founded by Achoti sought to turn the neoliberal economic pyramid on its head – to place the producers on top, promote their economic and social visibility, distribute their products, help them earn a living, and provide a place to buy products where fair and non-exploitive working conditions prevail.
On Achoti (Sister) – For Women in Israel
Achoti (Sister) – For Women in Israel was founded in 2000 to advance the visibility of marginalized and ignored women in Israel. Achoti is the only feminist movement of its kind in Israel, established by Mizrahi feminist activists with the goal of placing issues of economic and social justice on the Israeli agenda from a feminist, Mizrahi perspective that links gender with identity, nationality, ethnicity, and feminism. Since its founding, Achoti has enriched feminist discourse and activity in Israel by introducing content related to the range of experiences and needs of women from the geographic, economic, social, and cultural peripheries of the country.
The movement emphasizes economic, social, and cultural empowerment of marginalized women, and the creation of partnerships of values and activities among them. Achoti seeks to build a nonviolent, feminist society free of oppression and discrimination of individuals or groups, and one that is integrated into the landscape of the Middle East.
Operation of the online web store is made possible thanks to the generous support of the American people through the U.S. Department of State. The content is the sole responsibility of Achoti for Women in Israel, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. government.
The Achoti Fair Trade Project was made possible thanks to the support of the following foundations:
The Jewish Women’s Foundation of Greater Palm Beaches
Greater Miami Jewish Federation
Levi Lassen Foundation
New Israel Fund
The Dafna Fund