We founded our company because of our desire to help poor, small-scale farmers. As a result, we work hard to ensure that farmers are treated with dignity and that they receive a variety of economic benefits for doing business with us. The three main ways we help farmers is below.
1. 100% of our cotton is purchased from farmer-owned cotton trading companies. Since our cotton is sourced directly from farmer groups, we eliminate the need for cotton traders and other middle-men, thereby maximizing the payment farmers receive for their cotton. In addition, these trading companies provide technical advice to help farmers increase yields and thereby raise their incomes.
2. Fair trade certification ensures fair price and social premiums. Our cotton is purchased at a price which guarantees that farmers can meet all of their basic financial requirements. Depending on the market for cotton, this price can represent a premium of 50% to 80% over the market price. In addition, per fair trade rules, farmers are paid a premium for social or business development purposes. Democratically run farmer committees determine how this premium is spent, so it is used on the projects which farmers deem most important.
3. A portion of our profits are donated to farming communities. In addition to the fair-trade premium noted above, we support education and economic development projects in the villages from where we purchase cotton. These projects will be chosen by the Tompkins Point Foundation and donations will be allocated to the opportunities that we believe will provide the largest impact on our supply chain partners.