Bawa Collection, Bali
Pak Bawa would be the first person to respond if you asked ‘what are the benefits of Fair Trade?’
He used to working for an informal handicraft group, carving Balinese animal statues, for five years in Tampaksiring. During this time he was earning around Rp. 400,000 per month.
“Income was slow,” he says. “I hoped that a group of my own would increase my income and include the people around me.”
So Pak Bawa created Bawa Collection in 1995. When Pekerti approached him in 2004, they suggested he expand his product range to include natural material Christmas decorations, which were in considerable demand in Europe and America.
They also encouraged Pak Bawa to use the Fair Trade principles, of which the group has been particularly successful at increasing their transparency.
“When we receive an order I ask my workers how much they would like to be paid for the work they will be doing, we negotiate, and when it’s agreed I let Pekerti know,” he says.
“Transparency and responsibility are things I am proud of doing because I feel we can do them effectively.”
Pak Bawa’s monthly income has risen to Rp. 1.500,000 per month today, and he has been able to renovate his home, fulfill his family’s daily needs and purchase a motorbike for transportation.
He has also fulfilled his ambition to involve his neighbours, whom he has grown up with since birth in his village of Sanding, Tampaksiring. Today 10 of his neighbours, including close friend I Wayan Jati, make up Bawa’s full-time staff.