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Fair Trade & Empowerment of Women

OUR MISSION is to be a profitable Swazi Natural Products company owned by and generating income for rural Swazi women in line with the highest standards of Fair Trade and Environmental Sustainability

Fair Trade is not just a marketing badge for Swazi Indigenous Products (SIP) C it is a way of life. SIP is 100% owned by its raw material suppliers and the prices it pays to them for seed kernels match the best on the continent.

SIP is a full member of WFTO C the World Fair Trade Organisation and also a founder member of SWIFT, the Swaziland Fair Trade Network.

Within a globalised economy, buying most Fair Trade labelled cosmetics ensures that some of the ingredients give a fairer return to rural producers. However, while producers are selling mainly raw materials and the majority of the value addition still takes place in the developed world, real opportunities for empowerment of rural producers remain limited.

supplying marula nuts

While SIP also sells marula oil through this route in order to generate more rural income, its main focus is on building its Swazi Secrets brand. Retaining the value adding activities in Swaziland enables higher levels of skills development as well as higher local earning potential.

Swazi Secrets began life as a project to help poor rural Swazi women to generate income from the natural products that grow around them. It is now owned by its Member Groups of rural suppliers and expanding its horizons to also assist them in a number of social developments, in particular the formation of Self Help Groups and a Rural Livelihoods Programme.

We do not yet carry a Fair Trade logo on our products but are planning to apply for Fair Trade and Natural Cosmetics certification during 2011.

Voting at AGM

Throughout our operations, we make the following pledges:

To rural women : To pay a fair price for raw materials and to push value adding activities as far as possible into rural communities

To the environment : To ensure naturally grown raw material supplies and sustainable wild harvesting of our natural resources

To our staff : To create a working environment that encourages dynamic teamwork and individual development

To our customers : To supply high quality products and total customer satisfaction

To Swaziland : To build a vibrant natural products industry for Swazis to be proud
of, using local suppliers whenever possible

To our donors : To provide excellent development value for all donor investment.

More information ...
Our Empowerment Process - Step by Step
(MS Word)

Links ...
Khelina's story
Khelina Hluphikile Magagula is one of 2,600 rural Swazi women who are improving their lives through income from cracking marula nuts. Read her story here.

Union of Ethical Biotrade (UEBT)
SIP is a Trading Member of the Union of Ethical Biotrade (UEBT), a nonprofit association that promotes the 'Sourcing with Respect' of ingredients that come from native biodiversity.

The Swazi Secrets Song
Marula harvesters in traditional dress cracking nuts to the Swazi Secrets song (courtesy of Jan van der Meer, a Dutch tourist who fell in love with Swazi Secrets and recorded this for us)

World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO)
SIP is a full member of WFTO

Swazi Indigenous Products
Box 163, Mpaka, Swaziland
Tel (+268) 2 33 33 281