A Letter From Our Founder
Hello – my name is Agung Alit, from Denpasar in Bali, Indonesia. I wish you a good day and I thank you for spending time to visit our Mitra Bali website.
I am very passionate about Fair Trade. I believe Fair Trade is the right and most useful tool to empower people in both their work and their lives. Every day, when I wake up and see hard-working people already at work – farmers going to rice fields, fisherman going out to sea, men and women hauling garbage, youth and elders working together building houses – morning until night, hawkers and bicycle cart vendors, all these people working so hard trying to support their families – I wonder about the balance between rich and poor.
Mitra Bali was founded in the ambition to engage the hard working craftsmen in the tourism industry and to help them handle the difficulties with market access in order to decrease the poverty among them. At that time their effort was affected by exploitation and very inadequate and unsteady payments. The craftsmen had to wait for their payment for weeks or sometimes the buyer cheated on them and they never got their money. The same thing didn’t just happen to craftsmen but also to producers in other sectors like plantation, stock breeding, fishery, labor and so on. All together such a handling is not correct and absolutely NOT FAIR!
So, how can the people trapped in poverty increase the value of their work and the quality of their lives? Bali is a rich Indonesian Island; skills have been developed, raw materials sourced, and many artisan and fine art talents are here. But, the small people are increasingly distanced from “high-end” lifestyles.
So, “Mitra Bali Fair Trade, supporting Artisans through Fair Trade since 1993” is not just our motto but what holds our business together as we strive along with our workers and artisans to create products reflecting the spirit and creativity necessary to bring Bali inspiration to the world. This is a double empowering, because our pride in Fair Trade is communicated worldwide. Our products and our people are the best they can be. Living in Bali has always been beautiful for a few, all around is natural beauty – now I hope to include the small people there through Fair Trade, moving ahead with their families and finances and quality of life.
Thank you for choosing our products. You can see their beauty, and be assured of the Fair Trade practices that bring them from Mitra Bali to you.