Our Fair Trade Principles and Policy

Sunisa Umbrella Workshop is proud to be a socially and environmentally responsible small producer. We practice fair trade in our interactions with employees, suppliers, customers and other stakeholders. The following principles represent our policy in workshop management and daily operations.


Fair trade – Our working principles and business policy, defined in this document.
Team membersEmployees – Artisans and specialists employed full-time or part-time, paid by wages or by-the-piece.
Subcontracting artisans – Artisan workshops producing components for the production process.
Partner workshops – Other workshops producing complementary products.
Suppliers – Other suppliers, for example packaging producers and shipping companies.
Sustainable family income – The income that a family of four needs to meet it's basic needs, and to save for larger purchases.


We implement, apply and advocate fair trade. We do not seek, we do not exhibit third party accreditations or certifications.

Our fair trade principles closely follow the World Fair Trade Organization's > 10 Principles of Fair Trade, with details adapted to our workshop's activities and specific situation in rural Thailand.


1. Create Opportunities

a) It is our purpose to help create higher income and a better standard of living in Thailand's less advantaged population segments, especially in our rural rice-farming area of the Chiang Mai valley, through accessing new markets for handmade, environmentally responsible artisan products. Most often, the products we represent are made by craftswomen and craftsmen who are members of rural farming families.

b) Through the production and sales of our bamboo umbrellas, hand fans and folding hats we provide employment and income for those who may not be able to work on the fields, yet can improve their earnings by skilled craftsmanship. The women and men we employ are elderly persons, single mothers, landless farmers, migrant workers, farmers in low season, persons who need to watch over children (when this can be done while they work), un- or underemployed or those who prefer or have a higher aptitude for craftsmanship over field work.

c) We provide employment opportunities directly, as well as through subcontracting artisan workshops that we work together with. These are also small-scale family businesses in Chiang Mai valley's farming area.

d) We share our experiences in production and sales with team members, subcontracting artisans, other suppliers and customers. We nurture positive, long-term relationships in order to lower the thresholds of sharing and solving issues that affect our businesses.

e) Our purpose of creating opportunities for income generation and empowerment stands at an equal level with sustainable operations. We do not engage in religious or party-political causes.

2. Trade Fairly

a) We are honest, straightforward and transparent in all our interactions.

b) We start each relationship with a new team member, subcontracting artisan, supplier or a customer with the intention of maintaining a long-term relationship. Long term cooperation is a prerequisite to communicate effectively, share information and understand each others needs and outlooks.

c) Subcontracting artisans' prices should reflect all actual costs including the cost of the owner's own labor and administration input, and a reasonable margin. We discuss prices that we deem either higher or lower than market prices, historic prices and our estimates.

d) Products and services of subcontracting artisans usually contain materials, labor and administrative inputs. Workshops and subcontractors receive a down-payment of up to 60% of the order value, if this is needed, with balance payment directly upon delivery according to purchase order. Product samples are fully paid according to the same principle, also if they are purchased from available stock.

e) We operate, and subcontracting artisans cooperate with a quality assurance and control system that aims to minimize losses for them as well as ourselves that might arise from quality issues such as wrong products, faulty products or missing an agreed delivery deadline.

f) We consult with our subcontracting artisans in case we receive an order cancellation or in case we must reject a produced order due to quality issues. In case of order cancellation we pay for work already done and materials purchased. For rejections, for example quality issues, wrong product or missed delivery deadline, the amount of compensation is mutually discussed.

g) We set a reasonable price for sale of our products to customers, which includes costs and a reasonable sales margin, and expect our customers to do the same.

h) We aim to work together with other workshops that have a good track record in fair artisan relations whom we may sometimes compete with, in order to produce orders that cannot be produced by any single workshop and to increase the total volume of sales and income opportunities for the area.

i) We promote and protect the cultural identity and traditional skills of artisans and their hand crafted products. We do not engage in duplicating designs or content copyrighted to or used by others; we expect the same from other parties.

j) Designs and content sent us by our customers, suppliers or other parties belong exclusively to them. We keep the designs and content of our customers, suppliers and other parties confidential. We do not use these designs or content on our own account, unless our use has been explicitly authorized by the customer, supplier or other party. In case we wish to publish any comments that customers send to us, we always ask for the customer's explicit approval first.

3. Pay a Fair Price

a) Salaries, wages, remuneration by-the-piece and subcontract amounts are mutually discussed and mutually agreed upon.

b) Team members who we employ full-time or part time on daily or monthly basis receive a wage in the amount of, or higher than the current minimum wage. Wages are furthermore based on skills and dependability.

c) Team members who perform work that is remunerated by-the-piece are on equal wage basis with those who receive wages on daily or monthly basis. They receive a calculated hourly, daily or monthly wage commensurate or higher than the current minimum wage. This is a calculation based on average worker skill, speed and manufacture quality.

d) Team members paid by wages or by-the-piece receive equal pay regardless of gender, gender-preference, allegiance, nationality or origin. Specifically women, men and other genders, as well as Thai, Burmese and other nationalities, or persons of other origins are paid the same wages or by-the-piece prices for work of the same value. This also means we pay Burmese team members the same wages as local team members when we employ them.

e) We aim to provide work remuneration that covers, or more than covers the “Sustainable Family Income”, the income needed to properly sustain a family of four in our area.

f) We endeavor to convince all team members who qualify to participate in the government sponsored social security plan, which contains both health insurance and pension provisions, unless the employee is already covered elsewhere. The monthly amount is equally shared among employee and employer. Social security health insurance is relatively inexpensive yet sufficiently effective to avoid potentially ruinous medical costs.

g) In case offered salary, wage, remuneration or product price is deemed too low or too high by either party, we mutually discuss the reasons. In case there are reasons for adjustment, it is done in mutual agreement.

4. Adhere to the Law

a) We adhere to all government laws and regulations. We pay our taxes as an important contribution to the development of the country, the province and the municipality. We renounce those who make the people's money disappear through the practice of corruption.

b) We fully comply with and aim to exceed the provisions of the labor law, including hiring /severance provisions, minimum wage regulations, holiday and vacation leave, sick leave, child labor and forced labor laws, pregnancy provisions, occupational health regulations and social security /health care options for employees.

c) We do not engage in, and do not allow partner workshops, subcontracting artisans, their subcontractors, or suppliers to engage in forced labor or child labor. While children below 15 years are prohibited from work by law, children between 15 and 18 years old may by law work under certain conditions with reporting to and monitoring by the labor inspector. Any such involvement in production must not adversely effect children's well-being, security, educational requirements or need for play.

5. Protect the Environment

a) We are established and work on the premise of i) social responsibility and fair trade and ii) environmental responsibility and preservation.

b) The products that we manufacture and sell are geared to the criteria of environmental preservation. Our foremost focus is on products made of bamboo such as bamboo umbrellas, bamboo hand fans, bamboo folding hats, bamboo candles and other bamboo products. Bamboo is a strong, local, natural and quickly renewable material.

c) The production processes for our bamboo umbrellas, hand fans and folding hats are environmentally sound. We consider the environmental impact of waste and aim to minimize waste. No harmful waste is emitted to the environment. Wherever possible, we use low energy appliances, tools and machines. We are preparing to use solar energy for operations and office.

d) We engage our subcontracting artisans and suppliers to apply these environmental principles.

6. Ensure Equality

a) We treat all persons equally. This is regardless of gender, gender-preference, religion, political or union affiliation, ethnic group, nationality or origin. This goes for all aspects from hiring to remuneration and promotion opportunities.

b) We make it easier for those who take care of small children. We take into account the special health needs of women in regard to pregnancy and taking care of small children. When needed, we maintain a crèche where small children can rest or play where they can be watched over from the work place.

c) We engage our subcontracting artisans and suppliers to apply equality principles.

7. Engage Stakeholders

a) We are transparent in working with all stakeholders. We operate and work in a participatory manner with our team members, customers, subcontracting artisans, suppliers, educational organizations and public offices. Major decisions are made in participation with team members and subcontracting artisans, and when appropriate with customers.

b) Participatory processes with team members and subcontracting artisans, and with clients at times involve exchange of information that is deemed confidential. We keep such information fully confidential; we expect the same in return.

8. Ensure Good Working Conditions

a) We ensure a safe, healthy working environment. We follow legal working hours, break time provisions and occupational health standards, and encourage all present at the premises to pursue a positive working atmosphere.

b) We aim to maintain a harmonious, positive working team and strive for low turn-over of employees regardless of full-time, part-time or persons working by-the-piece.

c) We work with our subcontracting artisans and suppliers to follow the same practices.

9. Build People Capacity

a) We train team members in technical skills or administrative skills when they require it, and want it. Training is not solely geared at job training but also at individual empowerment in personal life. Most team member training is in-house.

b) We work with and advise subcontracting artisans in product development, process improvement and managerial matters regarding implementation of fair trade.

c) We provide environmental advice to subcontracting artisans, suppliers and clients, or endeavor to connect them with appropriate technical organizations for environmental issues that come to our attention.

d) We contribute to the improvement of local primary and secondary education whenever this is possible.

10. Promote Fair Trade

a) We show our principles of fair trade through our actions.

b) We promote our ideas, principles and policy of fair trade through discussion and publication whenever this is possible and appropriate. We discuss and promote fair trade with team members, other artisan workshops, subcontractors and customers.

c) We show our fair trade principles and policies on our web site, where they are viewed by customers, potential customers, suppliers, competitors and the public at large.


We reserve the right to modify or improve the text of these principles at any time.