Africa Fashion Guide
A social enterprise promoting sustainability within Africa's fashion and textile industry.



Crafts

December 11th, 2014

Fair Market Bolga Basket Report Released by G-Lish in Ghana

The G-Lish team recently sent us an email about the release of their Fair Market report on prices paid in the straw Bolgatanga basket industry in #Ghana. It is a great read. You can contact them for more information but here is a summary of what they have said about the industry

We look forward to working together to bring about change in this industry so that the thousands of people involved in making baskets will earn at least the minimum wage in #Ghana from weaving #baskets and other products sold through the central market.

Our research found that NONE of the 120 weavers we interviewed ever received anywhere near a price that met the minimum wage in Ghana when they sold a large market basket in the central market to traders. 

The problem

Over several years living in Bolgatanga, basket weavers often commented to us, the authors of this report, that a weaver could not profit from making baskets. We wondered why this was so. What was impeding their profit-making ability?

In our own work in villages we observed that many weavers were illiterate and not in a position to negotiate prices or selling conditions with traders. We wondered what weavers themselves, across the region, would tell us if we gave them a chance to express themselves about these issues. We wondered what buyers would do if they knew the conditions around the central market in Bolgatanga. Would buyers be motivated to find a way to ensure the weaver received a fair price? We wondered if having a clear picture might bring about change for everyone in the supply chain.

Outcome 

After completing this research it is difficult to conclude that selling straw baskets in the central Bolgatanga straw basket market serves straw basket weavers’ interests in any form whatsoever. If any interests are served, they are those of the middlemen traders, exporters and others in the supply chain who profit.

One thing that is clear from this research is that it is not the straw basket weavers who profit from their work. Far from helping weavers profit, the prices paid for straw baskets sold in the central Bolgatanga basket market do not cover the cost of a weaver’s time and, thus, do not meet the minimum wage in Ghana. The middlemen traders, the exporters, the shipping companies, and international buyers profit on the back of the humble basket weaver’s time and skill. However everyone, including the weavers themselves, could benefit if the straw basket weavers were remunerated for their costs and time.

Whilst this research benchmarked one basket—the round market basket – those who work with baskets and observe prices paid for other styles of baskets in the central market will know that no baskets are fairly remunerated.

The one company or producer that did share details of their prices and processes is

https://www.facebook.com/thebabatree.

More details about this in the full report.

Hashtag: #BasketGood to comment on this in social media.

Twitter: @gaylepescud @godwinyidana1 @G_lishGhana.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GlishFoundationGhana







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One Comment


  1. Thanks for sharing this information. It makes me think about the basket weavers here in Senegal and wonder if they are receiving a fair wage for their work. I am sure they are not, just like the weavers in Ghana.

    Now that research is being done, what is the next step to moving towards ensuring the weavers are earning at least the minimum wage in Ghana?



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