Michael’s Concept

This is a typical small family-based Fair Trading Project that is assisted by PREDA because it is such as good example of how Fair trade principles can and are practiced by small producer groups and a family based economic enterprise.

This project brings fair earnings and good working conditions to the producers it is an example how Fair Trade principle in practice can benefit people who would otherwise be exploited and oppressed.It is the kind of project that we need to assist and develop to deliver just employment, quality products and a sustainable environment. It is the positive kind of project what can replace and do away with the usual sweatshop that exploits and enslaves the producers. It is also a good project because it employs the parents and no child labor. The children of the producers are healthy and going to school.

  • Location: San Fernando, Cebu Visayan Region
  • Type of business: family led project
  • Products: Wood Crafts/Natural wood novelty items
  • Number Workers: 86
  • Male/Female: 38/48

While PREDA always works to organize producers associations and cooperatives these in the Philippine culture and context are difficult to organize and not always successful. The small producer group on the other hand is made up of family, relatives and neighbors who come together to form a village like producers group and it does work very successfully.

Michael’s Concept is one of those groups and it provides a good livelihood to as many as eighty families that is an average of 300 people.
The producers are organized among themselves in a pact of understanding that helps to preserve the integrity and uniqueness of the designs of the products. Unfair imitations of designs are what cause many to lose jobs. Bigger tycoon type projects seal the designs of the small producer groups and mass produce them thus doing away with the labor intensive hand produced products that keep so many poor people with good jobs. So the producers understand the need for confidentiality and keeping secret the new designs that they produce.

The project is environmental friendly, Only small craps of wood leftovers are skillfully carved, shaped, painted and polished in to beautiful and attractive useful and practical products such as key rings, book markers, letter openers, pencil caps, necklaces.

They are made with designs of animals, everyday objects that keep the product attractive as well as useful. Some products are decorated with delightful miniature hand paintings.

There are as many as thirty-eight (38) employees in the workshop and they have good clean working environment earn fair wages. There are out-workers; these are families who take on production in their own houses where the women have a chance to earn while still looking after their children. As many as 42 families benefit in the home based producers. They are earning on a piece rate which is fair and honest and that is why enables the project to be strong and sustainable.

They also receive bonus payments they are assisted develop their own production group by the donation of push drills and grinders, which otherwise they could never afford.

This project started in 1988 with a small loan from the Government and has grown since and has withstood the efforts of bigger more wealthy enterprises from swallowing it up. The group has maintained their independence and there skills and good business management has brought modest prosperity and well being.

Mrs. Patlingrato is the product design and quality manager while her husband Michael is the marketing manager and their daughter is the bookkeeper. Members of the production group are in charge of production process and women are in charge of the finishing and packing part of the production.

PREDA is offering assistance in the form of marketing, product design, and management training and encouraging and supporting Fair trade practice and the implementation of principles.

Location: San Fernando, Cebu Visayan Region

Type of business: family led project

Products: Wood Crafts/Natural wood novelty items

Number Workers: 86

Male/Female: 38/48