Fair Trade Zone, in English Fair Trade Zone, is a textile maquiladora zone regime, characterized as being driven entirely by a worker cooperative. This consists mainly of Nicaraguan women whom manage Ensesa under the status of workers-members (owners). It is located in the neighborhood of Ciudad Sandino human resources New Life. It is an alternative business development concerning promoting the concept of sustainable employment.
In operation since 1999, is certified management jobs since 2005 as the first free zone in the world controlled by its workers. He spends most of its production to export duty-free through the mechanism of fair trade. You apply social accountability measures with local community programs.
The project staff of the Fair Trade Zone has been carried out by members of the Cooperativa Maquiladora Mujeres de Nueva Vida Internacional (COMAMNUVI) with the support of the nonprofit association Jubilee House Community and Development Project at the Center for Central (JHC-CDCA). Its principal distributor and promoter outside the company is Maggie’s Organics, one of its customers.
The ZCJ seeks to promote sustainable economic development through providing opportunities for the poor to learn to manage their own businesses successfully, with the initiative and cooperation as values. Its axis is the concept of sustainable employment, this means that this group has focused not only on maintaining employment for its members, but specifically in expanding its business to agency create more jobs for families in the community. Then these income families contribute to the local economy, benefiting the entire community.
Continued improvements in the situation of the worker-owners are primarily due to business processes and order additional voluntary.
The ZCJ is the confluence of two stories, of the NGO Jubilee House Community and women of the cooperative New Life International.
The Jubilee House Community (JHC) was formed in the U.S. in January 1979 as a non-sectarian religious community of volunteer assistance, to live and work with the poor. In the 80 started working with marginalized populations in Nicaragua, and in 1993 the board formally set the JHC project in Nicaragua, called the Center for Development in Central America (CDCA). Currently gives support to several enterprises and community projects.
In 1998, Hurricane Mitch struck Nicaragua. At the time, there were many low-income families who lived on the shore of Lake Xolotlan, Lake Managua. With the storm, the lake was flooded and these families lost their homes and were relocated. These families became part of a consultants new development called ‘New Life’ in Ciudad Sandino, on the outskirts of Managua. Located seven miles west of the capital, Ciudad Sandino has the densest population of the country they live more than 4,500 people per square mile, with the highest level of unemployment in the country.
After Hurricane Mitch, the JHC-CDCA began researching a way to combat the 80 unemployment in Nueva Vida. Through a partnership of the business agencies market with Maggie’s Organics in Michigan, USA, focused on creative consumers, the idea sales jobs of forming a cooperative maquiladora women of the neighborhood.
Cooperative and organization
In ZCJ workers have a say in all matters. Because the project was designed to benefit the poor, his mind set and organizers assumed that it was imperative that the business was a truly democratic. They consider them the only way to ensure that they hear the voice of workers is whether they see themselves as business owners and managers, providing ‘the jobs in right and means “to influence business decisions and actions.
The workers have part time jobs established a regulation that specifies the responsibilities of each partner, that requirements for membership, social background, training, committees, public relations, etc..
Trade and distribution
Commercial operations of the ZCJ are favored by the opening of free part time trade zones, duty-free, allowing them to be more competitive in foreign markets. They have the advantage of producing for foreign markets, and thus job search are not limited to the ability of the local market, almost all its production is destined for export, usually to stores that meet the demand of so-called creative consumers who are customers who seek whose value added products including the way they have been elaborated, socially and environmentally responsible.
Implications of the project
The name Fair Trade Zone is intentional to distinguish the business of traditional zones, popularly known as maquiladoras.