SERRV International, a founding member of the International Federation for Alternative Trade and the US Fair Trade Federation, was one of the first fair trade organizations in the world. SERRV's goal is to alleviate poverty and empower low-income artisans and farmers through an integrated program that provides income, international market access, training and other forms of community support as they work to improve their lives.
- SERRV is committed to an innovative program which integrates development and alternative trade
in its work with artisans and farmers in 35 developing countries.
- SERRV's program to build
the capacity of their partner artisan and farmer organizations is threefold.
- SERRV works
with each local grassroots enterprise to generate needed earned income and gain practical
experience by marketing their products directly through their A Greater Gift direct mail catalog as
well as through an ecumenical network of churches and nonprofit fair trade shops.
establishes long-term written agreements with these organizations defining a mutually agreed
program of training, grants, and organizational and product development assistance which will allow
them to grow their enterprises and compete in the global marketplace.
- Finally, when they
are ready, SERRV provides the support needed to help these enterprises access larger commercial
markets for their products - so that their reliance on SERRV will lessen, empowering them to become
- SERRV offers more than 1500 unique high quality, handmade products and fair
trade foods each year, all of which are available through their website, www.agreatergift.org. And
with every purchase, the lives of artisans and farmers around the world are improving.
- SERRV supports thousands of small-scale artisans and farmers of all races in Africa, Asia,
Latin America, and in some parts of the US by marketing their handcrafts and agricultural products.
SERRV purchased over $3.5 million of products from low-income artisans and farmers in 35 countries
during 2007. All of our purchases were conducted in adherence with fair, developmentally-based
business practices, including healthy working conditions, equality for women and fair pay for
- Every person SERRV works with has a household income at or below 80% of the area
median income and a majority (60%) are women. SERRV estimates that 60% of their clients live in
rural areas while 20% live in major urban areas (population of 1 million or more), and 20% live in
minor urban areas (less than 1 million.)
- In 2008, SERRV sold $8.73 million in fairly traded handicrafts, coffee, chocolate, and other
products from the developing world providing needed income to thousands of low income farmers and
artisans. Equipment grants totaled $15,326, training and travel grants totaled over $15,000, and
grants for emergency relief totaled $11,500. In addition SERRV provided significant training,
product development and capacity building support as well as emergency disaster recover assistance
to its overseas partners. In the past 59 years SERRV has expanded its work to include more than 85
different community-based groups of artisans and farmers in more than 35 developing countries as
well as in the U.S.
A strong belief in a multi-ethnic society unites the 16 amazing women of Sarajevo Phoenix, an embroidery cooperative in Bosnia-Herzegovina, part of the former Yugoslavia. These Serb, Croatian, and Bosnian women have put aside their differences to form a “ministry of embroidery” and serve as models of reconciliation and cooperation. Full Story