Unfortunately, Windhorse Trading closed in 2015. Before doing so it asked Shared Earth if it would like to contact some of its most ethical producers, to maintain the distribution of their products in the UK. This we agreed to do, the most important suppliers being in Thailand, Indonesia, China and Guatemala. Since then we have been trying to develop producer groups, in particular in Thailand and Indonesia, to learn about and try to apply the principles of Fair Trade. Others we continue to believe can be described as ‘ethical traders’ and we market them as such in our literature.
Windhorse products are sourced from developing countries across the world, and are made by workers in areas that are poor by Western standards. We aim to bring genuine benefits to these people through our ethical trade with them and through direct aid.
Windhorse never claimed to be a "Fair Trade" business, but nevertheless its principles were very much in keeping with Fair Trade principles. In its own words:
"Windhorse is inspired by Buddhist values and ethos. This finds its practical application in our dealings with our suppliers, customers and the environment. We build real & lasting connections with our suppliers and we treat our customers fairly, honestly and with respect. In particular we aim to:
- pay a fair price
- build personal connections with suppliers
- check for good wages and working conditions
- be mindful of environmental issues
- respond to local needs by passing back some of our profits to aid the communities where our goods are made
- support crafts that nurture traditional ways of life."