Cigars and Rum, Flor y Joya – the flower and the jewel of Nicaragua, a fair trade gift box idea to create funds to benefit Nicaraguan women.
My idea for hand rolled cigar factory came from a visit to one of the many rolling facilities in Esteli, Nicaragua. Cigars are a bit of a novelty item, a fun image enhancing product. Empowered women every bit as cool as the men enjoying their after diner Cognac and smoke.
But by providing a job as basic as rolling cigars, can but food on the table and keep a roof over the heads of head of household women. A job is no novelty to a woman providing for her family, it can be just enough to make life pleasant and offer some security in developing countries like Nicaragua where the unemployment rate is about 35 %.
As you can see from the photos below, Vanessa and I enjoyed doing a little research on putting the WWTP brand on cigars. We thought the cigars could be marketed to professional Women Who Know How To Wear The Pants in their careers.
The short version: for a minimal investment, we could lease a small factory building, to house a humidifier room, and rolling tables and cigar presses. Higher a buyer for the tobacco leaf. A quality cigar can be produced for about a $1.00, the cigar would then retail for about $7.00. The project would provide adequate income for the women rolling the cigars, and my guess $3.00 profit to be returned to the community for education, health and welfare programs.
An idea for the original investor: Cigar affeccianado Arnold Schwarschenger would be good to approach. A little bit of an apology to Maria and women of the world?
Perhaps if it is successful, WWTP could then buy a tobacco plantation and produce its own organic tobacco.
A great George Burns quote: “Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal and a good woman…or bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle”
I myself do not think sharing happiness, makes you a bad woman.
I just started 22 more gardens in and around Esteli. With the assistance of Belen Acura—and family and friends. The first group of 15 gardens was developed by IDE from an idea I had for subsistence gardens in newly developed property outside Esteli. IDE took my idea a few steps further to try and bring the residents into a cooperative. We had limited success. The problems I saw were bringing new neighbors together and not having a technician locally. But we learned together. The second group of gardens I proposed for IDE was at the Nueva Vida fair and free trade factory. It was my small gift and acknowledgement of their inspiring business model of combining Free Trade benefits with fair trade values and ideals. Now, Belen and company with my assistance are working on a group of 22 gardens, 5 of which will be in a local women’s prison for the benefit of their diet and to develop some funds for the families of these women. The rest of the 4 m x 5 m gardens are individually evaluated by Belen for practicality of success. Some will only need IDE’s irrigation system, and Belen’s expanding local agricultural knowledge. While others will need some labor to till the soil for single and aged women. We don’t expect cost effective fruits of our finance and labors on this first crop but hope to leave the families with the means and agricultural education to carry on. Another important product of these gardens is the pride and pleasure the people have for producing their own vegetables, as we who have had gardens of our own know. At this time we choose not to ask for financial assistance. When we prove our ideas and efforts a success we will look for help for what we can spend and intend to be extremely transparent perhaps by having a financial page on our website.
Expenses and Benefits of our 22 garden production, administration, and technical guidance: Belen $200.00 per month Labor assistance $100.00 per month Transportation to sites $50.00 per month Fertilizer and fumigationSeedlings and seeds, irrigation systems, (one time tool purchase)
Healthy diet Cash from sale of extra vegetables Knowledge for future plantings Satisfaction of a successful crop, providing for your family Pride and Independence – Immeasurable
WWTP proposes to Universities the idea of a new academic program. The course or program elected for creation is Legacy in Integrity. Funding for this project is a $5,000.00 donation to your University from WWTP and Mr. Robert Carroll along with the donation of 1400 organic cotton tee-shirts purchased from www.nuevavidafairtradezone.org, and the rights to the company and to direct the two(2) trademarks developed Women Wearing The Pants® and The Fair and Free World Trading Company®. This program would be offered to professional students at your university for areas of study in Humanities and / or Business. The participation in this program of study is to receive academic credit for the real formation of an apparel product in which all proceeds from the sale of these items go toward the continued funding for the course or program and charities benefitting women in low income households. The preamble of the class is to strengthen the ideals of integrity. The curriculums focus is to initiate change in the belief of business success as an individual purpose and spotlight the realization of business success for the betterment of community and society.
Proposed in this example document are the goals of organizations Women Wearing the Pants® and The Fair & Free World Trade Company® to collaborate with Duke University in producing an academic program that platforms business mantra as a legacy of integrity. The organization of the program is for students to receive academic credit for their participation in the formation of an apparel product that can be sold in stores. All proceeds made from these products goes to continued funding for the program and helping women in low income households. In addition to receiving a real business experience, the graduates of Duke University who participate in this course or program and become the next business entrepreneurs or businessman of tomorrow endorse the perception of social responsibility.
WWTP will donate $10,000, 1400 organic cotton tee-shirts (imported from www.nuevavidafairtradezone.org) and the rights to direct the two brand names, preferably to State Universities wishing to help further the cause of Women Wearing The Pants. We need Website Maintainance, Marketing, Business Planning, and Political Science majors to help cement our views and opinions on international trade, with quality research. I welcome any other university to join in the effort.
To begin with my apologies for not being the fully developed site that you would expect from an organization called “Women Wearing The Pants.” In the future we intend to do everything in our power to live up to the name!
I’m sure you are here in response to my challenge for the “100 Most Powerful Women”. This is no small challenge. To create an organization under these guidelines in the middle of not so perfect conditions is nothing short of a revolution in the Textile industry. When this idea first came to me, I thought, “There’s no way a small group could achieve such a goal, but possibly Universities and their students could effect a change.”
On November 12, 2010 I read the Forbes Magazine article The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, and I had a revelation. Here are people who can make this a reality. These women, by my count, twenty-seven of which are noted for activism or humanitarian causes (# 27 Melinda Gates “improving the lives of women and children around the globe”). Twenty-three who control a large amount of the world’s finances (#5 Hillary Clinton may be heading up the World Bank). Sixteen of the women are directly related to the clothing industry, either having their own clothing line or are noted designers. Nine are noted for their marketing skills. And this is worth noting: Oprah was the only woman in all four categories.
I do believe these women will effect a change. It will be the responsibility of the socially conscious consumer to support these powerful women in this challenging task, by not only purchasing these products, but by also by becoming educated consumers, simply by searching the internet for “Free Trade Zones” and “Fair Trade Guidelines”. Just as we became educated in Organic Farming and Green Energy, Fair Trade products should be the socially conscious consumer’s clothing of choice. Wish us Good Luck toward our success!
In the future WWTP intends to pursue projects on a slightly smaller scale. Hope you will be there to help us.
For more information on WWTP please see our business plan set forth by our business director, Katie Cassidy.
My respect to the personnel of Non Governmental Organizations who have been in the trenches for years before my adventure; they are the ones who truly deserve the opportunity you’ve given me to open the conscious of so many. We welcome them to this site.
Correspondence: we will do our best to handle all correspondence, please be patient.
Robert M. Carroll
Thank you to Diane DeVries of Digrafika for website creation and maintenance.
To The Attention Of: Warren Buffet, Melinda Gates and the Gates Foundation, Skoll Foundation, University Professors and Students, The World Fair Trade Organization, Free Trade Zone Administrators, Bank of America, Newman’s Own Company, Masili, Freakonomics, Emma Watson, Michelle Obama, Meryl Streep, George Clooney, and consumers with a social conscience.
The Idea: To create a brand name for products, especially textiles, which will be produced under FAIR TRADE Guidelines and FREE TRADE Agreements using ORGANIC materials. Since organic products are more labor intensive and generally create better products they can potentially create more jobs while at the same time sustaining one of the world’s greatest resources – our soil!
The Brand Name: “THE FAIR AND FREE WORLD TRADING COMPANY”
The Goal: Similar to the profit structure created by Paul Newman’s company, Newman’s Own, all of the profits from the brand would go to charity. University professors and students, as an education program for international development, would then administer the organization. Join me now in creating jobs worldwide by creating products with the brand name “THE FAIR AND FREE WORLD TRADING COMPANY”
The Vision: Can you envision with me – “The Fair and Free World Trading Company” outlet stores, with the graphic of Yin and Yang as its base logo, symbolizing a balance of Fair Trade and Free Trade, in airport shopping centers and malls worldwide? These stores would display and sell Fair Trade Certified clothing and goods and employ university students. Students would also design, market, and import/export all products utilizing and influencing Free Trade Agreements and Fair Trade Certification.
All products would be tagged with rhetoric and brochures explaining the quality materials used and the jobs and benefits created in the manufacture, marketing, and sale of these goods. The coup de grâce! ALL profits, after paying fair living wages to the organization’s employees, would go to social, education, health, and environmental programs for the developing countries where the goods were produced. The outlet stores could be franchised out to universities and Non Governmental Organizations to earn funds to accomplish their goals and distribute scholarships to local universities.
Mr. Warren Buffet, you do so well with Berkshire Hathaway, which was once a textile company, maybe you could assist us to make this idea a success? This needs the clout your name carries, not to mention some “seed” money would certainly help. I’m sure you are aware of how difficult and potentially dangerous (U.S. and Colombia Near Trade Pact, The New York Times, 4/6/11) working with labor in developing countries can be. You could start this organization, by taking over an existing company and turning it into the world’s biggest co-operative. I understand Fair Trade may be new to you; perhaps 21-year-old Emma Watson would share her knowledge on how it works. This would be an exceptional addition to your already impressive legacy. Few individuals have the power you have to make this dream organization a reality, please help!
Melinda Gates and the Gates Foundation, I’d ask the same of you as I did of Warren Buffet, your expertise in philanthropy could help the universities make this idea a success! This idea certainly falls into line with the ideas behind the formation of the Gates Foundation. What better way to give, “all people a chance to lead a healthy and productive life” than by helping to create jobs for them, while at the same time creating a learning experience for students.
Skoll Foundation, Would this “innovative” idea not “drive large scale change and invest, connect, and celebrate social entrepreneurs to help solve the world’s most pressing problems?” It’s all yours – be the “connector”!
University Professors and Students, Your involvement will be key in developing and marketing the products and continuing to manage the brand name to insure success and integrity. Additionally, your help will be needed to develop social programs for example, health, education, agriculture, water purification, and conservation. In other words, programs to benefit the communities of the developing countries where the products will be produced.
Free Trade Zone Administrators, Please use your power for the true intent of the Free Trade Agreements forged by your governments, to create prosperity through employment of your fellow citizens. Not by surrendering the rights of the workers to a fair living wage and favorable working conditions. For example, read the article by Rose-Marie Avin, Free Trade Zones and Women in Nicaragua: Exploitation or Empowerment? Although dated information, I don’t believe there has been a substantial change. Here is another example from The Lonely Planet Guide, Nicaragua. See page 38 regarding Free Trade vs Fair Trade at right.
I’m sure there is a lot more research from a lot of other countries to be examined. Bank of America / US Trust, You should be happy to finance such a noble endeavor. The case being that you use our country’s name and tax dollars via TARP. Maybe you could win back some of our country’s credibility. If you truly mean what you advertised in Atlantic Magazine, Oct 2010, page 52
“What is passing down your values as well as your assets worth? How is worth measured? At U.S. Trust, we believe it’s about more than just assets, and liabilities, it’s about the things in life that take on a worth all their own, including ideas and innovations that promote economic, educational and environmental improvements. That’s why we’re a proud sponsor of the 2010 Washington Ideas Forum, as a means of celebrating and inspiring new thinking that can benefit society for generations to come.”
Stated on U.S. Trust’s website, “At US Trust, we believe it’s about more than just assets and liabilities. It’s about the things in life that take on a worth all their own, including ideas and innovations that promote economic, educational, and environmental improvements.” Or was that just rhetoric to solicit more investment dollars? As the saying goes, “put your money where your mouth is”, or you might say, “put the US taxpayers money where your mouth is.”
Newman’s Own Company, Please share your business model with the universities. If your organization can create and sustain jobs and raise millions through the sale of organic salad dressing, then THE FAIR AND FREE WORLD TRADING COMPANY should be able to create many more jobs and raise billions of dollars through the sale of organic / Fair Trade textiles. Help us create an organization to last as long as we wear clothes and want to live in a fair and free world. Additionally, your organization should have a much larger marketing campaign touting your achievements. My utmost respect goes to Paul Newman for the simplest un-common sense, of developing a product to raise money for charity. I wish there were more like him who had the ability to use their fame and integrity to create such an organization.
Masili, Thank You! It was your story and the fact that you are the FIRST and ONLY worker owned cooperative operating in a Free Trade Zone that inspired me to research Fair and Free Trade. I hope this dream team will follow your great example. You have been the leading influence of my idea of how the balance of Free Trade and Fair Trade could help the world.
Freakonomics, I have an economic problem for you. Take 10% of the textile products produced in the Free Trade Zones of developing countries. What is the cost to produce these products? How many people does it employ? What is the total retail price? OK – now take that same 10% and produce it under Fair Trade guidelines, meaning a 40-hour work week and a living wage for the country it was produced in. How much more money did it cost? How many more jobs did it create? How much would you have to increase the retail price to maintain the same profit margin? If you didn’t increase the retail price how much less profit would be made? Lastly which textile product would you buy?
APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) and World Trade Organization (WTO), Presuming that the Freakonomics Professors will come up with a sizeable number of jobs created. What if, when you negotiate Free Trade Agreements, you insist on 10% of trade to be under the Fair Trade guidelines that are already in place, thereby creating the jobs proposed by Freakonomics research, as well as creating new consumers out of the workers? All this is to be paid for by consumers with a social conscience, voluntarily. There would be no government funds and no new taxes.
President Obama, in addition to the above Trade Agreements, you could create an agreement with other western nations that use Fair Trade labor laws – FAFTA (Fair And Free Trade Agreement.)
Here is an idea for your next stimulus package – What if you said, “No sales tax on US and Fair Trade manufactured goods or 5% back at the register?” So instead of giving tax breaks to the corporations to stay in the US, you reward the consumer for buying products made in the US. It would also have to make the consumer conscious of where and how their purchases were produced. For example, if the consumer had the opportunity buy an iPhone manufactured in the US for more money than an iPhone manufactured in China, however the cost of the iPhone made in the US was offset by 5% wouldn’t that make the consumer aware of the “Made in US” labor cost? Could this work at the gas pump? Instead of subsidizing the oil companies you subsidize American oil at the pump?
Presuming that the Freakonomics professors come up with a substantial increase in the labor force – wouldn’t it be wise when you negotiate Free Trade Agreements to insist that at least 10% of the trade be certified Fair Trade by the world Fair Trade Organization? Thereby creating more consumers to buy our exports? Also, an idea for a US economic stimulus, what if instead of giving corporations tax breaks, you gave 5% off all US manufactured goods at the register from November 25th to January 1st. Wouldn’t that be better than giving Americans a check to buy Chinese TVs, like President Bush did? It would encourage the US consumer to read the label before buying.
Elizabeth Warren, Please oversee the legal representation of the organization. Your integrity is no match for anyone who would use the above ideas for anything else than what I propose. Create an awareness campaign promoting the benefits of a Fair and Free Trade program and a self sustaining textile organization to create funding for international development programs managed cooperatively and competitively by the universities of the world. Students are the world’s greatest idealists!
Emma Watson, Congratulations on your Fair Trade clothing line at People Tree. It’s inspiring to see such a young person show so much concern for her environment and the people in her world. I hope you will show the people who have been in the textile business for years how it can be done. At “The Fair and Free World Trading Company” we hope to take things a couple steps further by producing products in the Free Trade Zones of developing countries then returning the profits back to the same countries in the form of education, health, and agricultural programs. Your endorsement will greatly help.
Michelle Obama, Thank You, for promoting organic foods for health benefits. Perhaps you could also make the point of addressing the fact that organics are labor intensive and add jobs to the economy?
Meryl Streep, I can’t think of a better equal to Paul Newman. Would you endorse “The Fair and Free World Trading Company” to be managed by Women Wearing the Pants Corp.?
George Clooney, You are a fair man that would be a good spokesperson for this endeavor. Plus you have a lot of fair-minded friends. Why they haven’t picked up on Paul Newman’s example, is a phenomenon to me.
Barbara Kingsolver and James Fallows of The Atlantic, The Producers of “Food Inc.,” Barbara great job on “Animal Vegetable Miracle.” Perhaps you and your colleagues could write about what truly happens in the Free Trade Zones of the world and what benefits Fair Trade products could bring globally. Why is it that Fair Trade coffee is the only product that the general public hears about? If we have an organic food section in our grocery stores, why don’t we have the opportunity to buy other Fair Trade clothing and other goods in our department stores?
Forbes Magazine Oct. 2010 100 (Not So) Most Powerful Women, To Forbes Magazine Oct. 2010 100 (Not So) Most Powerful Women, specifically, #3 Oprah Winfrey, #7 Lady Gaga, #9 Beyonce Knowles, #10 Ellen Degeneres, #21 Angelina Jolie, #27 Melinda Gates, #29 Madonna, #39 Heidi Klum, #45 Sarah Jessica Parker, #56 Anna Wintour (Editor-In-Chief, Vogue Magazine), #57 Andrea Jung (CEO Avon Products), #60 Venus Williams, #72 Gisele Bundchen, #85 Janet Robinson (CEO, The New York Times Co. – your advertising didn’t work), #88 Tory Burch (Fashion Designer), #91 Vera Wang (Fashion Designer), #96 Donna Karan, and #99 Martha Stewart.
I offered all of you this challenging task to help head of household women in developing countries. To my understanding none of you recognized the potential Fair Trade clothing has for women working in the textile industry. All of you, I’m sure, are aware that the textile industry predominately employs women worldwide. Does it not make sense for any one of you to create a Fair Trade certified professional woman’s clothing line, and designate all of the profits to social, education, health, and environmental programs targeting head of household women in developing countries. Essentially, you, women who know how to wear the pants, are empowering women who have to wear the pants for their families in developing countries. Wouldn’t you and your fellow professional women be proud to wear clothing that has created opportunities to empower women worldwide?
I hope this more detailed account will catch your interest. Can you imagine if you bought a factory and walked on to the floor to tell the workers that they will now be required to work only 40 hours a week and will receive a living wage and adequate health care. If a worker becomes pregnant they will be given time off and not lose their job. If Mr. Abuse of Power were to make any unwanted sexual advances at work, he will be the one to worry about losing a job. Lastly, you could find out from the workers if they know of any other hardworking individuals looking for work, since a second shift will be added?
We can take that dream to another level. What if your name was on the outside of the factory along with a US financial institution? Wouldn’t that be good P.R.? Would that affect the “sweat shop” down the street? Only women with your power could pull this off. Please, share your power!
The socially conscious consumer, Do you care whether or not your clothes are made by people receiving a living wage? Can you afford to care?
To all, Ask not what job your country can create for you, but what job you can create for your country. Buy the goods made in your country first, and if you are buying foreign produced goods, try to know that these products were produced under fair conditions, conditions that you and your family would work under. Free Trade Agreements were forged under the premise that the exchange of goods would promote prosperity between nations. Please help share that prosperity with the backbone that is creating the products, the working women and men of the world.
I hope that all of you make great use of my idea for a brand name, and that the people who use “The Fair and Free Trading Company” label ensure its integrity for what it represents. Be a responsible consumer, we cannot hold our governments responsible for sending jobs out of our country when we as consumers are buying these same products blindly. Read the label in your purchases and use your purchasing power to make a difference. Buy products that insure that the workers that produced these products have traded their sweat for a living wage. If you buy it – they will produce it. You can continue to buy through the corporations who funnel the profits through Wall Street or you can “step up to the plate” and help make a change? Please, buy, Fair Trade Certified!
Me, Robert Carroll, I will donate $2,000, 1400 organic cotton tee-shirts (purchased from www.nuevavidafairtradezone.org) and the rights to direct the two trademarks being developed “Women Wearing The Pants” and “The Fair and Free World Trading Company”, to five Universities. The five universities that I am going to target initially are: 1) College of Textiles – North Carolina State University, 2) MIT, 3) Harvard Business School, responsible for The Social Enterprise Conference Sponsored by Newman’s Own, 4) Parsons The New School For Design, 5) University of New Hampshire. I welcome any other university to join in the effort.
If Abercrombie and Fitch can successfully market their clothing, based on a cool name, universities, who in 2010 awarded 60 percent of all bachelors and master degrees to women, should have no problem marketing these clothing lines to your fellow students. If you can’t carry this through, I suggest that you ask for your money back from your educational institution and learn how to handle a shovel, or sewing machine yourselves, honorable enough employment, but I presume not the reason you expended the finances and time to attend college.
This idea was originally based on my idea that students have the social conscience to carry my idea through to fruition. I then changed direction and challenged the “100 Most Powerful Women” listed in Forbes Magazine to take this idea and run with it. To do this, I put an ad in the New York Times addressing the “100 Most Powerful”, but was disappointed with the results. Therefore, I am returning to my initial plan of working with socially conscious student activists. To the students, continue to questions our trade policies. It is up to all of you now – these are your companies!
Three words I want to hear from you and it’s not “bring it on” – WE GOT THIS!
With the support of Women Wearing the Pants, IDE gains the opportunity to provide irrigation products and support for impoverished single women from the district of Esteli, Nicaragua. There are 1500 single women living in this district who do not know how to feed their own children.
In the beginning, 15 women will plan their own small garden with the support of IDE. Every three months IDE will include 15 more women (after every harvest). With the support of irrigation systems from IDE they can grow even during the dry season. In November, in conjunction with the leaders of the district, the first 15 women were selected to plant their garden. IDE will provide support for the women from growing to selling their vegetables.
How It Works
Women will sign a contract for maintaining the garden and irrigation system as a group, so the group is jointly liable if a woman does not fulfill her obligation. Any woman who participates in the project must pay $2 and take responsibility for the irrigation system. Every woman has an area of responsibility: finance, buying plants, fertilizer, selling to the market, organizing meetings, primary contact for problems, and more.
IDE is pleased to announce that in January, fifteen small gardens will be installed with their support.
If you care to donate, please donate directly to IDE.
In December 2010, WWTP will help research and finance 15 experimental subsistence gardens for impoverished women headed households in Nicaragua through affiliations with www.IDEORG.org. To join us in supporting this project, you can send your donation via mail or online:
Via Mail, please send check to:
10403 W. Colfax Avenue
Lakewood, CO 80215
*Please put “Nicaragua” in the check’s memo so we can make sure it goes to the correct project.
If you care to donate, your donations will go directly to IDE. You may also donate at IDE’s website.
To donate securely online, first please enter your donation amount below, then click “Donate” and your donation will automatically be tagged to this project:
WWTP will be donating 1,000 organic cotton tee-shirts manufactured under Fair-Trade conditions in a Free Trade Zone to the university with the best “full circle” International Women’s Business Program.
Why do we want to involve students?
Motivated students can research and explore the possibilities of creating fair trade products in the free trade zones of the world in many areas of study. Design students can develop graphics to promote fair trade, or create logos and images on clothing for the socially conscious consumer. Marketing students can develop ideas for campaigns to influence consumers to purchase fair trade products. Business students can analyze the numbers – the production cost of using fair trade vendors. They can research the benefits of international trade and domestic trade. In international education programs, university exchange students can research agriculture, education and health, sharing these programs worldwide. Universities can help seek grants to explore the jobs fair trade can create. They can help make the case for fair trade globally.
If you are interested in learning more please contact us at email@example.com.