World's First Fair Trade Sports Balls Made with FSC Certified Latex
The ball you see here is one of the first of its kind. It has two seals: A Fair Trade seal and the FSC seal of the Forest Stewardship Council. FSC works for the protection of forests and the peoples living and working in them. The bladder inside this ball is made from latex (rubber) produced in accordance with the strict social and environmental criteria of the FSC.
The football or soccer ball is size 5, has 32 panels, and fulfils the requirements of the international match-ball standard. The outer skin is high-performance polyurethane (PU); the ball has four inner layers of polyester and a balanced latex bladder. It is meant for leisure use. Even better balls, such as for sport at professional level, can be produced with FSC latex.
The volleyball with 18 panels and an outer skin of best quality cordley polyurethane from Japan conforms to international official ball standards. It is reinforced with two polyester linings and ha a balanced bladder made from FSC certified latex. It is hand stitched and suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
You know Fair Trade products such as coffee or tea, and perhaps also chocolate. Fair Trade footballs and other sports balls have been available for some time. They are preferred by people who care about the rights of children, women and men in the countries where the balls are produced. The additional FSC logo is proof that ecological sustainability was respected in the production of the raw materials and the balls themselves.
The rubber for the bladder in this ball comes from an FSC-certified plantation in Southern India. The support for the certified plantation reduces the pressure on the surrounding natural forest. Also, again for the first time, a Fair Trade premium is paid. The management and staff of the plantation are investing this premium in a fund for the education of their children.
The ball has been sewn by hand in Chak Gillan, a village near Sialkot in the East of Pakistan, near the border to India. Sialkot may be the “World Capital of Football Production”, but the region is poor. The Fair Trade company FairDeal Trading pays 50 percent higher wages to ensure that the families of the women sewing the balls can send their children to school instead of to work for a wage. In addition, the Fair Trade premium covers the medical costs of all those involved in the production of the balls, including their families. A small-grants or micro-credit programme reduces the dependency on the seasonal sewing of balls.
As good as it is, even this ball can be improved. Future balls will have outer skins also made of FSC latex, which is especially suitable for rough surfaces. The search for more environmentally friendly dyes, materials and chemicals continues, so that the production of balls becomes ever more friendly to the environment.
Since 1997, Dr. Martin Kunz of FairDeal Trading has been developing the concept of Fair Trade balls. Now he has complemented the Fair-Trade concept for rubber with the complete chain of production and custody for FSC rubber. Ecologic supported this project. Balls such as this one belong in all schools, in both sports and geography lessons.
You can have balls made in your colours, with your logo and slogan. Such balls are great for supporting schools or sports clubs, and they are great vehicles for marketing and public relations. Please see the web site of FairDeal Trading.
FSC Cert.-Nr. IMO-COC-25582
Keywords: FSC, ball, rubber, latex, certified, rubber, green goal, trade, India, Pakistan
Partners: Fair Deal Trading
Team: R. Andreas Kraemer, Markus Knigge, Heike Hildebrand
Duration: 01.01.2003 until 30.06.2007
Project number: 101-02
Last update: 21.05.07