Our Story...
artisan group
Mission:
Costello International creates a market for the works of skilled artisans in Mexico. We are the 16th most senior member of the North American Fair Trade Federation. "Fair Trade" provides a sustainable economy while preserving cultural identity and ending exploitation. 

Serving more than 1000 wholesale customers nationwide, we create loyal and long-term relationships with retailers. Consult our " Retailer Benefits" and read the  "Testimonials" of retailers' real-life experiences with our company to see how we built these partnerships.

Over the last 45 years, we have aided thousands of talented artisans and have funded more than 50,000 crafting projects. Our dedication through those years has given confidence, pride, and inspiration to struggling artisans, and has contributed to their cultural preservation. 

What is Fair Trade?

Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers. Fair Trade organizations (backed by consumers) are engaged actively in supporting producers, raising awareness, and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade. Fair Trade's strategic intent is:

          Deliberately to work with marginalized producers and workers in order to help them move            from a position of vulnerability to security and economic self-sufficiency to actively play a            wider role in the global arena to achieve greater equity in international trade. 


Who benefits from Fair Trade?

Fair Trade provides tangible benefits for small-scale farmers, artisans, businesses, consumers and the environment.

1. Small scale farmers and artisans: 
  • Artisans and producers are given premium prices for their products
  • Empowering producers by providing direct relationships with businesses
  • Fair wages and safe working conditions
  • Improved facilities for the enhancement of products
2. Businesses: 
  • The building of future securities
  • "Direct trade" benefits
  • Stable prices; even when global market prices change
  • Credible ways to ensure their trade has a positive impact
  • Connecting consumers with other cultures
  • Repeat and conscious customers
3.  Consumers:
  • Buying in line with their principles; directly affecting people's lives
  • Empowering them to participate in addressing trade inequality and support businesses that practice sustainability
  • The introduction of other cultures
4.  Environment: 
  • Protection of natural resources through sustainable production practices
  • Intentionally not using products with GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms)
  • The promotion of sustainable production practices
Our Founders Story...

My name is Tom Costello; I am the founder of Costello International Inc. We began working in 1972 with artisans in Mexico. Costello International is a voice for  economic  justice in rural Mexico. We  promote traditional jewelry crafting in Guerrero state in southern Mexico. This area is famed for the production of gold and sterling silver jewelry.

The majority of our activities in this region are with rural artisans who live outside the city of Taxco. Most of these families create crafts part time. The primary economic pursuits are agriculture and animal husbandry.  Guerrero faces increasingly adverse political and economic conditions. Violence and a lack of security in Guerrero make a traditional way of life an uphill struggle. Rural absenteeism is estimated as high as seventy five percent. From a personal perspective, I estimate that a like percentage  of the artisans with whom I have had the privilege to work, no longer reside in this region. For those who continue to work with us, our relationship has been a major factor in their decision and ability to continue village life. We believe the bonds we have created with these remaining families is the true measure of our work.  State health authorities admit to being able to service only one-third of the geographical area of their jurisdiction. Health officials never visit the other two-thirds of the state. Inaccessibility to these areas is absolute and caused by a variety of factors. The state budget for health care services for the remaining population they do serve, is less than one US dollar annually per person. One of our accomplishments has been the delivery of medical equipment used in ophthalmic analysis and treatments. The recipient was the Adolfo Prieto Hospital for the Poor, located in Taxco. 



 

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