Posts filed under ‘Online Store’

Fair Trade Shea Butter from Ghana

One new discovery for us this summer has been shea butter. We’d had several products before that used shea, but we had not had pure shea butter before.

IMG_0825We stock 4 lines of shea butter – unscented, vanilla, rosemary and lavender. The scent is derived from essential oils; except for this it is 100% Natural Unrefined Shea Butter. Packaged in calabash gourd with raffia tie close. Purely natural! No chemicals. No preservatives. No color additives. You can buy these 4 shea butters in our online store.

We get the shea butter (the collection is called Slippery Slope Shea Butter) from our friends at Global Mamas; the producer is Ele Agbe Company Limited.

In 1996, Ms. Comfort Akorfa Adjahoe founded Ele Agbe Company Limited with the hopes of providing both quality handmade goods and a decent, supportive employment opportunity for many Ghanaians. While the company also trades jewelry, beads, and home décor items, it also produces the 100% shea body butter and shea soaps that form the core of Global Mamas Trunk Scrub and Slippery Slope product lines.

Through its partnership with Global Mamas, Comfort’s business is able to broaden its access to international markets, increase production, and further its positive effect on the lives of over 50 Ghanaians between operations in Teshie-Nungua and shea butter production Northern Ghana. Producers of Trunk Scrub and Slippery Slope receive a living wage, thorough training, medical coverage, equal treatment in the workplace, and meals during the workday. Comfort also provides training programs for under-educated youth in Accra.

Ele Agbe means ‘God is alive’ in the language of the Ewe people of Ghana’s Volta Region.

You can read more “wiki’ information about shea butter here.

September 16, 2009 at 21:02 5 comments

Soup of Success; empowerment through cookies

Being a Fair Trade retailer, most of our products come from producer groups in developing countries.

However, we do support a couple of domestic projects; Soup of Success is one of these. Here’s how SOS describes itself:

3-mix cookie basket

3-mix cookie basket

The Soup Of Success Job & Life Skills Training Program is a not-for-profit, faith- and community-based program comprised of five main facets. Support Groups, Educational Modules, Career counselling, Mentoring & Hands-On job skills training in a small gourmet food business are all combined into an intensive five month program designed to assist local women who are dealing with difficult life situations to move forward and make positive changes in their life and career.

SOS is designed specifically for women who are struggling to get off of, or avoid having to go onto, public assistance. The participants in this program all have the desire and motivation to improve their situations and strive toward self-sufficiency.  They want to better their lives and that of their children.

SOS is based in Elkhart, IN, and with it’s parent group, Chruch Community Services assists more than 16,000 families each year.

Global Fayre has stocked SOS products (which are DELICIOUS by the way!) ever since we first started at a Farmers Market in Springfield, MO in the Spring of 2007. Their story, of empowering women to develop the skills they need for self-sufficiency, really resonates with our customers. It is also very in synch with the stories of the many producer groups that we purchase from. This is not about ‘just’ giving, it’s not about charity – it’s about helping people help themselves.

Our customers really appreciate that giving someone a gift of a cookie mix is a double gift; a gift to the recipient, of course, but a life-changing gift to the women who signed the cookie mix at SOS.

September 2, 2009 at 09:10 Leave a comment

The latest offering from Canaan; Estate Olive Blend

We just took delivery of a new Olive Oil from our friends at Canaan.

Estate Olive Blend is Fair Trade certified, central harvest, organic, cold-pressed and extra virgin; Canaan describes it as fresh, rounded and fruity.

Estate Olive Blend oil is from the remarkable olives of “Bayyada”, a hill of ancient tress that includes the Canaan orchard and those of surrounding farmers in the Palestine fair trade program. To retain their full-bodied characteristics, Bayyada olives are cultivated with extreme care and pressed in small batches the day they are picked.

About Canaan:

Canaan Fair Trade is committed to sustainable farming practices. They work directly with rural communities in Palestine to bring their traditional products to the international community.  Canaan guarantees a fair price to farmers and producers even when markets are low. A fair price or ‘living wage’ allows producers to cover the cost of harvest and tree maintenance while providing food, shelter, education, and medical care for their families. Canaan also requires that farm workers be paid one-third of the crop in good seasons and one-half of the crop in bad seasons.

It’s on the shelves in our store in downtown Springfield, and just about to be listed in our online store at http://www.globalfayre.com.

Here’s a sneak peak!

Estate Olive Blend from Canaan, now at Global Fayre

Estate Olive Blend from Canaan, now at Global Fayre

August 28, 2009 at 17:13 Leave a comment

Fair Trade Vegan Market Baskets from Ghana

We started Global Fayre early in 2007, and opened our store in Springfield, Missouri in the December of that year.

There have been many many rewarding aspects of having the store (and now the online store too) but one element that becomes increasingly important to us (and to our customers) is the closeness between the end purchaser and the producer. We may be many thousands of miles apart physically, but through the close contact we have, either directly with the producers or via our importers, our customers get a real understanding of the producers and their world.

Better still, our customers get to ask for custom products – a real revelation in these days of mass production where the producer and end consumer have never met, have no interaction and live in different worlds (in all senses).

One great example of this closeness is the recent delivery we took of market baskets from Ghana. Of course we get market baskets all the time, as do thousands of retailers (fair trade or not) throughout the USA. We know that our market baskets are a little different – we source through the same importer everytime (Basket of Africa), we know that Cael uses the same weavers all the time, and we see the direct impact of this in the wonderful quality of the baskets that they make. So, when we had some customers asking for a vegan version of a market basket (vegan meaning no leather handle or straps) we were confident we could oblige. What surprised us was how quickly it could happen. The first sample arrived in the spring, and our delivery today included a dozen of the same type.

Isn’t that awesome?!

We haven’t added them all to our site yet, but you can see the images on our facebook page.

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August 21, 2009 at 21:15 1 comment

New consignment of Fair Trade products from Nepal

We had another delivery from our friends at Ganesh Himal Trading yesterday. Ganesh is one of the pioneers of the Fair Trade movement, and has been bringing in product from Nepal since the early 1980’s.

This consignment was all about bags:

Hemp and “no kill” leather; we’ve blogged about this range before; it has become a firm favorite here in our downtown Springfield store and is becoming popular too in our online store. In the mountains of Nepal hemp has been used for centuries because of its strength and durability. These bags are produced in Nepal by artisans who receive a fair wage and benefits. ‘No Kill’ leather is made from cows who have died natural deaths and is softened without using chemicals.

This time we also got our first batch of hemp/cotton bags. They are little more lightweight, but just as durable and available in a wider variety of colors.

Finally (at last!) we got some more recycled tire bags. Made from the inner tubes of car tires, these bags are just AWESOME! Each one is unique, showing different levels of wear and tear.

IMG_0865IMG_0893IMG_0856

August 21, 2009 at 13:38 Leave a comment

Fair Trade Finger Puppets from CIAP of Peru

We took our first delivery from CIAP of Peru today. Not a large order; we’re increasingly cautious when we find a new supplier. Unless we’ve already seen their products “in the flesh” we tend to make the first order just large enough to gauge the quality of their core range of products, and to see how our regulars react.

Our first order from CIAP consisted of finger puppets, flutes and a few other musical instruments. We’re happy, very happy. Delivery was fast, the paperwork is clear, the quality of the products is great, the price-points seem just right – we’ll be ordering more for sure.

So who or what is CIAP?

CIAP is an Organization of Peruvian Craftsmen devoted to the production and the export of craft industries of various types from various areas of Peru. It carries out multiple activities to improve the living and working conditions of the craftsmen, their families and their communities.

Here’s how they describe their activities:

The principal activity of the CIAP is the export of the artisanal products of its members, which is carried out by the means of the company Intercrafts Peru.

In addition to this, the CIAP Association, carries out the following activities for the benefit of its associates

Formation and qualification. – administrative Management, commercial management, productive technique, etc.
Organisational support. – Consultation, office of consultants and management to improve the structures of the basic Groups
Development of Products. – Qualification and technical aid for the development of products in the Groups basic
Promotion and national and international information
Social activities. – Meetings, meetings, festivals, etc.

They are members of:

World Fair Trade Organization – WFTO
Group Réseau of Ecopnomias Solidaires of Peru – GRESP
Peruvian network of the Equitable Trade and Moral Consumption

Can’t finish this piece without giving you a glimpse – here’s our first little family of finger puppets from CIAP….available in our online store of course!

close up group

August 11, 2009 at 23:19 2 comments

Botswana Baskets from the women of the Etsha Weavers Group – now at Global Fayre

Last night was the First Friday Art Walk, and we took the opportunity to showcase a selection of beautiful baskets from the women of the Etsha Weavers Group in Botswana.

Botswana is a landlocked country about the size of France, with a landscape dominated by the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta. Although Botswana is potentially a wealthy country, the majority of its population remains rural and poor, without many opportunities for employment.

From Botswana’s harsh environment and natural resources a vast tradition of craft making has grown. These products continue to be made and used, making Botswana one of the largest remaining sources of traditional African crafts. Today, the increased production and sale of crafts for a commercial market provides the rural people of Botswana with a much needed source of cash income.

The most famous of all the craft products of Botswana is the basket. As an integral part of the Botswana agricultural culture, baskets have been made and used traditionally for thousands of years. The main producers of baskets are the women of the Bayei and Hambukushu tribes in northwestern Botswana.

Our Botswana baskets are woven by the 24 talented women of the Etsha Weavers Group who have many years of weaving experience. We’ve already added some to our online store – more will be added over the next few days.

IMG_0774

August 8, 2009 at 13:13 1 comment

First Friday at Global Fayre – August 2009

It’s almost here! Just 24 hours to go and we’re getting excited!

It’s been a long month; falling on the 7th means that this has been the longest gap between First Friday Art Walks that we’ve experienced. Of course, that has just meant even more time for procrastination to set in, the ‘to do’ list to get shuffled and reshuffled, and all the ‘must do’s’ to get completed even later than usual!

We’ve got a great evening in store at Global Fayre:

1 – Kiva Awareness

We’ve been lending through Kiva for some time now, but felt the time was right to step it up a notch. We’re using the Art Walk to promote awareness of Kiva, encourage people to make Kiva loans (in or out of the Global Fayre Lending Team) and to raise funds through purchases. Each purchase (no matter how small) will generate a $1 donation to Kiva. As we reach each $25 milestone, we’ll make the loan there and then, with people in the store making the decision about where the loan should go.

2 – Beautiful Baskets from the Etsha Weavers Group of Botswana.

Friday ses the launch of a month-long show for these wonderful baskets. They are simply the finest we’ve seen since opening the store, and it’s a delight to be able to share then with our customers.

The evening starts at 6pm and will go on until at least 10pm.

August 6, 2009 at 17:10 Leave a comment

Green Crushed Olives from interrupcion fair trade

You were introduced to interrupcion fair trade yesterday.

Green Crushed Olive Spread

Green Crushed Olive Spread

The first product that we tried was their green crushed olives. This all-natural spread is made from freshly handpicked olives in the Mendoza Province of Argentina. Olives are crushed and puréed until smooth, leaving it with a clean, pure, fruity flavor. Ideal as a spread on gourmet bread, crackers and pita. Also, excellent served with vegetables, fish and meat or used as an ingredient in pasta sauce and salad dressings.

Here’s some info about one of the producer groups involved in producing green crushed olive spread:

Cooperativa Colihua has 1760 community members, with 14 producers employing 21 permanent workeres and 130 temporary workers.

Argentina’s economic collapse in 2001 forced many below the poverty line and informal employment has proliferated. Today, 45% of Argentina’s workforce still works in ‘negro’ (i.e. without legal registration) earning an average $156 per month, or 60% below the national minimum wage. With Fair Trade certification, Francisco Alcaraz S.A. has ensured that all workers are employed legally, working in safe conditions and earning the national minimum wage. Every purchase of inft* Crushed Olives supports their small operation, it’s all-natural production and demonstrates to other businesses in the region that profitability and social responsibility go hand in hand.
Cooperativa Colihua is working to strengthen its cooperative of small and medium producers in order to compete with corporate production in the region. An important challenge is finding higher-value markets for their products. Currently the cooperative’s main avenue of trade is bulk export to Brazil because supermarkets in Argentina require a large payment to access their shelves: an investment that only dominant olive traders can afford. interrupcion* is working with Cooperativa Colihua to direct a portion of their harvest into the 2008 production of their Crushed Olive Spread. Social Premiums generated from all 2008 Crushed Olive Spread sales will be invested in capacity to also package and label whole olives for sale in the U.S. with interrupcion*. A better deal and higher-value markets through Fair Trade will provide much needed economic stability.

July 25, 2009 at 16:30 Leave a comment

Gourmet products from Interrupcion Fair Trade, Argentina – now at Global Fayre, Springfield!

We’ve just taken our first delivery from a new member of the Fair Trade Federation.

Interrupcion Fair Trade decribe themselves as “a stakeholder community that is working to build a sustainable future through responsible consumption, sustainable development, organic farming and fair trade…….The journey toward a sustainable future begins when we interrupt* habitual ways of understanding our personal impact on the world to develop a new, global sense of influence that creates responsible action. This concept of interrupting* to create a more responsible, healthy and sustainable form of participation in society gave us our name: interrupcion*

Interrupcion began as a non-profit organization in Buenos Aires, Argentina dedicated to promoting socially responsible business and citizen participation in response to the dramatic Argentine economic collapse in 2001. Their first socially responsible products arrived in New York in 2003: colorful, scented candles from a small candle making cooperative in Buenos Aires.

Their product catalogue has grown extensively as they continue to partner with small and medium producers in Argentina to create premium, all-natural Organic and Fair Trade products while investing to build sustainability into each aspect of production.

We’re not quite their first retailers in Missouri; they already sell through Whole Food Market in St Louis and Kansas City but we’re excited to add their Grocery products to our great range of gourmet Fair Trade foods.

SO today’s first challenge is to get these great products out on the shelves in our store in downtown Springfield, MO. After that we’ll be adding them to our online store too – so if you’re in the neighborhood pop in and ask for a sample!

If you’re not in the neighborhood get online and order some……the first ten online orders that include Interrupcion products will get a whopping 15% discount on the entire order. How awesome is that?! Just enter the code “chimi” before you check out and the discount will be applied if you are one of the lucky 10.

We’ll tell you more about each of the products in later posts, but here’s what they look like:

fair trade organic extra virgin olive oil

fair trade organic extra virgin olive oil

fair trade chimichurri steak & vegetable sauce

fair trade chimichurri steak & vegetable sauce

fair trade crushed olive spread - available with green or black olives

fair trade crushed olive spread - available with green or black olives

organic spaghetti - comes in 3 flavors...red pepper, spinach or whole grain

organic spaghetti - comes in 3 flavors...red pepper, spinach or whole grain

July 24, 2009 at 11:44 5 comments

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