Posts filed under ‘Online Store’

Tonga baskets have arrived!

We’ve blogged about our Tonga baskets before; they are similar in pattern to Binga baskets from Zimbabwe, but much deeper and more robust.

Since we’ve struggled to source Binga baskets for the past year, we’ve moved more towards the Tonga baskets, though they too are prety hard to come by.

So it’s great to get a fresh batch in, though they are unlikely to be around for long! Full details can be found in our online store.

Here’s what the largest one looks like:











November 18, 2009 at 04:45 Leave a comment

New Fair Trade Zulu Telephone Wire Baskets by Ben Makhanya, Master Weaver

We just took delivery of some more beautiful creations from Ben.

Ben started weaving at the age of 28, in 2002. His previous job was as a bricklayer and he often had to leave his family for long periods of time to go to work on construction projects. He started weaving to earn an income and found that he thoroughly enjoyed it, experimenting with new designs, stitches and color combinations; he creates fascinating works of art. His designs and colors are inspired from patterns he sees in things around him … it could be something as simple as a newspaper ad or a piece of clothing that gives him an idea.

We first showed his work earlier this year and the reaction was great, so we knew that we should get some more pieces in as soon as we got the chance.

Here’s three of them (of course, they are available in our online store as well as at our location in downtown Springfield):

Zulu Telephone Wire Basket by Ben Makhanya, Master Weaver

Zulu Telephone Wire Basket by Ben Makhanya, Master Weaver

Zulu Telephone Wire Basket by Ben Makhanya, Master Weaver

Zulu Telephone Wire Basket by Ben Makhanya, Master Weaver

Zulu Telephone Wire Basket by Ben Makhanya, Master Weaver

Zulu Telephone Wire Basket by Ben Makhanya, Master Weaver

October 29, 2009 at 00:23 Leave a comment

the better world Shopping Guide by Ellis James

We just took delivery of some copies of this excellent guide. Here’s what Dr Jones has to say about the guide on his website (

shopping guide“The only comprehensive guide for socially and environmentally responsible consumers available, this book ranks every product on the shelf from A to F so you can quickly tell the “good guys” from the “bad guys” — turning your grocery list into a powerful tool to change the world. Representing over 15 years of distilled research, data is organized into the most common product categories including coffee, energy bars, computers, gasoline, clothing, banks, cars, water and more.

Also included is a summary of the essential information about particular product categories, profiles of the best and worst companies, practical buying tips and the most useful online resources available. Whether you believe in environmental sustainability, human rights, animal protection, community involvement or social justice, you’ll want this book.

Small enough [4″x6”] to fit in a back pocket or small purse and organized in a shopping-friendly format, The Better World Shopping Guide will help you change the world as you shop! For just 10 bucks, how can you NOT get one?”

the better world shopping guide is available now in our store in downtown Springfield, Missouri or online at

On scanning through, it’s great to see some of our suppliers mentioned, although in truth most of the producer groups that we buy from are too small to get a mention:

Chocolate – an “A+” goes to Equal Exchange and Divine amongst others, with an “A” going to Shaman.

Coffee – the only “A+” to Thanksgiving Coffee and an “A” to Equal Exchange

Olives and Pickles – the only “A+” goes to Canaan

Nuts – the only “A+” goes to Equal Exchange

Tea – an “A+” for Equal Exchange

September 22, 2009 at 15:21 Leave a comment

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

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.


August 21, 2009 at 21:15 1 comment

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