Posts tagged ‘Peru’

International Jewellery London and Fair Trade

Had my first visit to Earls Court in years today. What used to be called the Earl’s Court Show is now referred to as International Jewellery London (IJL). It was great to see some Vipa customers, old and new, exhibiting and it was exciting to see so many break out sessions devoted to ethical jewellery in general and fair trade / fair mined in particular. One session that I made it to had a great video about gold mining in Peru from one of the leading advocates of fair trade / fair mined, Stephen Webster.

 

September 5, 2011 at 17:45 1 comment

Another great roast from Kickapoo Coffee

We’re really pleased that we found Kickapoo Coffee last year.

We started with the Organic Colombia, which they describe as “syrupy sweet and aromatic with an effervescent intensity and a core of candied red fruits and dark chocolate”. How do we describe it? “just a GREAT coffee”! It quickly became our best seller, with a steady stream of regulars bringing their cans back for a refill.

After that we added the Organic Guatemala; “Deliciously fragrant and complex with juicy sweet acidity and notes of lemon and berry in the sweet finish”. Another hit.

So this week we tried our third, Organic Peru AA.  This roast is described thus; “Impeccable depth and balance with notes of mandarin and toffee, a chocolaty core and a clean, sweet finish. The producer is the Cenfrocafe Cooperative – more of that in a later post.

April 10, 2010 at 16:10 4 comments

Fair Trade and the fun of working directly with producer groups

One of the unexpected delights of working in the world of Fair Trade has been the opportunity to work on customized products with our producer groups. Unexpected, because as a retailer we source our products primarily through importer/wholesalers who have the direct relationship with the producers.

However, in several cases now we’ve been able to work through the importer to request custom products (we talked about this before when we launched the vegan market baskets from Ghana).

Our latest adventure in product design has been in the world of finger puppets, working with our friends at Inca Kids.

Since we are based in Springfield, natural habitat of the Red Cardinal (and home of the Springfield Cardinals!) it seemed obvious to have some Red Cardinals made…..this is how they turned out:

The next major event coming to downtown Springfield is the 30th Annual Saint Patricks Day Parade, so now we’re scratching our heads thinking about what finger puppets we should have made……ideas anyone?!

January 11, 2010 at 23:04 2 comments

Kiva – the perfect last-minute Holiday gift!

Things have been crazy in the store for the past few weeks (which is a good thing!) so tonight we took an overdue “time out” to re-invest some Kiva funds. If you’re not familiar with Kiva, it’s a person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend to unique entrepreneurs around the globe.

We’ve been supporters of/investors in Kiva for a few years now (it fits closely with our mission for Global Fayre and our support for Fair Trade) and started the Global Fayre Kiva lending team a few months ago, though in truth we’ve not had time to develop it much, aside fomr using a couple of First Friday Art Walks to raise funds to invest.

So, the three loans we made today were:

Luis (Peru) who has a construction business (STILL NEEDS FUNDS). Here’s what Kiva syas about Luis:

Luis is 26 years old and lives in his own home with his common law wife and their two year old child. After finishing high school, he started working in order to meet the needs of his family. He started in the construction business and became very good in this type of work. He currently works as a contractor for clients who are in need of his services. Luis has developed a good reputation. Likewise, he and his wife work together in their partnership. Luis is grateful that he is always able to find work. For this reason, he hopes to have better tools so that he can provide better service. This is his first loan with MFP. Luis promises to be punctual with each of his payments. The money he requested will be used to purchase a few of the tools that he is lacking that will help him to develop in his work.

Five Virgins Group (Ghana) with a clothing sales business (FULLY FUNDED).

Toyin Okunlola (Nigeria) with a food business (STILL LOOKING FOR FUNDS). Kiva says:

Toyin sells frozen foods at retail prices to her customers. She has 2 deep freezers that she uses to store her frozen foods. This is the high season for sales and she hopes to make more profits during this season. She has been in this business for 6 years. The demand for her frozen foods is high. She hopes to own a poultry farm in the future.
Toyin is 44 years old and married with 2 children. She lives in Lagos state, Nigeria. She hopes for a loan of NGN 100,000 to purchase more frozen food to sell. She says thanks to all Kiva lenders.

If you haven’t made a Kiva loan before, PLEASE DO! Our tip would be to think about the region you want to invest in, scan several loans before making a decision, and always consider the field partner as well as the loan applicant to give yourself a sense of their ability to repay.

If you HAVE made a Kiva loan before, then please think about making another one.

BETTER STILL – you have the chance to make those last minute Holiday gifts with Kiva. Go to http://www.kiva.org and purchase gift certificates for your loved ones to make their own Kiva loans.

Happy Holidays!

December 24, 2009 at 03:31 Leave a comment

Finger Puppets from Peru, made by the Bridge of Hope Fair Trade Project

We’re busy putting things out on the shelves as the holiday season gets in to full swing.

We’ve always had a good selection of finger puppets, but we’ve just unpacked two adorable sets from the the Bridge of Hope Fair Trade Project in Peru.

One is Noah’s Ark: Ten darling hand-knit finger puppets representing Noah’s family and animals fit inside a zippered cotton ark pouch.

The other is an Amazon theme, with eight hand-knit rainforest finger puppets that come in an embroidered bag. Includes a monkey, sloth, anteater, macau, caiman, jaguar, turtle and snake.

The Bridge of Hope Fair Trade Project grew out of the efforts of a network of Peruvian organizations called Joining Hands Against Poverty who are committed to addressing the root causes of poverty in Peru.  Working with women who had no stable income and communities where gifted artisans lived in extreme poverty, they saw the need to create opportunities so that the women and artisans could benefit economically and socially from their work.  The Bridge of Hope project was launched to respond to that need.

Bridge of Hope works with 24 artisan organizations in poor neighborhoods of Lima as well as rural areas of Peru. They assist people living in extreme poverty to form groups that can develop sustainable businesses using the values of Fair Trade. The goal is to help them become independent, successful exporting association of artisans through assistance in the areas of product development, business skills, and export procedures. The work of Bridge of Hope has benefited many artisan groups, and the increased economic security has contributed to the empowerment of women in their homes and communities.

December 1, 2009 at 12:19 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

Brazil Nut products from Candela Peru

We have many products in the store that appear relatively hard to find elsewhere, not just as Fair Trade products, but in any form.

Brazil Nut oil from Candela Peru

Brazil Nut oil from Candela Peru

One such product is Brazil Nut Oil.

We’ve carried Brazil Nut oil from Candela Peru since we first opened, and it has always attracted a loyal following – whether because of its great taste, or because of its good qualities is hard to say…..people just love it!

Candela Peru works with 273 Brazil nut gatherers (castañeros) and their families who live along the Madre de Dios River in the Peruvian rainforest. Candela’s Brazil nuts are harvested from trees that grow naturally in the rainforest and reach heights of over 150 feet. The nut pods fall from the trees, are gathered, and then the pods are cracked open with machetes to extract the nuts, which are used for food or oil. The nut gatherers’ livelihood depends on the sound management of forest resources, and they are working closely with the staff of Candela to improve the quality of their organic product.

Candela Peru is a non-profit alternative trading organization, founded in 1989, which offers training to the nut gatherers in the areas of administration, sustainable resource management, and export procedures. Candela is committed to improving the living standards of the Brazil nuts gatherers through better income and to help build local capacity and empowerment.

Purchases of Candela’s Brazil nuts and Brazil nut oil provide an income to the nut harvesters and their families and promote sustainable use of the Peruvian rainforest.

As for the health qualities of brazil nuts, here’s what Sixwise.com, who ranks them #5 on the nut ‘top health’ list, has to say about them:

These nuts are extremely nutrient-rich and contain protein, copper, niacin, magnesium, fiber, vitamin E and selenium. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that works to neutralize dangerous free radicals. A study at the University of Illinois even found that the high amounts of selenium in Brazil nuts may help prevent breast cancer.

Organic brazil nut oil, as well as organic dry roasted brazil nuts, is available from Global Fayre in our downtown Springfield location, and in our online store.

July 18, 2009 at 16:55 Leave a comment

Musical instruments from Jamtown – now at Global Fayre

We’ve made several references to the Fair Trade Federation Conference we went to in Portland, OR earlier this year.

One of the members that we met for the first time was John, from Jamtown. John makes a great contribution to the work of the Fair Trade movement in the USA; drums have been always been a key way for people to connect, and we used that to great effect during World Fair Trade Day when many groups held drumming events to celebrate the day.

Here’s what John says about Jamtown:

JAMTOWN is a musical place that’s not on any map. It’s a place you visit when you play live rhythm with your friends; a subtle reminder of the common bond shared by all people. And it’s as accessible today as it was thousands of years ago.

This is my tenth year in business after leaving the corporate world! Basically, I am an adventure traveller choosing to work directly with producer groups, and these are usually extended families. The goal is to sustain long-term trading relationships to create economic stability. With your help, we provide critical support to these low-income families through fair wages in the local context and other valuable assistance. Most that I have met convey a love for their work and a gentle approach to life. It is a big reasons I do what I do. I gain critical perspective on my own culture by visiting theirs.

As a Fair trade Federation Member, we support artisans with fair wages and more!

We took our first delivery from Jamtown this week; we’re really excited about stocking their products and will ramp up the selection later in the year.

Here’s a selection of what we’ve got so far:

J053.TurtleDrum

Turtle Frame Drum, made in Indonesia. Looks cute, sounds better than cute!

Kente Cloth Talking Drum, from Ghana. We’ve had these before, but not of this quality. Squeeze the strings to get a tonal talking range. J0141.J0142.TalkingDrumKentiLeopardFabric_lrg

Ocarina Necklaces from Peru – animal and traditional.

Just awesome! Molded clay painted by hand. Play almost a full scale using 6 holes. Includes a fingering chart.

largeocarina

July 15, 2009 at 18:33 Leave a comment

Have you made a Kiva loan yet?

We just got another repayment from our existing Kiva loans, so it was time to make some new loans from the funds we have with Kiva.

We chose two loans, each of $25.

The first ones was to Marie in Peru, who needs a $350 loan to buy sheep. The loan is to be repaid over 8 months. Here’s what Kiva had to say about Marie:

maria nievesMaria Nieves is a very hardworking woman. She is a member of the Punta Sahuacasi Village Bank in the Azangaro Province in the Department of Puno. She is 56-years-old and lives with two children that she is responsible for. She lives in the Punta Sahuacasi Sector of Acochupa, and has a first grade education. Maria has been wokring with Movimiento Manuela Ramos for the past 3 years. She earns her living buying and selling small livestock (sheep). Her first loan was for 300 soles. She would like an additional loan at this time of 1000 soles, with which she plans to buy more livestock to sell at the fairs in her area. Maria Nieves tells us that she really enjoys the meetings because they allow her to share with her fellow members.

The second loan was to the San Nicolas group in Bolivia. They are a community bank seeking to raise $2,900.

san nicolas groupThe “San Nicolás” community bank is comprised of twelve members. Among them there is one man, a locksmith. The San Nicolás community bank members entered their fifth loan cycle. They have met all of the obligations agreed upon in the contract they signed with Agrocapital.  Many of the members work as crafts people. Some of them weave blankets, make macrame, and sell supplies on credit and for cash. Some of the members have fixed stalls in different fairs in El Alto. The most important, and where most of them assemble, is the 16th of July fair. They sell products they make themselves or resell products at low prices. They need a loan to augment their working capital and stock their merchandise. The competition that they have in the sector where they work is open for a good sale because they are far from the center of the city. The women and neighbors prefer to do their marketing in the same zone. Because they rely on daily fairs, it is easier to move their products and get better income. This group is in its fifth loan cycle. The Agrocapital foundation trusts them because they make their payments responsibly and on time.

Have you made a Kiva loan yet? If not, click on the link below……it might not change your life, but it may well change the life of the person you make the loan to.


Kiva - loans that change lives


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May 18, 2009 at 16:16 10 comments


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