Posts tagged ‘Peru’
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.
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.
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?!
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.
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.
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.
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!
We have many products in the store that appear relatively hard to find elsewhere, not just as Fair Trade products, but in any form.
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.