AUGUST 2014 
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Holy Cow!

All of our leather & hemp/leather bags are made by cows who have died a 
natural death. By making our products with no-kill leather, Ganesh Himal Trading supports the cultural traditions of the majority of the population, who believe cows are sacred. 

The production of this leather is also environmentally friendly. The hide is tanned using a non-toxic & chemical free process, which is good for the earth and healthy for our producer partners.

The producers of these leather products are all very low caste, marginalized workers. Ganesh Himal works specifically with them to bring them economic income to help raise their status and break through the caste barriers.


What's the difference? 
1) "Fair trade" now means many things. It is important to distinguish between fair trade certified products and fully committed fair trade companies.


2) FTF members are fully committed fair trade companies. We support artisans and farmers who
are often ignored by conventional corporations and many times struggle to compete. We are
deeply committed and connected to them.


3) Fair trade certification is a tool that allows larger corporations to clean up their existing supply
chains. Increasingly, certification has moved away from farmer cooperatives and now includes
large factories and farms that are audited for basic health and safety, with an extra percentage
added to the price (known as the "fair trade premium.")


4) Fully committed fair trade companies have built ethical behavior into their DNA. It is part of
every decision and process. Companies that sell certified products sometimes source only a
small percent on certified terms. It's a positive direction, but the degree of commitment can vary


Why does it matter? 


1) Although they both use the words "fair trade," these approaches are not the same. Fair trade
certification is a tool for auditing farms and worksites. Fully fair trade companies seek deeper
relationships and are totally focused on ethical supply chains for everything they purchase.


2) Historically, fair trade implicitly meant a holistic approach to trade. That's not the case anymore.
This has challenged all of us to be clearer about what we do, and why it's important.


3) Fully committed fair traders are dedicated to all nine fair trade principles. Long term, respectful
trading relationships are at the core of our model. Through these relationships, we create change.


Fair Trade Federation 
July, 2014 

Cameron Conner
The beginning of the school year is, for me, a very chaotic and vexing time, and this year more so than ever. In a few months I will be going into my senior year of high school, and there is no way that I will let it slide by, I am determined to give my all, and start it off with a bang! For many of my peers and friends this is the time to shop for the newest name brand clothing and the latest in the line of classroom equipment so that they can be at the top of their game academically while still being able to look "cool". 

 Being a standard teenager, the same things race though my mind on a daily basis: "what is this years style going to be like?", "can I afford this without dipping into my Prom savings?" and most importantly "would the girls think I look cute in this?", but being fortunate enough to know about and live in the near vicinity of various fair trade stores in my town has allowed me to forego much of the usual angst of this pre-school mania. Shopping fair trade allows me to find edgy outfits and equipment that will set me apart from most high schoolers, clad in outfits direct from the nearest mall, while still being able to prepare myself academically for the top tier colleges that I am applying to and help me make the splash that I am looking for in my senior year. 

Random strangers will stop me in the halls and ask where I got a specific article of clothing and practically beg me to tell them where they can find the store. Friends eye my attire with look of cautious curiosity at first, asking if American Eagle opened a new line and when I respond with the eventual "no", they inquire as to how they can get their hands on something similar. 

The ability to stand out and stand up for something which shopping fair trade allows for, has given me the gift of being a leader in my own high school. Contrary to many modern concepts, you can support a world that is economically stable, long lasting and based on partnership while vying with the most outfit aware, best dressed students. 

As a young adult, fair trade gives me a glimpse into a world that is vastly different than the one which I live in now, a world that I want to be part of and a world that I want to live in which is why I am starting off my senior year by becoming a conscious consumer and shopping fair trade!


-Cameron Conner

Hari Basnet, originally from the village of Gorkha in central Nepal, was a long standing partner and advocate for women in Nepal. His story illustrates a commitment to fair trade principles and social equity.

In 1988, Hari moved to Kathmandu for a job with the Association for Craft Producers (ACP) where he started as a store employee before working his way up through multiple departments, from marketing to senior management and production coordinator. In all of his roles, he worked tirelessly to advance the status of women in Nepal.

In 2005, Hari used his experience and support from ACP to start his own independent fair trade business. CBA Handcrafts started a small workshop and store to sell products in the tourist section of Kathmandu. Hari hired five under privileged women from the neighborhood to create products. The business developed a strong partnership with ACP;
ACP gave Hari orders and training for the women and he sold ACP's products in his shop.

We, at Ganesh Himal, worked with Hari during his 18 years at ACP and we were drawn to his strong commitment to enhancing the status of women in Nepal. In 2005, we met with Hari to help him establish CBA Handcrafts by giving him an advance and working with him to develop products that would compliment those we received from ACP. In 2010, we worked with Hari to create a social benefit package that would compliment steady work and fair wages for his now 15 women employees. 10 rupees (7 from Ganesh Himal and 3 from Hari) from every item produced are set aside for their social benefit package, giving the women a pool of money they have control over. At present, the women have decided to create a retirement fund for the group. Although in 2014, two women producers required emergency surgery and their group gave them no-interest emergency loans from the fund for their medical expenses. 

In fall 2010, Hari suffered a tragic heart attack and passed away. We were shocked and devastated by his sudden passing. His enthusiasm and commitment to his business and the social benefit package was an inspiration to all. Luckily this inspiration spread to his son (Ishwor), who had just finished college and wanted to continue his father's work. Thanks to Ishwor's commitment to his father's dream, the transition has been almost seamless and the women never lost a day's work.

Most of you know Hari through the beautiful products that he helped us design and produce: the whimsical felted potholders and oven mitts, the fun eyeglass holders and coin purses, the lovely felted bowls and bags, and the list goes on. We also know Hari for his unbounded enthusiasm and commitment to the women who worked with him. We will miss that. His son, however, shares his father's commitment to women's empowerment through fair trade and continuing the legacy of CBA Handicrafts. We, at Ganesh Himal, are grateful for Hari's dream we will work by his son to continue to make that dream a reality.

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