From Our Blog
A core principle of Fair Trade is establishing long-term relationships between buyers and makers. This means that artisans and producers not only have a seat at the negotiation table to determine how much they are paid for their goods; it also means that a concerted effort is made to support economic sustainability in communities in developing countries around the world. This happens when Fair Trade organizations, like Global Gifts, commit to work with artisan cooperatives to assist with marketing and (when needed) improvement upon products.
The 30-year relationship between the organization Ganesh Himal Trading and the Bhaktapur Women’s Craft Paper artisan group is a wonderful example of this Fair Trade principle in action.
The Bhaktapur Craft Paper (BCP) project, based in Nepal, was initiated as a worker-owned cooperative by UNICEF. In 1984, Ganesh Himal Trading was one of the first independent buyers of handmade paper products produced by the artisans of BCP. Ganesh Himal stuck by as the artisans faced organizational challenges and helped support the formation of Bhaktapur Women Craft Paper (BWCP) in 2012, made up of many of the women involved with the BCP. Instead of merely looking for a lower-priced paper product from another source, Ganesh Himal stayed with artisans they’d formed a working relationship with and helped them create economically sustainable jobs with continued skills training for the well-being of women, their families, and the communities in which they live.
Continuing to practice paper-making traditions that have been used in Nepal for over a thousand years, BWCP artisans use the bark of the Daphne plant to make stationary products, like this beautiful journal available at Global Gifts. Natural materials for this journal are sustainably grown and the paper is made by hand. This journal with a rich history is sized for use as a portable sketchbook or perfect for recording notes, thoughts, and creative writing.
We're still working our way around the globe!
In our previous Friday blogs about cross-cultural gifting, we've established why finding a gift for your friends from other lands can be a more complex task than it seems on the surface. You might think that there wouldn't be many differences in gift giving protocol between the US and England... but there are definitely some guidelines to follow.
Business Gifts in England
It's just not part of their business culture. In fact, your business colleague might be embarrassed to receive a gift. If you just really must insist, however, reserve the presentation of your gift until the conclusion of a deal. Make certain your gift of choice is small and tasteful. Good gifts include desk accessories, a paperweight with your company logo or a book about your home country. In the very unlikely event that you yourself receive a gift and cannot reciprocate, inviting someone out for a meal can be viewed as a great way to reciprocate. It's always considered good form to buy a round of drinks for your colleagues after work.
Personal Gifts in England
- Buying a round of drinks at a pub is the most common way of celebrating someone’s birthday. Greeting cards are widely accepted, as well.
- The British enjoy entertaining people in their homes. and it is customary for the guest to bring a host or hostess gift. The best choices are fine quality chocolates, wine, champagne, or flowers. Liquor or spirits, on the other hand, are a matter of personal taste and are best not given as a present. Flowers to avoid include red roses, white lilies or chrysanthemums. A guest should always send a hand-written thank you note after the event.
Other Things to Note:
- If you are giving electronics, make sure that its electrical plug is their standard plug.
- DVDs from other countries are generally a different format than those used in the UK.
- When invited to someone's home, plan on arriving about 10-20 minutes after the stated time. Arriving early is considered an imposition. However, if you are arriving for business and will be more than five minutes late, you should call ahead to notify your appointment.
There are lots of other #funfacts to learn as our blog treks around the globe. Join us here next Friday as we discuss gift giving in France!