|Japan: The Partnership Trade Model of Nepali Bazaro|
|01 December 2012|
Nepali Bazaro is one of the pioneering Fair Trade organizations in Japan. The organization had its start in 1992. Their mission aims to aid Nepali families, especially women and children, by creating opportunities through marketing handicrafts, food and raw materials produced in Nepal. Because Nepali Bazaro is a small organization, its efforts are focused mainly on several communities of Nepal. The men and women of Nepali Bazaro believe strongly that “trade is better than aid,” and work to stimulate economic and community development in selected communities in Nepal.
Importing handicrafts, raw materials and foods from Nepal has provided not only an international market access, but it has allowed Nepali Bazaro the chance to spread the stories of the local people. Velda, a Nepali Bazaro retail store, imports various garments and other handicrafts that have been woven, dyed and cut by the Nepali women, all by hand and using organic materials. After the artistic and unique pieces are brought to Japan, the employees tell the story of the hands that produced each item by attaching information to treasure. The handicrafts and woven goods are then repackaged with their newly wrapped knowledge, and distributed to over 300 wholesalers, as well as sold in local Fair Trade shops. Foods such as coffee, tea and spices are imported as well, displaying beautifully the diversity found in Nepal and all of the hidden treasures that the country holds.
Holding true to its Fair Trade standards, Nepali Bazaro values its worker’s livelihoods, strong producer-wholesaler-consumer relationships and high environmental and social standards. Allowing the Nepalese women to produce their handicrafts while in the comfort of their own home gives the women the chance to tend to their household and their family, while at the same time providing a modest income. Women of developing countries such as Nepal carry a lot of weight on their shoulders, and are expected to balance many responsibilities throughout life. Providing these women an outlet through which they can both earn an income and raise their children gives them the chance to prepare for a better future for their children and themselves.
The “partnership trade” model of Nepali Bazar does a fantastic job at highlighting the organization’s dedication to Fair Trade. Nepali Bazaro believes strongly in the positive results that can come from strong relationships, and constantly seeks opportunities through which to diverse actors to each other whom are responsible for different parts of the supply chain. The organization strives to create mutual trust amongst small-scale producers and farmers but fostering frequent and in depth direct contact, allowing lines of communication to stay open and productive. In order to enhance effectively these bonds, Nepali Bazaro facilitates annual meetings allowing producers and consumers to interact face to face, and help them to realize the synergies that exist between them. These meetings also create opportunities for sharing knowledge.
Scholarship funds created and dispersed by Nepali Bazaro is another program aimed at providing opportunities to Nepali children. The scholarships are donated by Nepali Bazaro, in coordination with Kanchanjangha Tea Estate and Research Centre, as a savings fund (provident fund).
Nepali Bazaro has emerged as a dedicated Fair Trade leader in Japan, and continues to prosper despite the size of the organization. Nepali Bazaro’s handicrafts and food import, combined with its scholarship program, outlines a wonderfully constructed business model that is both humanitarian and innovative in scope. To learn more about Nepali Bazaro, or to purchase Fair Trade items online, visit: http://www.verda.bz/ and http://www.nbazaro.org/indexe.htm.
By Lindsey Hethcote