The Association for Craft Producers (ACP) is a local, not for profit, fair trade organization providing design, marketing, management, and technical services to low-income Nepalese craft producers. ACP is a resource to advance and globally distribute their work, for which they receive fair wages and generous benefits. Together, we blend traditional craft with modern design and technology to suit market trends. For buyers' specific requests, we offer a flexible program that encourages creative collaboration. An item may be revised or recreated for a completely original product.
Founded in 1984 with just 38 producers, five full time staff members and three skill categories, ACP has grown to around 1000 artisans (90% female), 60 full time staff members, 20 skill categories, and has expanded from a 4000 sq. feet building to a spacious 45,000 sq. feet facility. We cater to the individual consumer through our retail shop 'Dhukuti' in Lalitpur, and export to more than 18 countries through our sister company, Nepali Craft Trading (P) Ltd.. Our Executive Director, Meera Bhattarai, served for a decade as Founding Chair of Fair Trade Group Nepal, and currently holds the titles of Past President and Advisor. ACP is a founding member of WFTO ASIA, and is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization.
ACP is a certified Fair Trade Organization since 2003. Based on the 10 principles of Fair Trade prescribed by the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), ACP abides and upholds these in its daily and strategic work. In regular audits conducted by WFTO, ACP has proven throughout the years that it has implemented and upheld the principals. There are numerous programs ACP has created that benefit the producers and conserve the environment. For further detail please read under the section “Environment” and “Producers Benefits” how the principals are incorporated into ACP’s day to day working processes.
In recognition of their service, ACP provides producers with funds at the time of retirement. Producers who have completed four years of continuous service are eligible to receive an annual payment equivalent to one twelfth of his or her prior annual earnings. This is paid into an interest bearing account.
To encourage education in female children, ACP allots a monthly allowance for up to three years to producers who keep their daughters in school for at least four consecutive years. As incentive to excel, ACP supports the three most outstanding students for a fourth year. ACP has also recognized the need for boy child education, and has been applying the same allowance to male children.
After completing 6 months in the association, producers are eligible for a medical stipend to use for themselves or their family.
To create a sense of 'healthy competition' between our producers, we offer rewards for quality performance and seniority.
Realizing the need for effective communication among the producers, the Producers' Alliance was established in 1996. This alliance helps the producers understand their rights, privileges, and responsibilities.
This committee, consisting of ACP's management and 9 elected members from the Producers' Alliance, meet every month to discuss producer-related issues.
Many artisans have never had the opportunity to save money in their lifetime. With this program, producers are encouraged to deposit 10% of their monthly earnings in an interest bearing account, while many choose to deposit more than the recommended amount. Submission of an application with reason is needed to withdraw from the account.
Producers that work in the main facility unit receive hot, nutritious meals and hygienic drinking water at a subsidized rate.
Clothing allowance, 90 day paid Maternity Leave, 15 day paid Paternity lLave, Emergency Allowance, Health Camps for Preventative and Curative Measures, and Informal Education of pertinent matters like health, education and social issues.
Nestled at the foot of the Himalayas, ACP takes careful and deliberate steps to preserve our environment. We have installed a waste water treatment plant and rainwater harvesting system, use recycled paper, and discourage the use of plastic bags. Soft wood is used for carpentry and we have shifted from oil to water based pigments for printing and substituted acetic acid with hydrochloric acid in dyeing. We are harnessing the steam released during cooling off of the boilers in the dyeing to heat water for felting and have made changeover from kerosene based firing to electric firing for ceramics.