Discover Our Story: Who We Are and What We Stand For

The Organization - ACP

Nepal’s premier craft organization, Association for Craft Producers (ACP) has been successfully balancing its social obligations and business priorities since its establishment in 1984. ACP is proud to define itself as a socially oriented, commercially viable enterprise.

Association for Craft Producers is a local not for profit Fair Trade handicraft organization. It operates under a 11-member Executive Board out of which 8 are women. ACP has 50 full time administrative staff and 30 in house producers. ACP works with more than 500 producers who are either homebased or work in groups. ACP works with 30 producer groups. Directly and indirectly, ACP benefits 3000 people

The headquarters or the resource center is a permanent facility of 43,000 sq.ft. based in Rabi Bhawan, Kathmandu. The major activities at the resource center are the procurement, processing and distribution of raw materials and semi-finished goods, development of new products and customized prototypes, quality checking and finishing.

The facility also houses Nepali Craft Trading Pvt. Ltd., the sister concern of ACP through which it exports. Since ACP is an NGO, it is not allowed to export directly. The staff and in house producers come to the headquarters every day. Most of the production is done at the producers’ homes or workshops. ACP also runs a retail store, Dhukuti is a 3 story building in a rented space of 3,000 sq. ft.


To provide regular design, market, management and technical services to low-income craft producers that results in regular adequate wages to supplement family income and improve the overall standard living by adhering to Fair Trade principles.

The Establishment

Ms. Meera Bhattarai founded ACP to socially and economically empower low-income artisans primarily women. Often, craft producers of Nepal come from economically and socially deprived backgrounds. They lacked say in the family which usually stemmed from the fact that they were not contributing to the overall money basket of the family. Although the women possessed basic skills, neither were their skills or products adequately recognized nor did they receive moral and technical support. They were largely ignorant of raw material quality, efficiency, costing, marketing, consumer tastes and preferences. They lacked the capital required for their handwork. There was an immediate need to address the vulnerability of women craft artisans to promote their socio-economic status. Ms. Bhattarai realized that mere training was not sufficient. There was a need of an organization that would provide integrated support to the craft workers as well as be self-sufficient. As a result, ACP was founded.

“When women have money, they have a say in the family – and their voice is heard. She gains confidence and respect. That’s in real sense Economic Empowerment.”

The Growth

ACP started its life with just 38 producers and 5 full time staff in a rented building with 4000 sq. ft area in three skill categories with donor support. Today ACP has a resource centre in a permanent facility of 43,000 sq. ft. area with 80 staff and producers. ACP works with 500 producers in 8 districts of the country. ACP supports and promotes 18 skill categories which translates to a wide range of household textiles, home décor, fashion accessories and giftware. The annual turnover is over $1,000,000 with around 30% domestic sales. ACP exports to more than 70 buyers in around 20 countries.

The Impact

ACP has transformed the lives of artisans, mainly women from a position of powerlessness to empowerment, from vulnerability to a higher level of economic security. The women have become more confident and have been able to command greater degree of respect from their family and society. Some of the producers have moved ahead and started their own production units. They have been role models and source of inspiration in their community. ACP has made significant contribution over the years to the national economy through employment generation and poverty alleviation. ACP has contributed to the upliftment of the handicraft industry. ACP has succeeded in changing the notion that women-oriented crafts like weaving, knitting, sewing, embroidery are only for hobbies. ACP has proven that unorganized women work force with farm and family responsibilities, working irregular hours can be organized and turned into competent and reliable work force. ACP has played a vital role in reviving the traditional art and skills which were on the verge of extinction such as weaving, block printing, hand-hammered copperware, felting through design innovation, technical upgradation and marketing. ACP’s flagship store, Dhukuti has a strong brand presence for more than 35 years.

Skill Categories





Screen Printing

Block Printing

Metal work





Glass work

Paper craft




Basket weaving


Commitment to Fair Trade

From the inception, ACP adhered to values of fairness and long-term sustainability. At the core of the operations is the economic empowerment, social development and capacity building of low-income artisans that would improve the quality of lives. ACP adopted the alternative way of doing business that put people before profit which was termed as Fair Trade. ACP is one of the pioneers of Fair Trade in Nepal and is also the founder Chair of Fair Trade Group (FTG) Nepal, the national network of Fair Trade. ACP is actively involved in advocating and promoting Fair Trade. It strictly adheres to the Fair Trade principles.

ACP is the member of World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), the global Fair Trade network since 1993. The status upgraded to Guaranteed Membership since 2013. ACP is also the Founder Member of WFTO Asia.

Fair Trade Principles

  • Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
  • Transparency and Accountability
  • Fair Trading Practices
  • Payment of a Fair Price
  • Ensuring no Child Labor and Forced Labor
  • Commitment to Non-Discrimination, Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment and Freedom of Association
  • Ensuring Good Working Conditions
  • Providing Capacity Building
  • Promoting Fair Trade
  • Respect for the Environment

Social Welfare Program

Besides direct remuneration, ACP has the following financial and non-financial benefit programs for staff and producers.

  • Performance Reward
  • Clothing Allowance
  • Medical Allowance
  • Household Allowance
  • Emergency Allowance
  • Foresight Fund
  • Paid maternity / paternity leave
  • Financial Loans
  • Education allowance
  • Workshop Cafeteria
  • Producer Counseling Service
  • Annual Lunch
  • Informal Education
  • Producers Work Incentive
  • Award for Producer
  • Producers’ Alliance
  • Producers and Management Consultative Committee
  • Health Camps
  • Insurance

Commitment to Efficiency, Quality and Innovation

ACP operates business with full accountability and is highly committed to give the best to its buyers. We believe in long term partnership and growing together. For this reason, ACP gives high priority to prompt communication, timely delivery of samples and orders and very importantly, quality. Quality is at the core of ACP’s operations. ACP is committed to provide high quality products and services. From raw materials to the end product, ACP ensures quality is met at every stage of production.

New product development is a continuous process at ACP. ACP’s marketing and design experts lead the annual launch new collection in Dhukuti, the retail store as well as offer new designs to buyers. For greater efficiently, ACP has and will continue to upgrade production process through simple tools and technology, keeping in mind not to take away work from the artisans.

ACP is flexible when it comes to working with buyers’ designs. Our core competency has been customization of products according to buyers’ specific design requirements. ACP always work on exclusivity of designs. As ACP works in various skill categories, mix media is yet another strength we possess.

Respect for the Environment

For the preservation of the environment, ACP has taken various measures outlined below. ACP was also been recognized by the Kathmandu Metropolitian for the precautionary measures undertaken to prevent industrial pollution.

  • Installation of 32kWp solar in the head office, 4.96 kWp in its retail outlet
  • Use of solar to heat the boiler to some extent
  • Waste water treatment plant
  • Rainwater harvesting system
  • Discourage the use of plastic bags as far as possible
  • Change from using kerosene-based dye to water-based dyes
  • Substituted acetic acid with hydrochloric acid in dyeing
  • Change from kerosene based kiln to electric kiln for ceramics firing
  • Use of sustainable and biodegradable raw materials like clay, soft wood, cotton, bamboo, wool and recycled paper
  • Upcycling


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Location & Contact Information

Opening Hours

9:30 am to 5:30 pm (Sunday - Friday)

Contact Details

+977-1-5388705, 5234616, 5370721
Ravi Bhawan Mode, Kathmandu, Nepal