Together with the Norwegian Company Mester Grønn AS and our Ethiopian partner WHAE, PfC has established a basket project for 300 women in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. The beautiful handmade baskets produced by grassroot women in this area will be available for sale in Norway from 2019 at Mester Grønn, and the income will go directly to the women making them.
Ethiopia has strong artisan traditions, and basket production is one of them. Almost every woman in the rural part of Ethiopia learns how to make baskets from their mothers at a young age. This provides an already skilled manpower on basket all over Ethiopia. However this skill has never been appreciated and commercialized at a big scale, baskets been sold only in local markets and few designers exporting.
International companies selling baskets in their markets express interest in the high quality of Ethiopian-made baskets, but basket production has never been commercialised or organised in any way, only a few are sold locally and with a very low profit margin and few are exported by designers. Currently making baskets gives no further income opportunities.
Putting the above facts in mind, this project seeks to improve the lives of the local women by using their skill and establish a basket production industry in Ethiopia.
In total 300 women are now making baskets ordered by Mester Grønn. 288 are singel mothers. The women who are recruited into this project are poor grassroot women. Their basket making skills is believed to enable them use crafts to work their way out of poverty.
There are various challenges in the production chain if an international enterprise would want to invest in Ethiopia and buy baskets. Partnership for Change, Mester Grønn AS and Women’s Health Association of Ethiopia (WHAE) will work towards solving these challenges through developing an attractive and sustainable Ethiopian basket production industry.
The project runs in Bahir Dar, Amhara region; a city that is circled by farmers that grow raw material for basket and majority women who can weave baskets.
The main objective of the business will be to:
- Create a transparent value chain for basket production in Ethiopia, leading to international and local investments and trade for Ethiopian basket producers
- Create sustainable job opportunities particularly targeting women in rural areas in Ethiopia
The business will be the production and marketing of baskets. These baskets are produced by a cooperative formed by the local women and WHAE that will guarantee the income from this basket going directly to the women. The cooperative in collaboration with Mester Grønn and PfC will be working on forming the value chain for the basket. This includes recruiting women, raw material, storage, and also packaging and branding of Basket for both local and export purpose.
The first round of products will mainly be production of baskets for flowers as per the request of Mester Grønn. Mester Grønn has put an order of 8000 baskets for launch in the spring 2019. The baskets will be distributed to their shops all over Norway