Discover the double performance of two social enterprises set up by Mekong Plus.
For the last 15 years we have been working with the farmers of Bình Thuân and cashew trees are an important resource in the region. But the farmers are not well paid for their hard work and for the risks incurred. The export price from Vietnam is multiplied by 4 or 5 by the many intermediaries till the ultimate customer in Europe!
The products are chosen with the following criteria: labor intensive, low capital, sophisticated designs, attractive for foreigners. 200 jobs have been created. Just like for Mekong Quilts: buying from Mekong Creations is giving twice!
Mekong Quilts would maybe not make profits if there were no volunteers to help in sales and marketing. Mekong Plus has supported Mekong Quilts by buying its products for several years at a loss. Still today Mekong Plus supports the quilters groups for their management -they handle a lot of money and are poorly educated. Mekong Quilts functions well as it is based on a community development program in the same villages.
It all started with the hobby of Thanh TRUONG: watching the long hours spent on a single quilt (3-4 weeks full time for a bed cover), the idea emerged to make it an income generating program for women.
The strategic choice was made to aim at the top end quality wise, as one believed this would help make the program sustainable.
Terre d'Oc, a French company which sells also through the many Nature et Découvertes shops, was looking for a fair trade supplier. Thiên Chi, local NGO & partner of Mekong Plus, was interested, as it was a golden opportunity to create jobs.