World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

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July 30th marks the United Nations World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. The international holiday is held for the purpose of educating people around the world about the gravity and prevalence of human trafficking. According to Free the Slaves, there are between 21 and 30 million men, women, and children currently enslaved. Slavery is illegal in every country; nonetheless, people are captured and sold as slaves in almost every country around the world. This makes the human trafficking industry is the second largest illegal industry in the world ranked only behind the drug trafficking industry.

Most modern-day slaves come from Eastern Europe and the global south, where high rates of poverty, low rates of literacy and education, and a lack or absence of women’s rights make millions vulnerable. However, millions of impoverished men, women, and children in wealthy nations will also fall victim to trafficking every year.

Women and girls are most frequently targeted as slaves, making up 75% of trafficked persons. Often, they are sold into the illegal sex trade, where they have no access to healthcare, wages, or education. Many of Global Goods’ partners, including Destiny Reflection, Friends International, and Borderline, work tirelessly to reduce the risk of sex trafficking in their communities.

Efforts are made around the world to end human trafficking. The first step that everyone can take in putting a stop to this illegal and inhumane business is by becoming educated about it. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Free the Slaves provide information about trafficking, and what can be done to end it. You can spread this information and show your support for victims of trafficking through UNODC’s social media campaign. And of course, you can directly support those vulnerable to trafficking, and discourage big business from using slave labor, by buying fair trade.

Global Goods: Cambodian Cooking

This week, we at Global Goods took to the kitchen and got to work whipping up some Cambodian treats, taken from the Friends International Cookbook: From Spiders to Water Lilies! This Cambodian cookbook, filled with dozens of delicious (and adventurous) recipes, was created by Friends-International, a non-profit organization that aims to rehabilitate street children in Phnom Penh. Friends-International has established a restaurant and culinary school that provides impoverished or homeless teenagers with valuable job training and opportunities in the service industry.

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We’re sharing with you the simple yet scrumptious Caramelised Rice Pudding recipe, topped with fresh fruit. This recipe, known in Khmer as bai damnaub nom treab chia mui sko tnaut (say that three times fast!), requires 7 ingredients, plus as much fruit as you’d like to add. You will need:

  • 500g white sticky rice (soaked in cold water for 30 minutes)
  • 500ml coconut cream
  • 100g white sugar
  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp grated lime peel
  • A pinch of salt
  • 4 to 6 tbsp palm sugar syrup*
  • Fresh tropical fruit, such as dragon fruit, mango, pineapple, and papaya (or substitute these with seasonal, local fruits)

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Begin by soaking the rice and then grating the lime. Doing these steps first will save you a lot of time and will keep things organized.

After you’ve soaked the rice, steam it for about 30 minutes, or until cooked. Set aside to cool. In a wok or pan, bring coconut cream to a boil, add white sugar, desiccated coconut, vanilla, lime peel, and salt, and simmer for about 2 minutes. Add cooled rice and stir frequently on medium heat until all the liquid is mixed into the rice.

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Spread mixture onto a greased baking tray, let cool for a few minutes, and then refrigerate. You can refrigerate the pudding for as long as you want–we let it cool for about over an hour. After the pudding has cooled, cut it into slices and drizzle it with palm sugar syrup. Top it off with some fresh fruit, and you’re ready to eat!

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The cookbook features dozens more recipes, from fish soups to fried tarantulas (seriously.) You can purchase this book, and other Friends-International products, on our site.

Try out this recipe over the weekend, and tell us what you think!

*We couldn’t find palm sugar syrup, but we found palm sugar. To make it into syrup, add a few tablespoons a pan, add water, and bring to a boil. Stir the mixture until it becomes thick. Voilà! Syrup!

 

 

 

 

Father’s Day Gifts 2014

Father’s Day is right around the corner! Make this year extra special for Dad by giving him a unique gift from Global Goods Partners. A fair trade gift is the gift that keeps on giving: you’ll be making an impact while making Dad’s day—it’s a win-win situation all around!

We’ve compiled a few quintessential Father’s Day gift options. You simply can’t go wrong with any of them!

Handmade Silk Tie & Men’s Bolivian Woven Wallet:

Is Dad in need of a wardrobe update? Help him out with a sleek silk tie or a handsome leather wallet. He can look good while supporting fair trade—what’s more stylish than that?

Is Dad in need of a wardrobe update? Help him out with a sleek silk tie or a handsome leather wallet. He can look good while supporting fair trade—what’s more stylish than that?

Rice Bag Eco-Apron:

Summertime means that the grill is out and Dad is cookin’. Make your next family barbeque a responsible one by having Dad don an eco-friendly, ethically made apron. (Bonus: it’s easy to clean!)

Summertime means that the grill is out and Dad is cookin’. Make your next family barbeque a responsible one by having Dad don an eco-friendly, ethically made apron. (Bonus: it’s easy to clean!)

Men’s Duffle Bag:

Whether he’s traveling for work or pleasure, Dad needs luggage he can rely on. Our men’s duffle bag is made from recycled materials and has a ton of space (and plenty of pockets) without the bulk.

Whether he’s traveling for work or pleasure, Dad needs luggage he can rely on. Our men’s duffle bag is made from recycled materials and has a ton of space (and plenty of pockets) without the bulk.

Make sure to check out our website for even more Father’s Day gift ideas!

Graduation Gifts 2014

This month, students all across the country, whether they are in high school or law school, will be graduating. After years of education, independence, and growth, our graduates will be entering their next chapter of life with imaginative and determined eyes towards the future—so what better way to celebrate than with a gift that makes a lasting impact? Global Goods Partners has put together a list of our Top Gifts for Top Grads, so that you can find the perfect way to say “Congratulations!” to a student that’s ready to get out there and start building a better world.

     For the Explorer: Recycled Materials Passport Holder

This sturdy passport holder, made from 100% recycled materials, will not only provide your favorite adventurer with a stylish way to (hopefully!) keep track of her most important travel item, it will also provide women in Cambodia with a fair salary and an improved standard of living!

This sturdy passport holder, made from 100% recycled materials, will not only provide your favorite adventurer with a stylish way to (hopefully!) keep track of her most important travel item, it will also provide women in Cambodia with a fair salary and an improved standard of living!

 For the Style Lover: String Bracelets 

Appeal to your beloved fashion maven’s good taste with a stylish and meaningful gift. These colorful bracelets come from Guatemala, where women artisans work hard to improve their communities. The bracelets tell a story about the artisans, and are therefore perfect for someone who values fashion as a form of self-expression.

Appeal to your beloved fashion maven’s good taste with a stylish and meaningful gift. These colorful bracelets come from Guatemala, where women artisans work hard to improve their communities. The bracelets tell a story about the artisans, and are therefore perfect for someone who values fashion as a form of self-expression.

For the Tech Buff: Striped Cotton iPad Case

For the first person you call when your computer doesn’t start up, this iPad case could not be a more excellent gift. They already have the latest and greatest electronics—now all they are missing are some chic accessories! This case was woven with expertise by Mayan women, who are able to get an education and feed their families through the sales of products such as this one.

For the first person you call when your computer doesn’t start up, this iPad case could not be a more excellent gift. They already have the latest and greatest electronics—now all they are missing are some chic accessories! This case was woven with expertise by Mayan women, who are able to get an education and feed their families through the sales of products such as this one.

Everything You Need to Know About Cambodian Silk

When most people think of silk, they think of China. China has been the largest producer of silk throughout history. This is because the original wild ancestor of the commercially grown species of moth that produces silk was unique to China. So it makes sense that the Chinese invented sericulture, or the process of creating silk. Sericulture has since spread to all areas of the globe, namely countries in Southeast Asia such as Cambodia.

Here at Global Goods Partners we sell a wide range of products made from Cambodian silk. These products include everything from silk ties and knotted necklaces to wallets and notebooks.

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Yet silk production in Cambodia doesn’t have it so easy as compared to its counterparts in China, Vietnam and Thailand. Due to Cambodia’s turbulent history, sericulture has been put on the back burner – so much so that the government has recently listed silk as one of eight priority export items to be developed by the Ministry of Commerce. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization is even helping to fund silk sector development. Cambodia certainly has the potential to develop this industry as experts agree that the quality of Cambodian handmade golden silk is far superior to that of the mass produced silk in other areas of Asia.

Creating silk is super interesting but also time consuming! The process begins with the breeding of butterflies. Male and female butterflies mate for about 12 hours. Females then lay up to 300 eggs and then die soon after breeding. The breeder will then gather the eggs on a sheet of paper and incubate these eggs for 12 days under a bell and a piece of wet cloth. Caterpillars then hatch out of these eggs and eventually turn into what we commonly know as silk worms.

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Once the worm is fully developed it is ready to spin its cocoon of silk. Worms used to be individually placed into bundles of twigs to spin, but nowadays they can be placed in bamboo trays that have a spiral inside around which the caterpillar can spin its cocoon.

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The process of spinning silk takes about 3-4 days, during which time the larva has gone through its entire growth cycle. The quality of the silk produced is dependent  on the health of the worms and their environment as well as the quality of the mulberry leaves that they eat. Once the worm has finished spinning, the breeder has 10 days to unwind the cocoon before the worm completes metamorphosis and eats its way out of the cocoon in the form of a moth. Unwinding the cocoon can be quite a difficult process as the procedure is completed in very hot water. 10kg of cocoons produce just 1kg of silk yarn.

This intricate process makes us appreciate our beautiful silk products even more! Check out our online store to find more Cambodian silk items.

Trash to Treasure


Once considered trash, used rice bags are now turned into gorgeous treasures!  The Artisans’ Association of Cambodia crafts beautiful products such as wallets, totes, duffel bags, and cosmetic cases from recycled rice bags that were once destined for the landfill.  Each handcrafted product is super sturdy and displays a unique print.  The Artisans’ Association of Cambodia really makes an impact with its fair trade, environmentally friendly creations!

These rice bag accessories are not only good for the environment, but also provide a living wage for Cambodia’s artisans. The AAC provides jobs for the country’s most marginalized groups including trafficked women, landmine victims, polio sufferers, and severely impoverished families.  The revenue brought to communities through the AAC’s efforts have improved public health, education, literacy, and women’s rights.  Support The Artisans’ Association of Cambodia and the communities it helps today by purchasing one of these sustainable rice bag designs!

Shop for these and other great rice bag products from The Artisans’ Association of Cambodia at http://www.globalgoodspartners.org.