Workers Unite

Intercraft Peru’s artisans cooperative ownership
It’s not a novel idea, but in the world of craftspeople cooperative ownership is not about making profits for a faceless corporation, but generating sustainable income for the workers/owners of the coop. 
 
In 2002, the not-for-profit Intercrafts Peru was founded by CIAP artisan’s association. The group’s headquarters is based in Lima with satellite offices in marginal districts in Lima, Ayacucho, Huancayo, Cuzco, Puno, Arequipa, and Piura. These eight associations are owners of the organizaton wherein the majority shareholders of the cooperative form the Board of Directors. 
 
Intercrafts Peru’s primary mission is to expand their consumer base outside of local markets and to generate income for the artisans. Following the ten principles of Fair Trade, the artisans are able to expand outside of their local regions and sell their products at prices that provide a sustainable wage.  These expanded opportunities increases their earning potential and offers improved living conditions both at home and at work, but also ensures that their children will be able to attend school. Other benefits to member artisans include health care, loans and advances, training programs and technical assistance, and school supplies and books for their children's schooling, 
 
The products the artisans create and design range from textiles such as  knitted fashion accessories made from 100 percent alpaca, woven and embroidered throw pillows, ceramic tabletop, and jewelry. Many of these items are inspired by Peruvuan traditional designs and motifs, but adapted to suit contemporary consumer trends in fashion and home decor. 
 
Intercrafts Peru will be attending for the first time NY NOW’s Artisan Resource, running from August 21st to August 24th at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. The group will exhibiting products that were exclusively made for the show. According to Monica Rejas Glass, marketing manager at Intercrafts Peru, the artisans faced some creative challenges in developing their new product lines but they “overpowered their fears and left their comfort zone.” 
 
Intercraft Peru’s products are available in the U.S. and can be found at Ten Thousand Villages, SERRV, and trades of Hope.
 
For more information, visit www.intercraftsperu.com.
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