I'm always happy to add Fair Traders to the ad section in my blogroll to the right. Unfortunately, such occasions are exceedingly rare.
1.Merdeka Coffee has been in this section from the first and they have recently opened a café at the British International School (BIS) in Jakarta.
The café is located in the brand new Dickens Library Complex, with spectacular views out two glass window frontages to the main sports field and Staff facility. The Library and café was officially opened by the British Ambassador to Indonesia, Martin Hatfull, on Wednesday 14th October.
The café serves all of Merdeka Coffee's espresso based drinks menu as well as cold drinks, light snacks, cakes and retail coffee packs.
Continuing a trend of being an equal opportunity employer, most of the new staff come from a local Non-Profit Orphanage and street kid centre. Merdeka Coffee believes that giving such people an opportunity to work is not only a huge bonus for them (in self esteem terms), but helps us build a dedicated and loyal team for the future. The café hours are Monday to Friday 7am to 5pm and Saturday mornings 7am to 12 noon.
Our Indonesian factory is a model for human rights and a safer work environment.
Our CEO, Bart Burger, grew up in the Netherlands and France. He made good use of his time in Europe to refine his skills as a candle maker and industry consultant, before joining Aloha Bay.
Because his mother had been born and raised in Indonesia (which was a Dutch colony at the time), Bart had the opportunity to visit Ngawi, Indonesia (where his mother had been raised), where he toured palm oil plantations, inspected candle manufacturing facilities, and reviewed equipment and technologies throughout Indonesia.
Moved at seeing the terrible working conditions and political tension in Jakarta, and wanting to help in some way, Bart decided to create a new and very different kind of candle factory. Unlike other Indonesian candle factories, our Aloha Bay factory does not accept children into the workplace. Aloha Bay also provides housing, medical benefits, paid vacations and maternity leave for all employees.
In 2001, a sister factory was opened in Java, Indonesia, using the same candle materials and technology. Managed and owned by Indonesians, it is set up as a "fair trade" company, where workers enjoy fair wages, medical benefits, paid vacations and maternity leave.
For the last six years, this Indonesian factory has supplied a good portion of Aloha Bay‘s handmade candles, such as Palm Tapers, Chakra Candles, and Tea Lights. The island of Java is densely populated and known for the quality of its crafts. The factory provides steady work for about 200 craftspeople in rural eastern Java. Palm Wax™ is imported from Malaysia*; glass jars, packaging, and bamboo baskets are produced locally.
With his plant manager, Prananto (a native of Java), Bart has created a modest, low-tech factory that makes candles and distills patchouli oil. Bart and Prananto believe that by providing more productive livelihoods for the Indonesian people, they will be more motivated to plant a variety of soil-enriching field crops to supplement what has become a palm oil tree monoculture. The resulting strong sustainable farming will provide an economic alternative to illegal logging and poaching of endangered species.