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Selling Fair Trade Products at 2017 Kiin Festival


On November 12, 2017, we sold fair trade products on behalf of the Shapla Neer (Citizens’ Committee in Japan for Overseas Support) as a student-planned Kiin Festival event.

Selling fair trade products

Shapla Neer is a group that provides various forms of support toward resolving issues related to the living conditions of poor people in Bangladesh and Nepal, including providing support for local education and disaster prevention; the Sutenai program, in which stamps and books, etc., are collected to exchange for money which is then used to fund support activities; and the Craftlink program, which involves selling fair trade products made in Bangladesh and Nepal.

Shapla Neer also accepts students from Ochadai every year as part of the NPO Internship Practicum course (a liberal arts subject), and this event was planned as part of the internship.

We chose products based on the kind of people we thought might drop past on the day, which led us to focus on accessories and pouches. Visitors included everyone from small children to senior citizens, who picked up the products they liked and asked interested questions. Because our goods were all fair trade products, none of them were cheap, and we generally had no more stock than what was laid out at the booth, but we were able to educate a lot of people about Shapla Neer and also topped our sales target!

A selection of items sold

In the door-to-door sales conducted as part of our internship training to date, our role is restricted to going out with staff members to talk up the products to potential customers, and I have sometimes felt rather inadequate at not being able to answer customers’ questions. With the booth, however, we did everything from choosing all the products, deciding how to lay them out, and handling sales, so it was a nerve-wracking but very satisfying experience.

Finally, our thanks go to the Kiin Festival Steering Committee for giving us the once-a-year opportunity of the Kiin Festival to sell these products, Global Collaboration Center staff for generously providing advice right down to the fine details, Shapla Neer staff for giving us advice on sales, and everyone who helped out in the booth.

(Haruka Otake, 2nd year student, Division of Human Life Studies,
Faculty of Human Life and Environmental Sciences)

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