Various products were being produced by local communities in several of CAED’s working areas, and CAED was trying to support the local economic development in these areas by selling these products. However, it became clear that marketing these products was a major endevor beyond the scope of what CAED could fully take on. Thus, a separate commercial entity named Alternative Herbal Products (AHP) was established in 1998. AHP, with the support of its social partner CAED, started its work with a couple of totally natural, traditional recipe-based, hand processed and minimally packaged herbal teas.
The Alternative Way
Most of the raw materials used for AHP’s products are collected from primary producer organisations of some of the most marginalized groups of people in Nepal. AHP does not buy products that are exploitative towards any human being or nature. It is supported by its social partner, which helps AHP to ensure that it fairly compensates primary producers and that harvest does not cause overexploitation of resources. A method for the harvesting of herbs is used that ensures the preservation of the environment, allowing local people to make a living without destroying the resource base. Where demand seems to be sustainable, the producers are supported with planting such herbs. AHP’s raw materials sourcing catchments increases according to the expansion of the working areas of its social partner.
Leveraging Purchasing Power for Poverty Alleviation
Purchasing of AHP’s products provides customers with an opportunity to use their purchasing power in ways that support some of the most remote communities in Nepal while receiving high quality, good value products with exceptional service.