Lanka Kade translates as 'the Sri Lankan shop' and was set up in 1994 by husband and wife team Upul and Diane, with the aim of providing an outlet for items produced by small craft enterprises in Sri Lanka. As time went on Lanka Kade developed a product range of educational toys and gifts for young children utilising Diane's teaching and playwork background.
Our joint experiences of living and working in Sri Lanka made us determined to operate Lanka Kade with a fair trade approach.
The ethical side
All our products are handmade by seven family based enterprises with whom Lanka Kade has long term working commitments. New products are designed in the UK for each supplier to utilise their individual knowledge and skills. Our aim is to provide continual employment throughout the year for each supplier, their families and their employees. A representative is employed full time in Sri Lanka to coordinate shipments, liase with the UK on behalf of our suppliers and to arrange prompt payment for all goods supplied to Lanka Kade.
Each business is independent and supplies direct to Lanka Kade. Lanka Kade does not use middlemen, nor does it pay commissions thus enabling the suppliers to receive a fair and full price for their products. Regular contact is maintained with all our suppliers by phone, fax, email and onsite visits throughout the year both direct from UK and weekly by our Sri Lankan co-ordinator. We work closely together to maintain, improve, and update each supplier’s working practice and understanding of fair trade. Lanka Kade is currently assisting three of our suppliers with long term interest free loans used for the development of their business’.
In return, our suppliers are expected to maintain a safe and pleasant working environment, equal opportunities, good rates of pay, prompt payment for both employees and in country suppliers, and a quality product at a fair price.
Children are not involved at any stage of the production of items for Lanka Kade. Lanka Kade (UK) Ltd have been approved by BAFTS (British Association of Fair Trade Shops) since 2001 as a fair trade supplier.
The environmental side
Many of our products are made from rubberwood sourced from exhausted rubber plantations that are replanted every 10 – 15 years. We prefer to use recycled products when available – the majority of our outer packing cartons are already once used and the packing materials are either shredded paper or materials supplied by local retail outlets from their own deliveries. Lanka Kade products and packaging are all PVC free and we strive to avoid the use of excessive packaging.