This article originally appeared in French on Le Nouvelliste. It is translated into English below.
The Clinton Foundation and the J/P Haitian Relief Organization (J/P HRO) jointly organized a delegation to Haiti from June 13–15, 2017 to explore the Haitian craft and agricultural sectors with the goal of developing new business partnerships.
Last year, at the same time, several Clinton Foundation partners in Haiti had already been visited by leaders in the retail, fashion, and manufacturing sectors. The Pascale Théard workshop, Papillon Enterprise, SANDILOU, Caribbean Craft, and DOT (Design, Organization, Training Center) are the companies in the artisan sector, which is a growth vehicle for the Haitian economy.
According to the Clinton Foundation, the goal of this year’s visit remains the same: to present the range of opportunities available in Haiti, to empower craftsmen and artisanal producers, and to help them access markets and connect with new partners.
“This year, in addition to the artisan sector, we focused on the agricultural sector and highlighted high-quality Haitian agricultural products such as moringa, sisal, and castor oil,” says the Clinton Foundation.
“This week’s trip highlighted what is working in Haiti — incredible craft businesses such as Caribbean Craft, which works to train, equip, and hire local craftsmen and to ensure that artisan products and furniture often use recycled materials, and Papillon Enterprise, which aims to reduce the number of orphans by creating jobs and educational opportunities for parents,” said Greg Milne, head of the Clinton Foundation’s Haiti Programs and Chief Metrics and Impact Officer.
On the first day of the visit, on Tuesday June 13, the delegation was first interested in crafts, fashion, and design, visiting companies like Papillon Enterprise, the DOT (Design, Organization, Training Center), and the workshop Pascale Théard.
On the second day, it focused on agro-industry and small-scale agriculture, visiting the Acceso nursery and CETPA farming cooperative and finally, the third and final day was devoted to innovative supply chains and sustainability. The visit of Thread, a company that transforms waste from Truitier landfill (and other places around the world) into clothing, accessories, and other consumer products; and REBUILD Globally, an organization working with Two Main Designs to train, equip and use local craftsmen to make sandals, bags, and accessories with recycled tires (more than 10,000 discarded tires were collected) and local leather.
“We have also visited some of the agri-food and agricultural cooperatives that are working to revitalize this vital sector, including a visit to the Acceso nursery, which allows smallholder farmers to produce high-value crops such as limes, bitter orange, castor, moringa, and sisal while developing sustainable supply chains with buyers around the world,” said Greg Milne.
“In the past, these trips have produced new partnerships and supply chain opportunities between Haitian businesses and the visiting delegation members,” said the Clinton Foundation.
As a result of its previous visits, the foundation evokes the online platform ZUVAA, which began to market the products of SANDILOU on the Web and in its stores, and the recent collaboration between the designer Azede Jean-Pierre and Pascale Théard on the designs for her next collection.
“We hope that similar results will flow from this last trip,” said the Foundation, which continues to believe that Haiti has enormous potential for international competition, particularly in the artisanal and agricultural sectors. The goal is to create these market ties as well as to expose Haitian artisans to larger international audiences.
“The J/P Haitian Relief Organization (J/P HRO) and the Clinton Foundation have always focused on the long-term solution of systemic problems affecting Haiti.
Our goal is to address the problems of extreme poverty, rapid urbanization, and deforestation by creating sustainable programs with the Haitian people,” said Ann Lee, CEO of J/P HRO, stressing that by linking these Haitian companies to the international community, her NGO, she says, empowers local communities not just to survive but to prosper.