Fair Trade builds long term partnerships

Lanka Kade as a case study

Fair trade wooden toy company Lanka Kade was founded in 1994 when business partners Upul and Diane returned to the UK having met in Sri Lanka whilst working for the Red Cross. They did not want to lose contact with the country and the people they both love, so they set up a small import business to maintain links with Sri Lanka.

The name Lanka Kade translates to ‘The Sri Lankan Shop’.

Lanka Kade has grown to become an established business based in Market Harborough Leicestershire  specialising in the design, craft and supply of fair trade wooden toys and gifts for children. The distinctive range of educational toys offers both bright bold colours and natural wood finishes.
Anne designs Lanka Kade products to inspire learning through play which aid the development of language, picture, shape and colour recognition skills to name a few. They produce quality handcrafted toys. This, along with our bright colours and natural wood finishes are popular with parents and children alike!

Over the last twenty years their ethos has remained the same; to build long-term, sustainable trading partnerships that provide stability and protect local skills. They encourage their producer’s independence and growth at every level and offer interest-free loans, training and independent financial support to help them grow into independent businesses.

As director Upul comments “Seeing our producer groups flourish over the years into the healthy, independent businesses they are today has been inspiring to see and a privilege to be a part of. The ten groups we work with have given employment to over 180 local people and allowed them to provide for themselves and their families with pride. We are most proud of the independence our producers now demonstrate having seized the opportunities we offered over the years and look forward to working with more groups in the future.’