Feb 16, 2011

Funny the excuses

We have numerous stories about trying to "export" from Mongolia via the central post office - never funny at the time but we can usually laugh about each situation within a few weeks.

I was planning a couple of orderly "exports" to Denmark and the USA when both customers independently pressed the "go fast" button.  We scrambled and our staff dutifully headed for our favourite "what's the new procedure" today Central Post Office.

Denmark's fine was the first SMS.  All quiet for 30 minutes and then "we cannot post to the USA".  The story was new to us ... a story we could not have come up with.  For security reasons the US were not accepting any parcels or boxes arriving via the postal system weighing more than 500gm.  No levy or extra procedure ... we just could not post items.

Further checking on the web suggests that the US have introduced surcharges on items over 500gm a month or so back - USD 9 a shot and it may be to do with extra security and extra screening of parcels.

Thanks to my enterprising staff the shipment was divided into 3 and 2 out of 3parcels are in the system ... business continues to toughen with fortress USA.  Still not sure why the Postal services here did not simply say "it'll cost you USD 9 more if you want to post the item in one piece".  Maybe it seemed less hassle to simply say the USA was refusing parcels over 500gm.  Life is never the same in UB Mongolia.

So we are in no doubt! There is a big sign in the Post Office saying nothing over 500gm can be sent to the USA before 10th March and even that is not certain!

Feb 12, 2011

First and Only WFTO Member In Mongolia

Over a year ago we realised that some of the values we hold as Christians are also Fair Trade Values / Principles.  So since we are running a Hand Crafted Gifts business, whilst helping Artisans in Mongolia to develop their small businesses, we decided to apply to join the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) www.WFTO.com

After nine months of working through the application process, conducting a self assessment and in the process being assessed by our key Artisans, Staff, Customers and Export Customers, we received our Certificate of membership from WFTO.
We sincerely hope that along with supporting production of quality products that the membership will encourage Fair Trade Organisations to buy from us, thereby improving the quality of life of the 100+ Artisans we work with.  We hope many folk will join us fighting poverty through business.

Please visit Mary & Martha Mongolia to find out more about our Business as Mission.
First and Only WFTO member in Mongolia