A Better Gift, A Better Future – Supporting the People of Bhutan

The cooperative partnership between PRIMAVERA and the Lemongrass Cooperative through BIO Bhutan has existed for many years. Supporting the members of the Lemongrass Cooperative and helping them become economically independent is close to our hearts. Our cooperation with their soap making project helps empower the women in the Cooperative, changes the lives of many families for the better, and preserves the biodiversity of Bhutan’s unique environment.

SHARING JOY IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HAPPINESS

Our Hand-in-Hand Gift Set pampers hands and provides people in Bhutan with economic prosperity and a better future. This limited edition gift set includes an aromatic natural lemongrass ginger soap handcrafted by the women of Bhutan, and an Energizing Ginger Lime Hand & Nail Cream. The perfect natural remedy for happy, healthy hands.

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FAIR TRADE & BIODIVERSITY – OUR DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS IN BHUTAN

Lemongrassernte in Bhutan
The lemongrass harvest is all done by hand

The Kingdom of Bhutan, also known as the Land of the Thunder Dragon, lies deep in the Himalayas. The eastern part of the country is home to the PRIMAVERA Lemongrass Project fields, which are overseen by BIO Bhutan. For over 25 years, dedicated cooperative farmers have hand harvested this aromatic grass with sickles to distill the oil. The farmers receive fair wages for their work, and PRIMAVERA’s partnership with BIO Bhutan and the Lemongrass Cooperative offers families long-term assistance on the road to financial independence.

SOAP MAKING ENABLES PEOPLE TO HELP THEMSELVES

Handarbeit: Seifenherstellung
Introduction to soap making

Soap production in Bhutan began in 2010 thanks to the “South-South Cooperation Benin, Bhutan and Costa Rica.” These three countries in Africa, Asia, and Central America provide one another with mutual assistance in order to become independent and decrease reliance on aid from northern donor countries.
The members of the Lemongrass Cooperative learned the art of soap making and collaborated with consultants to determine the optimal ingredients. Lemongrass, which captures the freshness and purity of this Himalayan country, is an integral component of our aromatic natural soap.

PRESERVING PLANT DIVERSITY

Lemongrass, Ingwer und blühender Senf
Our natural soap contains medicinal plants from Bhutan

Bhutan is known for the diversity of its medicinal plants. Our natural soap is made from the essences of native medicinal plants like virgin lemongrass essential oil, ginger root, and cold-pressed mustard seed oil. The use of native plants contributes to Bhutan’s economic self-sufficiency.
This also promotes environmental protection, which is anchored in Bhutan’s constitution. People treat natural resources with greater respect, which helps to preserve the biodiversity of their pristine environment.

RETAINING THE ART OF MAKING PAPER

Edle Verpackung: handgeschöpftes Daphne-Papier
Soaps are wrapped in Daphne paper

Each bar of soap is carefully wrapped in handmade Daphne paper. This valuable natural paper is produced from the bark of the Daphne shrub using traditional methods. The “Bhutanese paper plant” (Daphne bholua), which grows at an altitude of over 1,900 meters (6,200 feet), has been used for paper making for centuries. To obtain the raw material, the fibrous bark, which grows back quickly, is removed from the shrub. As a result of the unique production process and its unique composition, the paper is very durable and resistant to aging.

BUILDING A SOAP FACILITY

Die Seifenmanufaktur
Building skeleton of the soap plant in May 2012

20% percent of the proceeds from the sale of each bar of natural soap are being dedicated to building the first soap facility in Sherichu in Eastern Bhutan. As soon as the building is completed, it will be transferred to the members of the Cooperative for soap making. With each bar of soap sold, the economic independence of the people in the Cooperative improves.

EMPOWERMENT FOR WOMEN

Trocknen der Seifen
Yeshey und Tandin mit den Seifen vor dem Verpacken

Despite the fact that Bhutanese women legally have equal status with men and enjoy a high social standing, they are still relatively disadvantaged when it comes to education and training.
Up to 85 percent of those involved in producing our natural soap are women. Their earnings provide their families with an additional income so they can afford to send their children to school.
Norbu, one of the young women involved in the soap project, says “I am convinced that knowledge of soap making will make me financially independent.”

LEMONGRASS PROTECTS AGAINST SOIL EROSION

Lemongrassernte im steilen Gelände in Bhutan
Chukuli at the lemongrass harvest on the steep mountainsides of Mongar in Eastern Bhutan

Eighty percent of Bhutan lies above 2,000 meters (6,600 feet) and this Himalayan kingdom is a land of steep mountain slopes. Heavy monsoon rains often trigger avalanches and landslides.
Lemongrass is found in Eastern Bhutan, where the land is very rugged and has deep valleys and gorges. The grass grows on steep slopes whose soil is held fast by the roots of plants. When lemongrass is harvested, it is only trimmed so that the roots of the plant can continue to help prevent soil erosion.

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