The Artisans Association of Cambodia (AAC) is a membership-based organization for crafts producers and sellers in Cambodia. It was established in 2001 under the coordinated effort of the World Rehabilitation Fund (WRF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to promote new approaches for the socio-economic integration of landmine survivors, others with disabilities and other vulnerable groups.
AAC registered with the Ministry of Interior (MOI) in 2004 and became a member of the World Fair Trade Organization Global (WFTO) in 2005; a member of WFTO Asia in early 2006 and a member of Homenet South East Asia (HNSEA) in June 2008. Together with its member organizations, AAC aims at creating employment opportunities for landmine survivors, others with disabilities and other vulnerable groups through small and medium craft production and sales.
Currently AAC has 50 member organizations. In total the members have around 1989 producers and staff and they all work throughout Cambodia. Of employees working in member organizations, 79% are women; 11% are people with disabilities, 3% are landmine victims and 53% of the member organizations are managed and directed by women.
AAC has officially registered the Artisans’ Collection (AC) with the Ministry of Commerce as a company Co., LTD in late 2008. Since then AC is eligible to obtain a certificate of origin for exports when members and buyers need it.
Vision: Evolving Cambodian Artisans into accomplished independent Social Enterprises.
Mission: AAC is a fair trade association providing commercial and capacity building services to social enterprises that work closely with disadvantaged people.
- To improve the socio-economic well-being of disadvantaged artisans by increasing the income generating activities of member organizations.
- To improve the quality of artisan products by providing ongoing professional development to artisans and staff at member organizations.
- To increase the sales of these products to tourist and export markets.
- To negotiate collectively with member organizations in order to reduce production materials and export costs.
- To advocate nationally and internationally for policies that will benefit the production and sales of artisan products in order to allow sufficient economic benefits for these groups.
- Networking: connecting our members with each other and with other partners that can encourage and assist them in their work.
- Organizational Development: assisting our members in developing their businesses and implementing effective company policies.
- Quality Control: providing assistance in assessing AAC members' product quality and ensuring that artisans are meeting high standards in their production.
- Sales Assistance: working with members to explore opportunities to increase the sales of their products, both locally and internationally, including participation at exhibitions and fairs.
- Export Services: acting as a ‘commercial agent’ for international buyers, consolidating orders and overseeing the shipment of AAC members' products.
- Advocacy: representing the interests of disadvantaged artisans to government and other decision-makers.