LAMENTABLE CALUMNY AGAINST OUR COOPERATIVE
This letter by Global Craft’s owner Kevin Ward was forwarded to us by Tiffany Kaplan and contains numerous false charges made in VERY STRONG words.
What really happened is that Kevin cut off communications with the cooperative on December 17th 2017, the day Artcamp’s invoice were provided that included a (very) modest price increase; Artcamp’s first price rise since 2010.
Global Craft’s discount from list wholesale prices removed, because Global Crafts had cut orders by 35% over the year
During that year (2017) the artisans submitted images of very many products in a variety of styles, including beautiful leather accessory goods. Global Crafts decided to NOT expand the selection of Artcamp’s products, the decline in Artcamp orders was planned.
Those invoices removed the super-discount Global Crafts had enjoyed; …those invoices were strictly at list wholesale price.
The difference was not very great, still it would have been sufficient to replace the abalone shell and pewter materials the cooperative had in its storeroom, in other words, the difference was barely enough to replace the pewter ingots
and abalone shell that was used up making Global Craft’s handcrafted jewelry sales orders during the year.
The decision was taken to cut communications and to interpret the modest price increase reflected on Artcamp’s invoices as an affront, giving permission to self to accuse
the cooperative and its President of theft and dishonesty.
The following letter was forwarded to us by Tiffany Kaplan and we present it here:
Feb 13, 2019, 4:07 PM
Tiffany Kaplan to Paula, me
I am so sorry you are struggling with Artcamp. The relationship has always been difficult as they struggle to make ends meet, they tend to lash out and blame others when they are in financial trouble.
Last year the situation deteriorated, the women accused Emi of stealing from them. After several emails it became apparent that Emi was attempting to retroactively increase pricing and therefore claim we had not fully paid. I believe this was to recover money that the women felt was missing. I have no idea if money really went missing or it was just the impact of a declining sales leaving them short of funds. Emi claimed to be in fear of her safety.
I find the current communications from Emi very dishonest. I am also very concerned that Emi seems to be suggesting that orders placed with Paula on the computer we gave to Artcamp are somehow not with Artcamp. To be clear we always paid directly into the same bank account provided to us by Artcamp for the 10 years we worked with them. At no point were we ever told that we were not working with Artcamp. Attempting to define Paula as somehow not Artcamp, is just another way to create confusion and extort money from Global Crafts.
This pattern of end of year extortion is unacceptable as we always paid 100% in advance.
At this point in time I no longer find Artcamp a credible fair trade organization, I do question the honesty of Emi. I do not know how Paula fits into this, but it is clearly dysfunctional. I feel very sorry for the women who Artcamp have let down. I can not say with any certainty that the women are paid fairly or even at all by Artcamp as the accounting is poor at best if not downright dishonest.
I do not feel confident that Emi or Paula intends to fulfill the contract created by your last purchase order. They are both deflecting blame for this. I can not in good conscience recommend continuing to work with Artcamp. I think you should seek out new jewelry artisans who want to have a positive relationship with global crafts.
On a personal note I regret introducing you to Paula and Emi as I know how painful it is to navigate this level of incompetence. I genuinely believed that they had moved forward and that for the sake of the women the relationship was worth saving. I see now I was wrong.
Tiffany Kaplan | President
I am sorry. This letter is quite misleading.
I have never had Global Craft’s money in my hands, as the sent their payments directly to Tecalpulco and nobody has paid me a salary or paid for my expenses defending this artisan group which recruited me to help qualify for (FONAIS) government credit to replace the Antique casting machine.
Will you kindly ask Kevin to make these charges to my face,
I have never been accused by anyone here of stealing anything.
WHY did Mr. Kevin Ward inform Tiffany Kaplan
that I am a dishonest and incompetent person?
President and Legal Representative of Artcamp Sc de RL