Q: I’m French and we want to sell your products in France, but the English/Thai language on your label won’t work in Paris. Can you label product for us in French?
A: Most of our products are indeed labeled in English and Thai but we can of course replace Thai by another language.
So one choice would be to replace the Thai language with one of your choice. We can give you a written quotation for your consideration.
Alternatively, we can generate completely new labeling with your/our colors, logo etc but entirely in your language(s). Generally you would need to buy 5000 of each particular product to make this cost-effective but smaller volume can be considered if you don’t mind paying for it.
Such custom labeling will normally take 3 weeks from the moment we receive your design approval and you will either need to supply or pay for the translation.
Q: Can you tell me how much it will cost to send products to me in … (your location) ?
A: Deliveries by ordinary Thai Post or by boat are included in our prices. Express courier services are at your cost.
In such case, you should clearly tell us how many of exactly which products you would like to purchase and also how quickly you want to receive your order (you want it yesterday, or will next week do?) then yes, we can give you an accurate price.
Sea mail shipping takes one month to Europe and 8-10 weeks to the rest of the world.
Q: Why can’t I pay for my order using a credit card or PayPal?
A: One of the facts that few people know about Thailand (and obviously the Thais don’t want to publicise this) is that it has the second-highest level of credit card fraud in the world (second only to India). Consequently, most Thai internet businesses do not accept credit cards due to the high risk involved and the exorbitant price of insurance. Due to this high risk, it is not possible for PayPal to be used in Thailand at this time, as PayPal will not provide direct service and because international anti-money-laundering laws prohibit us from setting up a PayPal account through a third country. Believe us, we have tried. So, for now, payment needs to be either in cash while you are visiting our gorgeous city, by direct SWIFT bank transfer or by Western Union transfer.
Q: What about other payment options like International Money Order or personal/business cheques?
A: Sorry, but Thailand does not receive International Money Orders. The banks here can, theoretically, receive and process personal and business cheques. However, the clearance time for a cheque to be processed is between 2 and 3 months (they physically send the cheque back to the country of origin by super-slow snail mail) and the banks charge also up to 30% of the value of the cheque as a commission! (depends on who you know and which bank). This makes the exorbitant account service fees in first world banks look pretty reasonable.
Q: We are from an Arab/Muslim country and would like to have Halal certification on your products to facilitate their sales. Are you able to provide Halal certification yet?
A: Yes we are able to provide Halal certification for all our Spirulina products.
But for our Jiaogulan products, we have never been asked for such certification.
If Halal certification is important to you, please email us with your contact details and we will advise you as soon as we have it.
Q: I’m interested in buying products that I don’t see in your range yet. Do you have plans for expansion of your range?
A: Yes, we continuously renew our gift pack collection with our in-house designs. Do contact us with your specific interest and we’ll see how we can help.
Q: Are your products “organic”?
A: A: Organic certification is incredibly difficult to achieve for many
reasons in Thailand – partly because even if you can actually prove your land has been organic and chemical free for the required 5 or 7 years, there is a “mai pen rai” (never mind) approach which wouldn’t dream of asking the neighbors to turn down their thumping Karaoke music, and also to accept that it’s their right to spray toxic chemicals on their adjoining land on a windy day. Landholdings are generally quite small so this is a huge issue that prevents most people from even applying or trying – presuming first that they could afford it. So no, our products are not “Certified Organic” nor are they likely to be in the foreseeable future.
However, we buy naturally grown raw materials from local people who, in reality, cannot afford the chemicals anyway.
Q: Can you tell me what level of import duty I will need to pay on your products when they arrive in my country?
A: Import duties vary enormously from country to country and there is no standard rate even for our products. Furthermore, different countries classify products differently.
But we can provide you with a Certificate of Free Sale issued by the Thai Health Ministry’s FDA . We strongly recommend that you contact the Customs Office in your own country and check the import duty rates before purchase. Please also be aware that many countries calculate the import duty on the price of the product + the shipping cost + VAT.
For the USA, you may want to pre-register your name/company if you want to import food products which anyone can do on-line at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~furls/ovffreg.html
Then you should e-mail us your registration number.
This reduces customs’ procedures tremendously.
Q: What is your policy on products that are broken or damaged when they arrive in my country?
A: We take all reasonable care to pack your order in the best way possible to protect it against breakage or damage. If breakage or damage should happen for our postal deliveries, kindly supply us with emailed photographic evidence of the damage and we’ll give you a credit note against your next order. Please note that for commercial freight orders it is commonplace to have your own shipping insurance during transit. Breakage during shipping for commercial freight can therefore be claimed through the insurance. If your shipping agent does not arrange for insurance of your container during transit, you better change shippers immediately!
Q: We want to sell your products in our own country as the exclusive agents.
A: We are very open to such requests but as our products are relatively new, we need time to establish sales patterns and levels in different countries before we commit to exclusive distributorships. We have therefore decided not to commit to any exclusivity before 1st January 2009. At that time, we will consider your request based on your sales performance and marketing plan.
Q: Are your products on exhibit yet at any of the big international trade fairs?
A: Two years ago, we participated at the NATEXPO Fair in Paris (which was a very costly affair for us) and now we participate every month at the Thai Craft Fair in Bangkok, Thailand. We would expect our new Distributors to take care of such promotional activities and we will be happy to support in whatever way we can.
Q: I know your products are available through an agent in my own country. Would it be cheaper for me to buy them direct from you in Thailand?
A: It may be cheaper for you to buy direct from us, but it may not, depending on the volume you need. Let us give you an example. You want 50 tea packs with or without our beautiful bamboo-silk gift packs for your retail shop in Paris, France, we already have 3 big French importers who are selling our products in France.
They order big quantities like 2000 packs of each kind at a time (therefore getting a lower unit price) and can benefit from big shipping volume and therefore lower shipping cost.
In this case, it would probably be cheaper for you, to buy from our big distributors in France directly.
However, for large volume or special labeling orders, it would probably be cheaper for you to buy directly from us.
Q: Can you guarantee us that your bamboo gift packs are insect free ?
A : Our bamboo products are insect free because they have been smoked in a closed room for 3 to 4 days.
However, if you want to order bamboo products with natural “light creamy green look” these products are not smoked.
Its raw material has however been soaked in water for at least one week to eliminate any insect residents and the woven products will have been lacquer sprayed to preserve this beautiful look.
Q: Can we visit your factory when we are next in Chiangmai?
A: You are very welcome to visit our home/workshop when you are in Chiangmai, to meet us and to share a cup of Jiaogulan tea with us. We don’t, however, have a factory. We have a packing room and storerooms and people working in our home, 6 days a week. Our products are made in several villages around Northern Thailand under our supervision and with our quality control checks.
We will do the packing and labeling in our packing room, which is part of our home. So yes, “You are welcome”, but please give us advance notice by e-mail.
Q : Do you practice Fair Trade ?
– We practice FAIR TRADE in our pricings for products.
– We pay a very fair price to the small village producers
who are not equipped for export and for whom we provide
We practice “Fair Trade” in every sense of the word :
all the people that are part of our supply and production chain
are fairly paid and able to support and sustain their own
– With our in-house designs and marketing,
we strengthen our producers’ capacity in line with international
– We actively support the disadvantaged thru the New Life
Foundation, under the Patronage of H.R.H. The Princess
Mother. We share our proceeds with this charity organisation.
– We substantially support and administer its Scholarship
program which donates 5000 THB (about 150 US$) per year,
for at least 6 years, to young girls of underprivileged families,
to keep them in the schools, in their own villages,
rather than make them go to work in Bangkok, usually in
entertainment places of ill-repute.
– We have concern for people, for animals and for the
Q : What does it mean when you talk about Charity Work ?
The charity work we do could be considered as a family business.
Apart from the charity visits we make 3 days per week, to give relief to people who are in pain, we also care for the people who work for us and consider them as our extended families.
Whether they be the local hillside growers of our wonderful Jiaogulan teas, or the cutters, driers, weavers of our bamboo products, and of course also the packers whose salaries support entire families.
Family business also means that we all have to be flexible and work hard together when orders need to be quality-hand-checked by us, piece by piece, before shipping deadlines.
And “family business” for us means “Fair Trade” in every sense of the word – that all the people that are part of our supply and production chain are fairly paid and able to support and sustain their own families.
Last but not least, we give pride to our village producers for the products their parents and grandparents used all their lives in their small mountain communities, and which most Thai people think are nothing special, but yet are so interesting to Western people…
We ourselves, appreciate their beautiful handicrafts so much that our houses have been decorated with them for many years.
We even feel kind of sad to see a big order of several thousand absolutely exquisite bamboo-silk baskets being packed for our overseas customers.
And then we sit on needles because we have to wait a whole month, or longer, before we receive the grateful appreciation of our customers when the products have arrived and are even more beautiful than they expected.
Please Contact Us for more information.