Baan Lek Nam Pai Yai
The people who make these beautiful Teak spoons and spatulas are the villagers of Baan Lek Nam Pai Yai.
Thirty years ago the villagers were nomadic, moving from one spot to another, cutting and burning the forests, farming on the cleared land and hunting in the surrounding forest, then moving on once the land could not sustain crops and repeating the process. The people were poor, with young people moving to the cities to work, often in demeaning jobs and the land was degraded, with recurring floods and droughts.
Queen Sirikit on visiting the area resolved to do something about it and set up the pilot project. Army rangers and other people with expertise were sent to show the villagers how to grow organic crops, live sustainably in one place and to restore the surrounding environment. Funding for lathes and other tools was provided and skilled wood turners were sent to teach the people how to make the different utensils.
Villagers receive funding to replant hillsides, as well as to farm organically, and to re use and re purpose Teak from old furniture, housing, building sites.
Buying from the Village
We buy direct from them. They inform us the price and that is what we pay. Having lived in Bangkok for many years, we have met and know some of the villagers. We know firsthand where they live, the conditions they live.
No, we are a business. We need to make a profit to survive. But we love that we get to work with the villagers For us, we see it as a win win, we get to work with people we know and respect, we have products that are high quality, individually made, we get to help, in a small way, financially by providing an outlet for their work.
Who is helped?
You help people like Khun Wittisuk, who is able to stay in the village and care for his aged parents, and not have to stay in Bangkok, far from them, driving taxis 12 hours a day.
Here are some of the people who make our products, it is a clip from RSUTV a Thai TV channel documentary.