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It is with the heaviest of hearts we announce the closure of the corporate operations of Ten Thousand Villages Canada, which includes the head office, distribution centre in New Hamburg, ON as well as the Ten Thousand Villages Canada webstore, wholesale operations and 10 remaining company stores.
In 1946, Edna Ruth Byler had a dream; she believed that all people deserved to earn a fair and stable income, through the dignity of work. From her dream, MCC launched a movement that would become known worldwide as fair trade, we could have never imagined that one woman’s desire to provide a market for handcrafted products made in developing countries around the world would turn into the impactful movement it is today.
Now, in our 74th year, we are proud to say that we have empowered over 100,000 makers around the world to earn a fair and stable income, share their craft with a global market, gain access to education and medical services, better working conditions, equal opportunities for women and so much more. And the truth is, none of this would have been possible without the passion and dedication of our staff, volunteers and most importantly, you, our loyal customers.
In this challenging retail environment, we recognize your commitment, support and dedication to the success of Ten Thousand Villages Canada. However, in spite of all our best efforts, we have been unable to achieve the level of sales that would continue to provide us with the ability to operate a sustainable business model. It is for this reason that Mennonite Central Committee Canada (MCCC) has made the difficult decision to close their social enterprise, Ten Thousand Villages Canada. Our anticipated last day of retail operations is May 29th, 2020. Under our current business model, we have a selection of stores that are owned and operated by separate boards; some of those stores have the means to remain open.
Thank you again for your support of our mission to provide sustainable livelihoods for makers around the world, we hope that you continue to support the fair trade movement. For a list of Canadian Fair Trade Organizations please click here.