Profile of CONTIGO´s partner Chako

Supply chain

  • Trading Partner: Chako, microenterprise
  • Function: Producer
  • Structure: Own production facilities
  • Tradeway: Direct import CONTIGO


Upcycling – home decorations made of wood and glass


Mndo, Mbuzini Zanzibar (23 minutes drive from Stonetown), island of Zanzibar, Tanzania – distance to Europe: 7,000km

Founded in 2010


  • 2010: Chako´s founding couple Anneloes and Suleiman sell souvenirs under the name “Tourist2Tourist” in a small hotel boutique on the island of Zanzibar. The souvenirs are made from waste (old glass bottles, paper, canvas, other materials) mainly caused by tourism. The great success of these upcycling products leads to the establishment of Chako
  • 2015: Chako is locally trained and supported for a period of three years in various fields (quality and design) and Fairtrade aspects by the Dutch Fairtrade Organisation CBI (= Centre for the Promotion of imports from developing countries) as part of the “Fair Trade Finest” programme
  • 2017: By introducing a piece rate system, purchasing new tools and developing new processes, the incomes of all employees can be increased
  • 2018: Chako becomes a member of WFTO (= World Fair Trade Organisation)
  • 2020: Situation during the Covid pandemic
    • Lockdown and absence of tourists cause high losses in the local market. Growing unemployment, loss of income in the families of the employees. Subsidies for living expenses for 6 months flow through CONTIGO association
  • 2020: Building of a new glass workshop and in cooperation with the TUI Care Foundation, an additional construction of a new upcycling workshop for plastics with training opportunities for women and young adults
  • 2021: Chako recovers after the opening of the country for tourism and moves into the new company building

Cooperation with CONTIGO since 2018

Why does CONTIGO work with Chako:
There are many fascinating things about Chako: the upcycling idea that led to its founding, the uncompromising focus on sustainability and waste avoidance that goes far beyond the company’s own manufacturing operations, the social orientation. In the still young cooperation, Contigo has been able to contribute to quality improvements by financing a milling machine for woodwork. During the long lull in orders in the Corona year 2020, the CONTIGO association supported Chako’s employees by providing them with livelihood assistance. Chako makes an important contribution to environmental protection and awareness and at the same time creates income opportunities for women and young people who otherwise have hardly any access to the labour market.

Structure of the business

Number of employees:

  • 38 permanent employees working in the new workplace in Mndo
  • Cooperation with external groups of artisans who deliver finished or semi-finished products to Chako
  • Depending on order situation further employees can be hired

Organisation of workforce:

  • Training of permanent employees in various work steps
  • Meeting with all employees, twice per month
  • Recycled materials are purchased or donated from selected suppliers:
    • Empty bottles come from local companies (hotels or tourist resorts)
    • Wood is purchased from suppliers who require a state licence to operate the plant. This license is only granted if the government is convinced that the wood is obtained in an ethical manner
  • Cooperation with external groups:
    • Chako strives for long-term relationships
    • In case of need Chako grants an interest-free advance payment (50% prepayment when placing the order)
    • Artisans sign a declaration of compliance with the Fairtrade principles: Chako is in close contact with them and visits their premises regularly (even unannounced)


  • To raise awareness for environmental conservation (waste disposal, recycling)
  • To offer income opportunities for women and young people with low educational
  • To relocate the main office to a larger production building

Special features

  • Chako initiates its own campaigns and offers courses for local artisans on the conversion of old materials
  • Chako encourages the craftsmen and women to unfold their creativity and also promotes cooperation with local artists
  • Chako supports the Zenji Zanzibar Foundation which aims to create income opportunities for the islanders of Zanzibar
  • Chako aims at educating on the awareness of environmental conservation to the primary school, secondary schools and the university of Zanzibar.


Fairtrade classification

FTP = Fairtrade in Progress, new business realtionship


Fairtrade aspects

Chako complies with the following Fairtrade Principles:

No child labour

No discrimination

No discrimination due to gender, disability, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political orientation, or infection with HIV

Fair wages

  • Minimum wage on the island of Zanzibar: TZS 300.000/month (TZS = Tanzanian Shilling)
  • Wages at Chako:
    • Agreed piece wage payment, which makes monthly wages above the island minimum wage possible
  • Staff travels free

Humane working conditions

Working hours:

  • 8:00 – 16:00h / day
  • Regular breaks
  • 6 days /week (Saturday is a training day)
  • Flexible time management depending on workload

Social benefits:

  • Chako complies with national rules on annual leave and public holidays
  • Payment of medical costs
  • In case of family emergencies, Chako helps out with interest-free loans
  • Free meals are provided during working hours

Educational opportunities:

  • Training of permanent employees in various work steps
  • Further training offers depending on personal interests (e.g. PC and English lessons) as well as advanced training in general topics
  • See above under “Special features”.

Occupational safety:

  • All safety standards are met
  • Work and safety clothing is provided
  • Training of employees in the use of first aid kits and fire extinguishers
  • Two trained first aiders


  • Work contracts are available
  • Payroll is available
  • Pay slips are available
  • SAR (Self Assessment Report) was duly submitted to CONTIGO


  • Feedback interview during several visits in Germany
  • Member of
    • World Fair Trade Organisation WFTO – since 2018

Country information

See Encyclopaedia Britannica: Tanzania




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Author: Janina Lange on 10. March 2021

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