Malindi Handcraft Co-operative Society

(For-profit organisation)

The Malindi Handcraft Co-operative Society was registered in 1986 under the Kenya Co-operative Act with a beginning membership of 30 highly skilled woodcarver artisans. The primary aim of the formation of the co-operative was to give the power of business ownership back to the people, in this case the woodcarvers. The Malindi handicraft co-operative society operates from Muyeye village of Malindi town in the Coast of Kenya.

Malindi Handcrafts today is the second largest handicraft co-operative in Kenya. They now own land, and on-sight carving village, where woodcarvers create their art, it has become a major tourist attraction in Malindi, Kenya.

Malindi Handcrafts mission is to empower the members to take control of and expand their own entrepreneurial spirit and to create beautiful, socially & environmentally responsible products that best represent their culture, heritage, and traditions.

The organization is currently partnering with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Kenya Gatsby Trust to gain certification in the good woods program. This program serves to transition carvers from using traditional slow growth hardwoods to faster growing and sustainable good woods. Part of this program creates sustainable forests from which they will buy wood. Farmers and owners of these forests must also be certified to sell the wood; thus providing a complete history of origin for each piece of wood through its life from seedling to finished art. Additionally, Malindi handcraft is showing civic pride through community clean-ups & beautification projects, tree planting, and by sponsoring the local arts.

Year established


Participant in relevant networks

The Cooperation for Fair Trade in Africa - COFTA

About this organisation

Partnership types

Doing business with the poor; Provision of goods

Regions / countries / territories

Africa: Kenya

Global issues

Trade and development

Goods categories

Arts, crafts & toys

Business sectors

Arts and culture; Forestry