On the Road to Shanghai: Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI)'s Jeff Carrier Travels to China Where Green Label Plus Gains Influence in the Chinese Carpet IndustryIn June, CRI Sustainability and IAQ Program Manager Jeff Carrier and Vice-President Frank Hurd traveled to China to meet with representatives of the Chinese Carpet Industry Association (CCIA), at the association’s headquarters in Tian Jian, near Beijing. The trip, according to Hurd, was designed to strengthen CRI’s current relationships with CCIA and its members, specifically regarding the use of the Green Label Plus standard for indoor air quality testing. China is the largest user of GLP outside of the U.S., with 21 mills participating.
Here are some of Jeff’s notes from his trip to China:
“We spent the first couple of days in Shanghai visiting the World Expo 2010. Carpet and rugs were a prominent feature in the history and current economies of many countries throughout the world. It really gave a great sense of the history involved and reminded me just how diverse the universe of carpets and rugs is.
One of the artisans at the expo demonstrating the art of creating a hand woven rug.
An ancient loom on display at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. Frank and I were able to visit the expo and saw that carpet and rugs figure prominently into the history and economy of many countries around the world.
Also went to some ancient tourist village. It was hot but charming, and we walked all day in a crowded marketplace full of shops and booths. That night we took a train to Tian Jian (near Beijing, the location of the Chinese Carpet Industry Association offices). Meetings, presentation on Green Label Plus (GLP), NSF-140, CARE, and technical issues followed by a dinner.
Next morning, June 19th , Frank and I split up. He went to Beijing with Madame Zhang (CCIA President) and I went to Xining in the Qinghai province. Xining hosts the annual Qinghai Tibetan World Carpet Exhibition. Hand and Machine Woven rug producers from China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Nepal, and Tibet display their rugs and conduct business. The night we arrived, I had dinner with the Secretary General of the Chinese Tibetan Carpet Association. The next morning was the opening ceremony. I was interviewed by about four Chinese news channels. I was given the royal treatment the whole time. GLP was prominent at the exhibition. [See photo above: Green Label Plus was featured prominently at the Qinghai Tibetan Carpet Exposition. I gave about four interviews for Chinese television about my impressions of the expo.] Opening banquet that night.
Examining one of the incredible rugs on display at the Qinghai Tibetan Carpets International Exposition
The next day I visited the Exhibition a little more and then went to a meeting with the Vice Governor of the Province. With the representatives of the other nations’ carpet and rug industry and export/import associations, we discussed ideas on how to improve the Exhibition and also the health of the hand woven rug industry. That afternoon I took a nap and slept. Went to the awards banquet that night (in Chinese, no idea who won what). Next day, we took a sightseeing trip to Heavenly Lake. This was my trip up and down a mountain on what I called “The Highway of Certain Death”. I don’t know how we survived. The next morning I had one more meeting with the Chinese Tibetan Carpet Association and then flew to Shanghai.
The next day, we went on some walking tours around Shanghai and went to the Jade Buddha Temple. It was really interesting. The tea tasting room was a lot of fun. The girl there spoke excellent English and really gave a good presentation. That night we took a river boat trip to see the skyline. That was beautiful.
Next morning started the long journey back.
Overall impression, CRI members concentrate on the US market but no industry is an island. Increasingly, the interests of our membership are expanding outside U.S. borders and there is a huge presence of makers and buyers out there that we need to know for the benefit of our members. This trip helped introduce us to a large contingent of those peers.”
Thanks, Jeff – this was fascinating – glad you are back safe and sound!!!