Fair Trade Towns Update

Push Walk

The Fair Trade Towns campaign kick started with the inspirational 20 day walk covering 450KM by Push (Pushpanath Krishnamurthy) from the shores of Pondicherry to the hills of Kotigiri. Since the walk ended in December 2015, the Fair Trade Towns movement has continued the hard work of getting organised and involving the varied local stakeholders to commit to Fair Trade. Fairtrade India, Fair Trade Forum India and Push have continued to engage with the local leaders to help build momentum.

Kotagiri and Pondicherry-Auroville are set to be India’s first Fairtrade Towns. To achieve this they are working towards these goals:
1. A wide variety of Fairtrade products are on sale in the shops and available for local government to use.
2. Cafes, stores, restaurants, hotels and workplaces are supportive of Fairtrade and use the products
3. The workers making Fairtrade goods get a fair living wage and safe working conditions.
4. Schoolchildren are taught why Fairtrade matters.
5. The general attitude is supportive of Fairtrade Towns and promotes Fairtrade values.

We can give the movement practical support in this work by fundraising and helping the communities with resource mobilisation. Pushpanath has taken on the role to raise funds for the movement and is doing so in part through his donations webpage on https://www.gopushgo.co.uk/ At the moment the need is for covering costs for Fair Trade materials, meetings, travel and training. When the Fair Trade Towns are under way there will be a range of projects to support.

The Fair Trade Towns movement have always been instrumental in galvanising the grass root movements and communities for raising awareness and instigating real change in local businesses, governments and institutions in support of our farmers and artisans. The Fair Trade Towns movement is at it’s infancy in India but with support from the global Fair Trade movement and with the tirelesswork from local pioneers like Push the movement is poised to really take off and compliment the work of Fairtrade India and Fair Trade Forum India to empower the farmer and artisan communities of India.

Ethical consumers are prepared to go further to support social and economic well-being

During the election in April and May, we had an idea about asking people what they would ‘vote’ for when it comes to their purchasing habits. So we polled people online through Facebook and Twitter to uncover more about the interests and motivations of consumers who are committed to responsible purchasing.    Though it was a fairly warm audience — 45% of people who responded were familiar with the Fairtrade mark — there were some interesting findings that emerged:

 

Farmer suicides, women’s rights as workers and child labour are the top issues for ethical consumers. Seventy-five per cent (75%) of respondents in India said that women’s rights as workers was their top issue overall; with child labour and farmer suicides coming in second and third respectively. Climate change and GM ranked well below these issues in our survey.

 

Ethical consumers are also those who are prepared to share responsibility with business. 85% of respondents also agreed that upholding the rights of workers and producers, and protecting the environment was a joint responsibility between business and consumers.
Ethical consumers are price sensitive, but not as much as you might think. Ethical consumers, were, on average, willing to spend 25% more for a product they felt was ethical.

You can read more about our survey findings in the Alternative.

Vote for the world you want

“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a VOTE for the kind of world you want” Anna Lappé

It’s election time in India, the world’s largest democracy, a time when a staggering 800+ million people go to the polls. Elections of this scale come once in every 5 years, but each and every day, more than 800 million people take decisions that have the potential to transform the lives of lakhs of farming families in our country.  By making conscious choices in what you buy, you are voting for the world you want to see.

The FAIRTRADE Mark is one way that you can have your say – when you buy a product with the Mark, you’re voting for better prices for farmers, decent working conditions, empowering communities, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers alike.

We don’t think that consumption is the only way to achieve all of these things, there’s an important role for governments too.  You need to be informed before you go to the polls – about what the candidates stand for, and how each meets your own values and expectations. Why not extend your knowledge to your everyday choices as well?

Buying ethically enables you to have an immediate influence on economic, social and environmental justice. It can transform business by making them respond to higher demands from consumers, too. And most importantly, it helps the marginal farmers to live a life of dignity, not only meeting their everyday needs, but also investing towards a brighter future for themselves and their families.

So cast your vote: BUY FAIRTRADE!

 To find out more about what products are available and where you can buy Fairtrade, click here.

Welcome from Abhishek Jani, CEO of Fairtrade India

I am delighted to be part of the burgeoning ethical consumer movement in India, helping to build a movement that has the potential to benefit thousands and lakhs of farmers and workers.

Fairtrade is the world’s most recognised ethical label that aims to connect disadvantaged producers with businesses and consumers at fair prices. We have been working with farmers and workers in India for over 19 years to supply Fairtrade products to the international markets, returning nearly Rs. 20 additional crores to Indian farmers and workers in the last year alone.

All this is done through simple and powerful ideas of-

  • Enabling producers to get organised- thus unlocking their collective energy in local communities, production and in markets

  • Setting up mechanisms like minimum support price, access to finance, production standards to ensure that the markets work for and reward the producers rather than the other way round

  • Increasing transparency and accountability across the entire production chain

  • To make each one of us realise the power of our choices- that whatever we choose individually as citizens, as consumers as organisations have a direct impact on how resources get allocated and what producers earn as their livelihoods

  • And finally, making the linkages and connecting the producers with the consumers and businesses to ensure that a virtuous cycle of mutual benefit and support is sustained.

With our official launch in November of 2013, following on from the successful launch of Indian grown products already, we now aim to expand the consumer market for Fairtrade in India, benefitting Indian producers even further. Fairtrade provides consumers with tangible and credible options to make consumption choices in line with their values. Simple every day choices that bring sustainability for farmers, environment and businesses.

Whether you’re a farmer, a consumer, a civil society organisation, a retailer or a business, there is a place for you in our growing movement. Please take the time to browse these pages to find out more about the FAIRTRADE Mark, and what it means….or better yet, get in touch with us directly.

There is no better time to get involved in contributing to a better future for India.

Sincerely,

Abhishek Jani

CEO

Fairtrade Foundation India

Ring: 080-41488773