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.