Pratima Organic Grower Group was founded in 2003 and became Fairtrade certified in 2010. It has more than 3,500 members who cultivate around 4,500 hectares of land. It is dedicated to 100% organic and Fairtrade production.
- Annual production capacity: 40,000 bales
- Number of farmers: 3,683 – approximately 10% are women
Pratima is located in the state of Odisha. This is one of the poorest regions in India. Over 42 million people live in the state, with the majority of them working in the agricultural sector. Drought and irrigation problems have had major impacts on the sector and many people have moved away in search of other employment opportunities.
Pratima has a democratic structure, with an executive committee of farmers elected every three years. Annual General Meetings are held and all decisions are taken democratically. As Pratima has its own GOTS certified ginning mill on-site, farmers are able to weigh their cotton themselves at the mill before this is verified in front of a farmer representative.
In order to help farmers generate sufficient incomes, Pratima run information events for its members. These help farmers to identify alternate income generating opportunities.
The Fairtrade Premium is an additional sum of money which goes into a communal fund for workers and farmers to use – as they see fit – to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions.
One of the most significant projects that Pratima has used the Fairtrade Premium towards is the community centre. This provides extra space for families, and electricity for children to do their homework.
Pratima is using some of the Fairtrade Premium to establish a fund from which women's self-help groups can seek loans to set up income generating activities like brick making, tailoring and aquaculture initiatives.
The Fairtrade Premium has also been used towards establishing drinking water pumps, water-harvesting structures and farm ponds and to provide seeds and other agricultural inputs to farmers. Female only changing rooms have also been built by the ponds where villagers bathe.
Pratima also invests their Premium in 600 - 700 scholarships for school children every year.
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