Fairtrade India has officially launched in Bangalore this week, with an aim to encourage the sale of Fairtrade products on the Indian market.
-Fairtrade India will focus on selling Indian-produced Fairtrade products to the Indian market
-Initial Fairtrade products available to buy in India will include tea, spices, coffee, cotton and nuts
-Moving beyond south-north trade model, India follows Brazil, South Africa and Kenya into the market
Indian farmers and workers have been key contributors to the thriving international Fairtrade movement of small holder producers, workers, unique brands and exporters. In 2012, global sales of Fairtrade products reached 4.8bn Euros, benefitting smallholder farmers and workers across the world. An additional 2.4 million Euros was received by Indian farmers and workers as Fairtrade Premium above what they would otherwise have received in the market.
The success of Fairtrade has demonstrated that consumers are willing to make active ethical choices in the market that have direct impact on poverty reduction.
Fairtrade India is now aiming to build on the success of the export model, to sell Fairtrade products directly to the growing Indian market to further benefit the most vulnerable and marginalised producers, while helping the environment, and raising awareness.
Abhishek Jani, CEO of Fairtrade India, says: 'This is an exciting opportunity for India to demonstrate that it can actually lead on ethical consumption and show its support for our small farmers. Buying Fairtrade is an immediate way for us to directly support the poorest farmers, and the environment,'
Tomy Matthew, Chair of Association of Indian Fairtrade Producers, added: 'Fairtrade has made a tangible difference in the lives of Indian farmers. We’ve been able to invest in our communities, and have greater power in our trading relationships thanks to the Fairtrade movement. With the launch of Fairtrade India, we now have a chance to increase the impact much further,'
Fairtrade is an alternative approach to conventional trade and is based on a partnership between producers and consumers. Fairtrade offers producers a better deal, ensures protection of the environment and empowerment of the vulnerable in the rural societies. It allows producers the opportunity to improve their lives and plan for their future. Fairtrade offers consumers a powerful way to reduce poverty through their everyday choices.
When a product carries the FAIRTRADE Mark it means the producers and traders have met Fairtrade Standards. The Standards are designed to address the imbalance of power in trading relationships, unstable markets and the injustices of conventional trade.
Fairtrade India has been set up as a Section 25, not-for-profit company. The official launch date is 21st November, 2013, at Alliance Francaise in Bangalore.
In March 2013, Abhishek Jani was appointed its first Chief Executive and its Board members now include producers and Fairtrade experts alike.