The state of fair trade in India – Part 1
Fair Trade is not aid, it’s better
Fair Trade in India?
Well, yes. I am moved to write “again” about Fair Trade in India because there is something to say about this wonderful country and what they do in for the Fair Trade movement worldwide. If I write again about Fair Trade, it’s because too many producers, artisans or farmers around the world are desperate for income and have no alternative but to sell to local traders. This means they are vulnerable to exploitation… and are exploited by the larger farmers, traders and other middle men of all sorts.
Even though the word Fair Trade is starting to enter the vernacular of everyday shopping life, I’d like to start this post by shortly reviewing what Fair Trade actually means. According to the Fair Trade Forum India (FTF-I), the national network for Fair Trade in India, Fair Trade is “a trading partnership based on dialogue, transparency and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers.”
So basically -as we have mentioned before in a previous post- Fair Trade is right now the best alternative to free trade. Unlike the business as usual form of trade, Fair Trade aims to extend sustainable livelihood to the less privileged people living in developing and under developed countries while still offering consumers high quality handmade products at market prices.
The importance of a national Fair Trade market in India
Fair Trade in India, though recent has developed to quite such length in this very short time as to have become one of the leading producers of Fair Trade products. Thanks to WFTO (World Fair Trade Organisation) and FTF-I, Fair Trade enables more than 100000 grassroots level rural Fair Trade producers (including artisans & farmers) to improve their businesses and chances at a decent living through greater engagement with the Fair Trade principles.
The important thing here for the global future of Fair Trade is that the FTF-I (representing the WFTO in India) is able to create an domestic market of supply and demand for Fair Trade products. Through their services and active, the FTF-I is able to promote sustainable consumption and fair services for the developing domestic market for Fair Trade in India. The Fair Trade movement in India is now getting momentum at consumer level and recent events have exacerbated the need for change.
… end of Part 1.