India: Organic and Fair Trade in Kerala
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
The domestic market for organic products in India has done some important steps in the last years. One of the enterprises which is a strong motor of this development is called Sresta pvt.Ltd. (we reported earlier). Sresta also has farming projects also in Kerala (picture: Raj Seelam, CEO of Sresta). The Fair Trade Alliance Kerala (FTAK) with 3600 members is a further important player and one of the six case studies selected by the Geofairtrade Project, founded in 2006. Half of the farmers are certified organic already and FTAK aims for all farmers being organic. A host of tropical products is grown, like cashew, coconut palms, coffee, cocoa, pepper, nutmeg, vanilla and other spices. Finding a market for each fair-trade certified crop has been a challenge.
A partnership with Elements Homestead Products Pvt. Ltd and its marketing associate Pakka AG , a Swiss ethical business initiative, allowed for market access, pre-financing, quality guidance, market information and promotion of FTAK's products. Elements Homestead Products is ensuring that the high-quality crops undergo a fine post-harvest processing, generally in third-party industries. Pakka AG coats cashew nuts with organic and fair-trade spices under its own brand. Coffee is shelled, graded and bagged in facilities adapted to the quality required by the speciality market. The marketing success not only improves farmers' incomes, but also empowers the FTAK general assembly and its board to realise projects for the social wellbeing of the farming communities. A community kitchen, solar panels and bicycles for schools are typical examples. A revolving micro-credit fund was set up in a remote and disadvantaged area for farmers, whose crop and livelihoods were devastated by a new crop disease.
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