Friday, March 22, 2013

Fair Trade + 3

I recently met up with Tomy Matthew who came over to Edinburgh during Fairtrade Fortnight. Tomy is one of the founders of Fair Trade Alliance Kerala (FTAK) and remains the Promoter of the organisation. At our meeting Tomy let me know about FTAK's plans and the new challenges they are facing. Basically it was all so interesting that it warranted re-launching this blog! This blog will continue to focus on Fair Trade in India and in particular focus on the innovative model that FTAK are developing.

So without further ado, introducing FTAK's : FAIR TRADE + 3!

This blog post will give you a snapshot of the big idea and the next three blog posts will explore the strands in more detail.

To set some context, over the past few years the Fairtrade certified market has boomed to £1.57 billion in the UK. Great news! However as discussed in an earlier blog post, smaller alternative trading organisations are increasingly struggling to compete with companies who do the minimum to meet the Fairtrade certification requirements (and are therefore often cheaper). So with this in mind the Fair Trade Alliance Kerala farmers realised they needed to go beyond Fair Trade and have launched a three year programme 'Fair Trade + 3'

The three cornerstones of this programme are:

1. Biodiversity 

Aim: each FTAK farmer should support a farm with the biodiversity of a tropical rainforest

2. Food security 

Aim: Each farmer should be a net producer of food. This means they produce the calorie value needed to feed their family.

 The unusual looking jackfruits!

3. Gender 

Aim: Changing power structures so women are able to take on decision making roles

I'm really impressed by FTAK's move to keep innovating and to think and re-think about what the role of food producers can and should be.
Next blog post to come in a couple of weeks time!

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