Fair Trade
Sugandhgiri – Our common stake
    Fair Trade Alliance Kerala is a collective of 4000 farmers who are engaged in sustainable farming in the Western Ghats hill tracts of Kerala. Coffee is an important component of our crop mix and we supply organic, fairtrade and SPP certified coffee to the international markets. Our coffee farmlands fall under the Western Ghats, a World Heritage site and the Nilgiri Biosphere, a global biodiversity hotspot. Small holder coffee farms are a critical part of the global coffee supply chain and within that organic, fairtrade coffee occupies pride of place. Among our membership are about 700 plus coffee farmers who belong to the tribal communities and grow forest coffee – on land allotted under stipulation that the tree cover must remain undisturbed. The coffee farms of Sugandhagiri (located near Vythiri in the Wayanad district of Kerala) are unique for the following reasons:
  • Coffee grown under forest canopy, the most ecologically sensitive way of growing coffee.
  • Coffee farms and forests stewarded by indigenous tribal communities – whose life and living have
  • the least ecological footprint.
  • Sugandhagiri project originally was an ambitious government scheme aiming to entitle land to the landless while ensuring responsible soil and ecosystem stewardship. The project had its vicissitudes and today about 500 plus indigenous tribal farming families are daring on their own to pursue the original promise of the scheme. In a climate challenged world we all have stakes in their success.
  • Fit case for embedding rewards for eco system services rendered by growers in the coffee value chain.
  • Farm lands abutting reserved forests – potential to create practical models for harmonious human – wildlife co-existence.
  • Introduction to conscientious buyers and responsible global coffee supply chains could potentially lead to long term partnerships that help improve the productivity and quality of the coffee.
  • The organisation is the first Fair Trade coffee supply chain from India and commits its coffee to buyers in the U.K, France, Italy, Canada and Switzerland.
  • Nestled amidst the scenic Wayanad hill ranges.
  • Partnerships with value chains committed to sustainable coffee production and sourcing in a climate challenged world would greatly bolster the effort of these indigenous communities to engender climate resilient coffee production.
Rebuilding Sugandhagiri   View Image Gallery