FTAK
Fair Trade Alliance Kerala
       Established in the year 2005 Fair Trade Alliance Kerala (FTAK) is an organization of small holder farmers drawn from the hilly regions of the western Ghats of Kerala....
Established in the year 2005 Fair Trade Alliance Kerala (FTAK) is an organization of small holder farmers drawn from the hilly regions of the western Ghats of Kerala. The organization evolved as a response to the agrarian crisis of poverty and indebtedness that gripped Kerala during the beginning of the 21st century, when producers were not even getting the cost of production for much of their produce. FTAK aimed to address the crisis and to try and find solutions. This led to collaborative action with producers, distributors and consumers to try and create a more just system, where trade is not just to make profit but is an exchange with a human face. FTAK aims to ensure that small scale farming is a sustainable occupation. Through working under Fair Trade principles farmers are given a fair price for their products and sustainable farming means that farming protects and nurtures the land as well as the workers.

Aims and Objectives
a. To promote the overall welfare of the farmers by enhancing the unity among farmers, introducing agricultural operations which are suitable for nature as well as the human community and also ensuring the participation of farmers in the production, processing and distribution of agricultural products.
b. To introduce plans and programmes which helps the farmers to market their products at a reasonable price.
c. To promote ancillary activities for making agriculture profitable.
d. To introduce and promote the quality of the agricultural products.
e. To encourage self confidence, mutual understanding and unity among farmers.
f. To constitute cells of farmers at Panchayath , District and State levels.

The Fair Trade Alliance Kerala(FTAK) is

  • The only mass based, farmer led movement in Kerala focusing solely in justice concerns in trade
  • Uniquely positioned to offer the Fair Trade market high value products including a range of spices, cashew , coffee, tea, honey and other products
  • Set amidst unique geographical advantages that produces some the best quality items of cashew, spices and coffee globally
  • Originating from a socioeconomic and political climate where genuine social concerns of fair trade also have wide social sanction and legal acceptance
  • The organization draws its membership and movement character from mass movements of farmers in Kerala, especially those movements in the forefront of the struggle against rural appropriation and farmers indebtedness
  • Fair Trade Alliance Kerala is however solely focused on issues related to trade justice and views fair-trade as an important tool in its effort to regain for the farmer his/her rightful place in the global economic regime
  • Our cashews, coffee, cocoa, coconut and spices have been certified by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation. All our products are organic or transitioning to becoming organic.
Structure
       FTAK is a democratic organisation. The entire business is carried out by elected members from the grass roots, to the state level. FTAK's day to day affairs are......
FTAK is a democratic organisation. The entire business is carried out by elected members from the grass roots, to the state level. FTAK's day to day affairs are managed by the executive committee, assisted by paid staff.
Trading & partners
       Elements is the promoter and trading partner of FTAK elementsindia.org....
FDescription Elements is the promoter and trading partner of FTAK elementsindia.org Pakka pakka.ch Liberation chooseliberation.com Twin Trading twin.org.co.uk Equal Exchange (Collect site address) Altromercato Ethiquable Traidcraft Altereco Visionarysoaps
Achievements
      Fair Trade Alliance Kerala provides a platform for farmers to come together, reflect, and decide on their own course of action.....
  Fair Trade Alliance Kerala provides a platform for farmers to come together, reflect, and decide on their own course of action. The farmers are given the control to take decisions for themselves over pricing, operations and sustainable development. Since its inception in 2005, FTAK has been active in the international Fairtrade commodity market. The flagship products of the organization are cashew, followed by coffee and spices. About 2100 metric tons of Fair Trade Cashew has been sourced from the Kannur and Kasaragod Districts of Kerala under the fair trade system whose commercial kernel value is in the region of around Indian Rupees (INR) 200 million. Because of the farmers' own conviction, FTAK have led a shift to organic farming. Now all members are either organic or working towards it. FTAK recognise that smallholder farming is a family affair, however because of the traditional culture the wives are often left in the supportive role and are not considered equal partners. FTAK is putting effort into bringing women to the forefront and instilling in them a sense that they are equal partners and should be a participative member in the decision making process. Following a very successful pilot, this February FTAK were proud to inaugaurate the new women's group which will look at income generation projects and empowerment programmes for the female FTAK members By selling to Fairtrade partners the member farmers have realized nearly 20million INR (approx $440,000) compared to the prevailing market prices for raw nuts. Nearly 14 containers coffee worth 30million INR and spices worth About 3million has also been exported under fair trade procuring these from the farmers at prices considerably higher than the prevailing market prices. The trade has also resulted in the organization securing a fair-trade social premium of INR 5million (approx $110,000), which is to be invested in the common facilities, which benefits, not just the members, but the wider community. To date we have funded the following social premium projects:
  • Organic agriculture promotion
  • Distribution of agricultural tools
  • Training and workshops on 'Zero budget farming'
  • Community kitchen for school children
  • Solar paneling for an alternative energy source for a school
  • Solar fencing for farmers to prevent wild animals entering the farm
  • Cash award for the gold standard FTAK farmer
  • Community water supply programme
  • Jaiva Jeeva Dhara programme- income generation programme
  • Women empowerment programme
Fair & sustainable agriculture
       Fair Trade Alliance Kerala is committed to Fair Trade and to promoting organic agriculture.....

What is Fair Trade?
  "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-especially in the South. Fair Trade Organizations are backed by consumer are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade." Internationally agreed definition by FINE.
Fair trade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
Generally Fair Trade works with producers who are organised into empowering structures so they have a greater say and a louder voice on the world market. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fair Trade address the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against to poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.
The FAIRTRADE mark is awarded to products which meet the Fairtrade standards. To achieve the mark the organisation is audited by an independent body called FLO CERT. At FTAK our coffee, cashew, cocoa, coconut and spices are Fairtrade certified. For more information about Fairtrade certification please visit: www.fairtrade.net

What is sustainable development?
   Sustainable development is a development process that respects and recognises the inherent boundaries of natural resources. It does not believe in exploitation of natural resources which in turns destroys the delicate balance of the eco system. It recognises the right to exist and develop for all organisms and that humans have to play an active contributor and steward role in doing this. FTAK believe that organic agriculture is the only sustainable agricultural development process. It means that people get safe, non toxic food and the environment isn't damaged in the farming process. FTAK farmers are committed to be or working towards organic agriculture in its entire sense.

What is organic?
  Organic foods are those that are produced using environmentally sound methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives.
The Kerala Model
        Fair Trade Alliaance kerala- An effort to protect the gains of 'The Kerala Model' ....

  The quality of life enjoyed by the people of Kerala has been the subject of Academic curiosity for some years now. On several key development indices, it seems to match some of the developed economies of the world. The curiosity factor stems from the fact that this has been made possible with a per capita income that is less than the Indian national average. This phenomena has become known as 'The Kerala Model.
  • Distributive justice , higher quality of life indices agrarian mobilization , rights consciousness, unionized workforce, statutory food distribution, universal literacy….The gains of the celebrated kerala model are being steadily fritted away due to the compusions of global economic competition
  • Fair trade alliance intents to use the enabling the conditions of fair trade to try and prove that keralas achievements in the social sphere need not and should not be competitive disadvantages in the global economy. In fact it posits the case that the social quality of its goods and services are USPs that the discerning, justice-tuned global consumer would identify with.
  • It visualizes a ripple effect were the growing popularity of fair-trade would, sooner than later make a compelling case for other states in india and other countries in the southern hemisphere to proactively focus on concerns of equity and justice as imperatives for long term survival in the global market place

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