Over the last year we at Equal Exchange have been making a concerted effort to have conversations with lots of our customers. We have called hundreds and hundreds of our customers, some folks who are just starting, others who have been super stars for over a decade and some who are working hard but are still not growing.
Tea grown at the ashram.
Among the small farmer groups working with PDS are the Adivasis (tribal people), an ashram, and a convent. Here we are learning about the tea grown by nuns at the convent, and their very impressive organic composting practices.
At the ashram where in addition to their spiritual practices, they grow tea, fabricate organic compost, and raise cows to generate income and provide the local community with dairy products.
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Happy New Year!
We hope that the start to 2014 brings with it new energy and positive growth, both personally and professionally, to everyone in our Bananacado network.
Part Two: Here in South India, we can report there have been positive changes in the last few years in the effort by Peeramade Development Society (PDS) and Tea Promoters of India (TPI) to empower small tea farmers. Peeramade Development Society is a Catholic church of India based NGO that has a variety of projects to support the rural poor. Tea Promoters of India is a unique family-owned tea operation that has a foundational commitment to authentic fair trade and to small tea producers.
The following post was written by Rink Dickinson, Co-founder and Co-President of Equal Exchange
Paul Mathew, Phyllis Robinson, Binod Mohan, Rink Dickinson, O D Wilson following a tour of the tea factory
I am on a trip with my colleagues, Wells Neal, Deepak Khandelwal, and Phyllis Robinson. We have been visiting tea farmers and cashew farmers in South India. This post focuses on what we have seen on the tea part of the trip and how it relates to the overall story of small farmers in tea: that is to say; authentic fair trade in tea.
Ian Hussey y Patrick Clark have pubilshed an article about the new farmer owned certification system, the Small Producer Symbol (SPP), for its Spanish acronym), in the October edition of the New Internationalist.
We just received this summary of recent events in the world of Fair Trade certification from our friends at the Fair World Project. If you’re concerned about the integrity of labeling schemes, please read the various links which explain changes in labeling requirements, sourcing standards, and our responses to those changes.
Responses to Fairtrade International’s Fairtrade Sourcing Partnership
Rosa Guaman, Executive Director of Jambi Kiwa, an association of small medicinal herb producers in Ecuador, speaking at the Third International Gathering of the SPP
I just got back from a weeklong visit to the Dominican Republic, where a group of us--a mix of Equal Exchange staff, food co-op managers, and Interfaith liaisons--visited cacao-growing communities that belong to CONACADO Co-op, an umbrella organization of about 10,000 cacao farmers.