Every year students from Deakin University, Australia visit FTF-I to explore Fair Trade in India. This year it was no different -two enthusiastic students Ms. Samantha Michelson and Mr. Oscar Bitton visited FTF-I to understand various aspects of Fair Trade and its impact on the artisans. The duo visited numerous FTO’s and FT actors to… Continue reading The Australian Visitors
Ms. Carla Wefers interned with FTF-I for around 2 and half months and during this internship she not only explored various aspects of Fair Trade but also interviewed several fair Trade Leaders and collected information about various Fair Trade Organizations in India through Survey Forms, Physical Visits and over Skype/telephone. In her report, she writes that… Continue reading FTF-I bids adieu to Carla
We are always proud to share our experience with interns and volunteers. We help them in connecting with our member organisations, to provide them a clear understating on how Fair Trade organizations are working and have a fair idea on the condition of the artisans at the grassroot level. It is always great to see… Continue reading FTFI welcoming its new intern from Germany
FTF-I values and appreciate the interns and volunteers coming from all over the world and contribute with their skills in the growth of the organization. These interns play a very important role in achieving our mission. In return they get the opportunity to visit our member organizations, which provides a wide scope for learning. They get the opportunity to meet the artisans working at the grassroots level.
Interns from Deakin University, Shani and Rebakah visited our members in Delhi and shared their exciting experience. Have a read what they think about Fair Trade and how our members are working for a fair future.Link to the Blog written by interns
This time, in our winter internship programme, we got the opportunity to welcome very talented students from Management background from Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), Delhi and Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Sciences (NMIMS), Mumbai successfully completed their internship program at our Delhi office.
A Special write up from our intern, Mr Rohit, IIFT
As part of the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) NGO Partnership program students were required to choose an NGO from the list of participating NGOs in the program. I chose Fair Trade Forum-India out of many options. The reason I chose FTF-I was that I thought that as the NGO has something to do with ‘trade’, this would align more closely with what we are learning and practicing at IIFT, Delhi. Little did I know at that time that FTF-I (part of Fair Trade International world community) was much more than trade. It is doing something truly different than most of the other NGOs.
The first day, we met the staff and we were surprised to see our 3 week schedule was already prepared with the objectives and deliverables. My work, quite aligned to my profile, dealt with preparing a compendium on research papers and literature on Fair Trade which will be of help to FTF-I in preparing the Fair Trade Status Report.
Apart from that the 2 of us had to prepare a Shopping Guide for the customers who have an eye for Fair Trade products. In it we prepared the pitching material for the producer and marketing organization linked to FTF-India.
Fair Trade is quite different from the Free Trade. Most of us would have heard about the WTO, the nodal organization for the promotion of free trade. Fair Trade International and World Fair Trade Organisation work in Fair Trade domain. Fair trade traces its beginnings to the ideas propounded by Max Havelaar and Barrett.
You would be wondering what really is Fair Trade….?
Fair Trade, contrary to free market hypothesis, focuses on the well-being, both socially and economically, of the workers and producers working away at the bottom of the pyramid in South countries. It seeks to protect the artisans, producers, vendors and others from the vagaries of free-trade price shocks by building long term and organic relationships between the North Consumers and South Producers. It seeks to incorporate a meaningful social premium while pricing the goods. In achieving its objectives, it makes sure that the products satisfy the environmental standards and child labour standards and social justice is rendered. Fair Trade Forum-India is part of the Asian Chapter of World Fair Trade Organisation. Apart from certifying various manufacturing, producing and marketing organizations as Fair Trade complying, it also conducts regular workshops, Fair Trade Fests and Trade Fairs in order to find new ethical consumers for the products and spread the message to every nook and cranny of our country. From time to time it has looked for new partnerships, especially with E-commerce ventures and online marketers in order to keep up with the present times of digital age and is trying to use the online medium to raise more awareness about the Fair Trade.
From the list of members of FTF I, we could learn that most of the FTOs are doing a tremendous job at hand. They really are creating some niche products from the ethically sought and merrily provided labour of artisans, farmers, handicraft makers, weavers, workers and countless others…
In order to fill some verve and excitement we were given an option to visit some of the Fair Trade Shops (I almost forgot to add FTF shops. This is an initiative to bring Fair Trade products in limelight and an attempt to mainstream the products into conventional markets.) Nikhil and I lapped up this opportunity and visited Aprajita Trust in Qutab Institutional Area and MESH (Maximizing Employment to Serve the Handicapped) shop near Ansal Plaza in Delhi.
The former is a shop run by Aprajita Trust, sheltered in the serene surroundings of Qutab Institutional Area and the Sanjay Van. From the discussion we had with the shop manager we could gather that the shop acted as a nodal point for exporting and selling handicrafts sought from weavers and artisans to business clients.
On the other hand, MESH shop seeks most of its products from people afflicted with leprosy and differently-abled people. The shop manager, himself afflicted with leprosy, was the most joyous and active person I have had seen in my life. He is the epitome of hardwork who in many ways is responsible for the oft-quoted cliché: where there is will there is a way… A polite request for a mugshot was enough to persuade him to stand by our side and smile in his disarming way.
Cheers to the life and Fair Trade Forum India! Smile for the shutterbugs please….
Fair Trade Forum – India offers internship opportunities to the students of various backgrounds to make them understand the working of Fair Trade members in India and send them on the field visits to know more about the artisans and producers working at the grassroots level.
Mr OP Yadav and Mr Khitish Pandya attended the NGO meeting organized by Indian Institute of Foreign Trade for the arranging internship for the students. The meeting started with the welcome address by CP (GSD). CP (GSD) acknowledged the efforts made by NGOs towards sensitizing IIFT students in the social issues.
Director of IIFT welcomed the representatives of NGOs by welcoming them in the meeting. He mentioned that IIFT is completing 10 years of its association with NGOs for developing Social Awareness amongst its students. IIFT is one of the very few B-Schools which awards credits to students and evaluate their performance for the NGO attachment.
With objective of the initiative to sensitize the students to focus on the welfare of the under privileged in the society IIFT organized this meeting where OP Yadav and Mr Khitish Pandya represented FTF-I.
Institute solicited the cooperation of the NGOs for the Skill Development of students on various aspects of social engineering with this purpose FTF-I will consider offering internship to student of IIFT.
Director, IIFT, opined that the initiative will encourage the Global Managers of tomorrow to be socially responsible in their future corporate assignments. It was emphasized by Director that IIFT is committed towards the social transformation of the students and thus devotes considerable academic time for NGO activities. It was mentioned that courses on ethics and values are included in the academic curriculum of IIFT to sensitize our students regarding social values.
During the internship period, students will be exposed to the best practices adopted by all Fair Trade Member organizations, our best practices, cherished values, challenges and core activities. This interaction session with various Fair Trade organisations will sensitize the students on the selfless efforts towards the welfare of the underprivileged in the society.
Students will be educated and informed about the projects and a mechanism which will benefit them to understand a new angle for the society.
IIFT also informed that 69 NGO projects submitted by the MBA (IB) 2014-16 batch have been displayed in the library; we are hoping that Fair Trade information will also be presented with a summary about Fair Trade Forum – India brief note on the website as well.
IIFT initiated the Social Awareness Programme in 2005, in which about 2000 students have since been benefitted under the programme. This will be a three weeks programme based on the students’ preferences.
Director also apprised about the Social Initiatives which are taken by IIFT students. It was mentioned that students developed a mobile application for women’s safety named as WISH – Women in Safe Hands. The launch was followed by a Marathon with the theme – Run for Women’s Safety. This session was also attended by Fair Trade Forum – India by Ms Amy and Ms Sadhna.