Fair Trade Alliance Kerala
FTAK was Fairtrade certified in 2006 for a wide range of products: cocoa, coffee, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, mace, black and white pepper, cardamom, turmeric, cashew nuts, and coconuts.On top of the Fairtrade Minimum Price, the cooperative is paid a Fairtrade Premium, an additional sum to invest in business or social projects selected by FTAK’s members.
Fairtrade Premium Projects:
A large part of the Fairtrade Premium is invested in converting farms to organic production so that farmers can benefit from higher prices and access premium markets. It is also used to help farmers meet organic certification costs.
The premium has been invested in solar powered electric fencing to protect farms on the edge of forests from the local elephants. The fences provide a mild shock to deter the animals and prevent the destruction of their crops.
FTAK has invested the premium in a disaster management fund. This is very important, especially for the farmers on the hillsides. At monsoon time there are landslides which can wreak havoc. Government aid is often delayed and inadequate and the farmers need immediate assistance, especially when they are left homeless and their crops destroyed.
FTAK also uses the premium to make cash payments to members and has invested in the construction of new office premises.