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AT ASHA HANDICRAFTS, A FAIR TRADE CERTIFIED LABEL GUARANTEES:  

 
  • A Fair Price 
  • Quality Handicraft Products 
  • Welfare of the Artisan Community 
  • Dedication to protecting & preserving the Environment 
 

India has always been renowned for its rich silk fabrics, woodcarvings and carpets. However, many of these products are produced in conditions of abject poverty for the craftsmen, exploited by large producers and moneylenders. Asha Handicrafts is a not-for-profit making body, based in Mumbai, India, working to promote Fair Trade and Fair Trade practices. As a member organization of the World Fair Trade Organization, Asha Handicrafts ensures that the benefits of handicraft production reach the craftspeople themselves. Asha Handicrafts is helping to spread the concepts and benefits of Fair Trading in India and abroad. Asha means "HOPE" in Sanskrit. Thousands of artisans and producer groups depend on Asha Handicrafts for assistance throughout India. Asha Handicrafts Association is a society formed with the objective of preserving crafts of India through marketing them abroad and providing training in craft development. To apply the surplus generated from the business to fulfill the objective of the association and engage in acts of charitable nature.

FAIR TRADE in INDIA The World Fair Trade Organisation: Fair Trade Organization Mark (FTO Mark), this identifies organizations that practice Fair Trade. Values of Fair Trade: To put people before profits. To do business with a view to transforming lives. Ensure producers get a fair share of the retail value of their product. Ensure no child labor is involved in the production process.

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 (backed by consumers) are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade". NGO’s and Fair Trade Advocates, such as Asha Handicrafts, forge strong links with Artisan and Agricultural groups, producers and laboures, educational, church, political and business groups – they bring together an advance in the Fair Trade Movement. Therefore as more consumers begin to participate in a system works for a common vision: A just world where traders benefit from the fruits of their labor, through a system that makes commerce work for all.

Strategic Intent Of Fair Trade

  • Focused Trade and Exchange with marginalized producers and workers to assist preservation of their crafts and industries towards a position of economic self-sufficiency.
  • Empowerment of producers and workers as primary stakeholders in their own organizations.
  • Promote greater equity in international trade. 

 Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach to empowering developing country producers and promoting sustainability. Asha has been part of the Fair Trade fraternity and has been conducting various activities to promote Fair Trade and advocate its principles.
The National Convention of Fair Trade Forum – India (FTF–I) was organized with the topic – “The Role of Fair Trade in Responsible Consumerism”. More than 100 delegates representing FTF–I member organizations, NGOs, development organizations, SHGs, cooperative and media, personnel who share concerns with the Fair Trade Movement participated in the convention. The convention discussed the present potential and the future role of ‘Fair Trade’ towards contributing to poverty reduction strategies in India. Youth are considered as the future of the nation. We organized a two-day workshop on the topic - Taking Fair Trade to Consumers” for 35 youth from various colleges and institutions of Mumbai to educate them on the cause of Fair Trade. A “Fair Trade Club” thus was formed. On the occasion of World Fair Trade Day, Asha takes concrete steps to reach out to the Corporates to make them aware about their social responsibility with the involvement of Fair Trade and how Fair Trade is making an impact in the lives of thousands of artisans and their children throughout the country. Fashion shows with Fairly Traded products from different states produced by artisans were presented by a youth group from Mumbai. Many Corporates came forward to join hands with Fair Trade such as ABN Amro Bank, Magic Eye, Kotak Bank, L & T, TCS and VSNL.

Fair Trade is getting the needed recognition as an effective tool for sustainable development and ‘Karigar’ – the domestic Fair Trade shop was started with the intention of tapping the local producers and creating a sustainable livelihood for them. Karigar the local brand of Asha will promote Fair Trade to Indian consumers. A new project on Fair Trade Advocacy was initiated, funded by ABN Amro Foundation India & Cordaid Netherlands. The project will build the capacities of 50 small & medium enterprises (SMEs) through Fair Trade Training & Workshops to understand the concept of fair trade, the needs of the Indian consumer, and increase in sales through venturing into the domestic fair trade market. At the local front, through this project, awareness will be created in Corporates, Colleges, Clubs & other Institutes which are based in Mumbai about Fair Trade & its basic principles. Fair Trade promotes greater justice through the act of trade. Fair Trade is an innovative, market-based approach to sustainable development. Fair Trade works proactively towards sustainable development of Artisans & Agriculturalists by offering fair and just trading avenues, enabling communities to play an active part in their own development. Through fair trade, consumers make a choice to purchase and support marginalized producers and workers. It provides a world of business in which third world producers can have access to international markets, receive fair prices for their work and develop a sustainable business capacity to support their families and create a reliable marketplace future.