Raju Ganapathy is a Fairtrade liaison officer in India, working to support producers to become Fairtrade certified and train them on the Standards. In this blog, he talks about his training methods and his use of new technology to support producer organizations (SPOs).
“I felt very secure behind the fence,” said the goat.
“I was very frustrated,” said the tiger.
“Of course, we did not let the tiger get the goat,” said the fence.
What have tigers and goats got to do with Fairtrade? Well this is actually a role play I used during a recent ‘training of trainers’ organized by the All India Fairtrade Producers Association and Fairtrade International and attended by representatives from Indian SPOs.
I explained to the participants that the SPO is the fence, protecting individual small growers from market “predators”.
The training is offered as a 3-phase program. This first phase focused on the Fairtrade Standards and was held in Nedumkandam, so that participants could meet and interact with members of Manarcadu Social Service Society, a “veteran” SPO which has been Fairtrade certified for many years. The second and third phases, covering social compliance, audit process and communication will follow later this year.
Subramaniam, the president of a mango growers association, was so inspired by the role play that he wants to do direct export of mango pulp in 2015. The participants have also formed a WhatsApp groupto keep in touch and inspire one another, which has already been very active!
Fairtrade is constantly evolving to meet the needs of producers.