Organisations active in India

Fair Trade Organisation (FAIR TRADE)
Beesdseweg 5
4100 AC Culemborg
Tel:0345 - 545 151 / 513 744
Fax:0345 - 521423

Postal Address:
P.O. Box 115
4100 AC Culemborg

The objective of the Fair Trade Organisation is to promote fair trade. They purchase a broad assortment of products from craftsmen and farmers in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and resell them here in the Third World Shops, supermarkets and the Fair Trade Shops. Fair Trade coffee is, moreover, sold to numerous companies, organisations and government authorities.

By supplying products under the principles of fair trade, farmers and craftsmen are able to build up a better existence for both themselves and their children. Their self-respect grows, and they are encouraged to take initiatives and to develop their business further. Frequently, other people in their environment also benefit from these developments.

For consumers in the Netherlands and Belgium, the brand name Fair Trade offers the reassuring certainty that the products have been purchased according to the principles of Fair Trade and, consequently, the makers of the products receive everything they are entitled to. Occasionally this means that the price is slightly higher, but this is certainly not always the case. A Max Havelaar label has been created, primarily on the initiative of Fair Trade Organisation; this label enables other businesses to offer the same certainty. It guarantees, amongst other things, that the products have been purchased directly and that a fair price has been paid for them. The Max Havelaar label is applicable to a number of product groups. All the Fair Trade products which fall into these groups bear the Max Havelaar label.

FAIR TRADE was established in 1959 under the name SOS, later it became the SOS Wereldhandel. Since 1994, they are known as the Fair Trade Organisation and Fair Trade Assistance.

The Fair Trade Organisation employs 110 people, Fair Trade Assistance 18. The Fair Trade Organisation handles an assortment of 2,700 products purchased from organisations of craftsmen and farmers in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The assortment includes foodstuffs (coffee, tea, rice, wine, chocolate, chocolate confetti, peanut butter) and handicraft (toys, earthenware, crockery, household goods, art, utensils). We have long-term trade relations with approximately 120 producersí organisations in 30 countries. The Fair Trade Organisation is active in the Netherlands (with a turnover of 17 million euro in 2000) and Belgium turnover 1.2 million euro in 2000). In 2000 Fair Trade Assistance gave assistance to 80 trade partners, valued at about 1.3 million euro. The majority of its activities are financed externally.

In India Fair Trade has more than 14 partners. Some of them were able to start business thanks to the financial aid given by organisations like HIVOS, NOVIB etc.

The principles of fair trade were introduced by the Fair Trade Organisation in 1967. Nowadays, they have a worldwide following. The principles are:
  • Eliminate the middlemen by doing business directly with the producers organizations of craftsmen and farmers or companies with good social policies.
  • All the products are purchased at a fair price and under fair conditions.
  • Pay in advance, in order, for example, to bridge the period between sowing and harvesting.
  • Producers can also receive intangible support, when, for example, they wish to improve their products and their production methods (Fair Trade Assistance).
  • Stimulate good working conditions and environmental awareness.
  • No children are ever exploited in the production of Fair Trade articles.
  • Strive to ensure that women profit proportionately from honest trade.
The employees of Fair Trade Assistance travel throughout the world in order to advise, train and support the producers developing products. Frequently, they are accompanied by 'guest experts', preferably from the region itself, but also from Europe. Fair Trade also provides commercial advice or assistance in the field of organizational expertise or the improvement of production methods.

For information please contact Mr John van Dorst
The copyrights of the photos used in this page are with FAIR TRADE