WFTO is proud to announce that three of its members recently joined the list of Fair Trade Guaranteed Members. After successfully completing the Guarantee System process, Sasha Association for Craft Producers, Baladarshan and Craft Resource Center (CRC Exports) may use the WFTO Product Label on their products.
The WFTO Guarantee System was implemented in 2013 as the only international Fair Trade system that verifies organisational practices and their compliance with an established Fair Trade Standard. The audits of the three members used the WFTO Fair Trade Standard, which comprises a set of compliance criteria based on the 10 Fair Trade Principles and International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions.
Sasha has been active for over three decades. Their commitment to Fair Trade and to their artisans has made them one of the pioneering Fair Trade Organisations in India. If that were not enough, they are also part of the founding member of Fair Trade Forum-India and WFTO Asia. As of today, Sasha works with 70 producer groups. Additionally Sasha has created a development organization Sarba Shanti Ayog that focuses on capacity building, technical assistance and social developmental needs of the producer groups. Besides their exports to ethical buyers around the globe, Sasha has also initiated South to South trade with FTO in Africa and Asia.
Pleased with the successful completion of the GS process, Roopa Mehta, Executive Director of Sasha, said: “For Sasha the GS closed the gap between intent and compliance while drawing attention to both our strengths and shortcomings. This was an invaluable experience as it highlighted areas we needed to work on improving in the coming months.
The WFTO guarantee label, while an affirmation and a source of pride for the Sasha staff and producer members, sends a message loud and clear to our existing and potential customers that Sasha is a credible Fair Trade Organisation. We are very excited about placing this WFTO guaranteed label on our products”.
[Photo: Sasha Association for Craft Producers]
Baladarshan is a network of South Indian organisations helping marginalised women by providing them with work opportunities through craft production. The organisation was originally founded by social workers to provide work and income for discriminated women and their children in Chennai slum areas. Today, the organisation has grown into a thriving network producing quality Fair Trade products. They provide capacity building activities for women to improve their social and economic standing in their communities.
About CRC Exports
CRC Exports Pvt Ltd helps informally organised artisan groups to develop self-sustaining businesses, and seeks to develop economic self-sufficiency for a vulnerable segment of society through traditional handcrafting skills. This Fair Trade Organisation provides marketing, design, finance and exporting assistance to a large number of artisan groups across India. From its beginnings in the 1990’s CRC Exports had only one full time employee and was working only two producer group partners. Today, this inspiring organisation has developed into a strong and stable Fair Trade Organisation, providing opportunities to over 60 producer groups from all across India. CRC has been a member of WFTO since 2004, and we are very proud to see that their hard work is paying off.
Proud of her organisation having successfully completed the WFTO GS System process, Irani Sen, Director of Craft Resource Center, said: "Now that we have passed the test, I think we have to sharpen our edges further so as to live up to the GS’s name and fame. We have been working towards achieving the GS for close to 2 years now. Stringent monitoring followed by peer visit and our relentless commitment for 24 years bore fruit. We invested in a lot of effort, time, our resources and thought, to accomplish our goal. It’s a big relief for our team now!"
Regarding their overall experience, she went on to say that: "The GS process was a unique initiative for us-it was an opportunity to learn more. Besides examination, it gave us an opportunity to introspect and soul-search."
[Photo: CRC Exports]
By Natalia Báez