Sending Artisan representative to US
On the occasion of World Fair Trade Day in the month of May-2012, `Fair Trade USA’ & `Fair Trade Towns’, USA, in association with SETU’s US team sponsored SETU’s recommended artisan representative to visit USA for a period of about 2 weeks.
Fair Trade Towns is a comprehensive platform for growing awareness, availability, and commitment to Fair Trade in the US. The movement is made up of a diverse group of inspired activists, engaged community groups and organizations, and socially responsible members of the business community.
The main purpose of the tour was to connect grass root level Indian artisan(s) to the FT consumers in USA, share experiences of both sides and gain insights to each other’s expectations & limitations.
Ms Lata Kachhwaha, Joint Secretary, SURE , was nominated & sent by SETU to attend the Fair Trade Conference in US on the World Fair Trade Day. A complete tour was organised covering 8 cities/towns of US. These cities included San Diego, Los Angeles, Austin, San Francisco, Seattle, etc. She travelled to different places, participated in a total of 12 meetings & events, gave presentations, attended social gatherings with Fair Trade Towns Campaigns & Fair Trade retail stores.
Fair Trade day was celebrated & the impact of Fair Trade around the world was discussed. It was felt that the need to alleviate poverty in the developing world is not only critical but incumbent on all of us. Lata shared in detail the personal impact that Fair Trade has had on the artisans’ lives. How Fair Trade has helped increase wages by as much as 10 times or higher, built up confidence, promoted child education, empowered women, built capacities, upgraded skills and much more. She clarified a lot of confusions on various Fair Trade artisan aspects that were raised by consumers & Fair Trade advocates. Lata ji explained that for the artisans, “Fair Trade is not just about price – it is about holistic development.”
The consumers felt that the above experiences have `reinforced their commitment to Fair Trade because it has helped them realize how small the world is and that we are all in this together’.
Where Lata ji got a deeper insight about the Market needs & demands, the consumers got a deeper understanding of the artisans strengths, limitations & expectations.
The tour was a success in helping to connect the two ends of the system….The Fair Trade advocates/consumers in the US with the artisans of the developing world..