Session – 4: The next session on Fair Trade Guarantee System and WFTO was chaired by Mr. Johnny Joseph. The speakers included Mr Chitra KC, and Ms. Patwira Narasri, Sustainability Coordinator, WFTO Guarantee System.
Mr. Chitra KC requested Ms. Patwira to make her presentation on the Guarantee System. Following are the key points from her presentation.
She informed the audience about the genesis of Guarantee system and how it is the equivalent of certification and it opens up new markets. It is based 10 principles of Fair Trade. At present, Fair Trade is being followed by 75 countries and the office of WFTO Asia is based in Thailand with global office in the Netherlands. She shared the following details about them membership:
- There are 3 types of memberships FTO, Fair Trade Organisation; FTN Fair Trade Network; FTSO Fair Trade Support Organisation
- To qualify for guarantee system, a company needs to exist for 2 years and be committed to the 10 principles and other prerequisites; the companies are given 2 years to develop strategy and organization
- This is followed by peer visit and periodic auditing
- There is provision for volunteer internship program and events to promote small and disadvantaged producers
More details about the membership procedure are available on the website: http://www.fairtradeforum.org/
Session on Branding and Market Intelligence with Mr Pradeep Krishnappa, Founder The Ants, and Mr. Mathew John
There have been sustained efforts at branding at the domestic level for securing presence by hiring an external consultant. The key messaging has been around how does Fair Trade India Brand benefits people, how it has impacted livelihoods by blending commercial value with ethics. Mr. Mathew spoke about the focus on domestic markets and the need for time to communicate the value of the brand and people should be convinced about the value. Mr Pradeep described the efforts at consistent branding for retail business model and the availability of product lines in all the branded shops. This will help in empowering grassroots artisans, be transparent to the consumer and use FTF as an umbrella brand. Other points discussed in this session:
- Identify and segment the target markets (bulk retailers, corporate markets)
- Creating a roadmap, access to day-today data is important for retail to sustain
- Connecting the brand with the product lines, its value and need for training the staff.
- The need for the brand resonate with the people through compelling visual communication and use of social media, one-to-one store communication, participate in fair trade exhibitions
- Appreciation for the brand, need for reiterate (from members’ brand to consumers’ brand)
“Mann ki baat” was short session in seeking the honest opinion and views from the audience. Ms. Rupa Mehta shared her thoughts on how the members should network with government and corporates on their own terms by emphasizing the unique identity of FTF. This is mainly because FTF has successfully created its own space and there is need to be neutral, apolitical and non-religious. Few other members from the audience shared their perspectives and expectations in this session.
The concluding session had Mr. Krishna Sagar Rao, author and motivational speaker engaging the audience in a conversation around the theme of his book “Summit your Everest”. He narrated the inspiring story about reaching the peak and how it had lessons on overcoming obstacles and failure management, despite adversities how one can have many achievements
To mention some interesting points from this interactive session:
- How obstacles can be handled and transformed into opportunities by being a free individual
- Emotional Intelligence – personal and professional effectiveness, our thought processes make humans unique
- How we satisfy our emotions through our actions, every conflict resolutions is connected with emotions – express and impress people
- Balance between feelings, thoughts, emotions
The third day of the conference hosted the Annual general Meeting 2016.