On the Ground with Pravin

April 19, 2010

Pravin Chopade, Standards Manager, interviewing a cotton farmer

Pravin Chopade is our Standards Manager, working directly with our partner producer organisations to ensure that they are complying with our Fair Trade Standards.  Pravin recently came back from the field, assisting in the certification of over 2,000 farmers, more than doubling our number to reach 5,300.  I recently sat down with Pravin to discuss his experiences with the farmers and the impact of fair trade on their lives.   Over the next week, I’ll share some of his insights.  Perhaps the most poignant insight was something he told me early on in our conversations:

“Attitudes have been changing.  Before, agriculture was considered a lowly type of job- a farmer would say ‘oh, I have no other choice, and so I am a farmer,’ but with systems like fair trade, these farmers see that agriculture is important- important for their community and for their country.  With the support of fair trade producer organisations, the confidence and trust of farmers have increased, and the feeling of working in agriculture has improved.”

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