What is organic?​

February 14, 2017

 Organic agriculture means a process of developing a viable and sustainable agroecosystem. 

The most important word in the definition of organic is sustainable and ecosystem.

We generally ask for certification but do not understand what standards are referred for certification. Organic cultivation is not only limited to the specific crop, soil, water and fertiliser or pesticide. It is also talking about the genetic variety of crops, biodiversity in specific are and multi-crop cultivation.

The myth about Organic!

GMO Seeds

Almost all organic produce sellers claim that we do not use GMO seeds. In reality, apart from cotton, no GMO seeds are in use in India.

We use organic manure

Although farmer may be using organic manure but how many years he was using chemical fertilisers and how many years he started using organic manure is yet another question?


I do organic farming.

It’s not only about your field it’s also about your neighbour fields. You may not be using chemical fertilisers or pesticides but what about your neighbour farmer?


Organic farming is not only limited to soil, water, seeds, crop, fertilisers and pesticides but also extended for biodiversity, crop rotation, soil conditioning and sustainable growth.

How can I get authenticated organic food produce?

Organic is a process not product. The best way to get organic produce is to start interacting with farmers, not with traders or resellers. Ask questions to farmers, not the person who is at a counter. Unless we educate farmers and make him the aware importance of organic farming he will not understand the sensitivity of the topic.

All farmers are moving towards organic farming because a lot of business houses are committing them additional income and no one actually educating them why organic?

In 1972 all Indian farmers adopted green revolution technique just to get additional output and additional income no one was aware why green revolution and pros n cons of the same.

Similarly, organic cultivation is taking the same shape as green revolution and resulting in failure at a lot of places. Anyone who attended the organic farming seminar is becoming the trainer and educating farmer and misguiding him.

How I can get involved in this process?

The best solution is to adopt community supported agriculture (CSA). CSA is the moment which Shop for Change Fair Trade is willing to initiate under which united farmers and united consumers will collaborate with each other and fulfil their needs.

CSA – United consumers will adopt united farmers intellectually. Also, united consumers will assure united farmers to buy everything they grow in their field at the fair price with an assurance of sustainable income to the farmer.

Lets join India’s 1st Fair Trade moment and support farmers.

Keep following us to learn more about Fair Trade, Farmer, Health and Nature.

Saameer Ravindra Athavale 

fight poverty via trade, not aid!

Executive Director  

Shop for Change Fair Trade  

Mobile +91 93200 32675

Email sameer@shopforchange.in

Shop for Change Fair Trade is not for profit organisation which is working on developing the long-term partnership between farmer to a consumer without having any commercial interest.

Shop for Change is not a funded NGO we wish to run this NGO with support from people as we do believe that it should be a people’s mission, not some corporate mission.

Do visit our

website http://www.shopforchange.in

facebook page https://www.facebook.com/shopforchange/

twitter handle https://twitter.com/ShopforChange

WordPress blog https://shopforchange.wordpress.com/











“When a farmer supplies and fulfils our need, it becomes our duty (it’s not charity) to make sure his needs are equally met”

3 Basic Needs of Human Being

Food, clothing and Shelter are 3 basic needs of human being. All 3 needs fulfil from nature. Food and clothing are fulfilled with the help of farmer. We can live without clothing and shelter but we can not live without food.

Secret of Healthy Lifestyle

If food is so important then can we just analyse how much money we spend on essential food(not luxury food)? Ayurveda claims food thought and lifestyle concludes health of human being. Science says food motivates your thought process. If you eat healthily you will think healthy.  India’s Expert Nutritionist LUKE COUTINHO claims that food is medicine? So it’s important to eat good food to avoid medicine.

What is good food?

How some one can define good food and bad food. In simple language everything which is natural is good.  So if you want to live a better life you should eat naturally grown things. Anything which artificially produced can be defined as bad for your health. It is as simple as if you walk on the soil you feel good but you can not walk on raw concrete with bare foots.

Why is farmer Important?

The person who is responsible for supplying our basic 2 needs should have 2/3 of importance in our life. Do we really give so much importance to him? 

What is Importance of Nature?

Any car weighing 2000kg needs 3000kg raw iron. Few kg’s rice becomes few hundred kg in just 4 months. 

Farming is the only business where you get more output than input.  Nature is the only machinery where you get more than what you feed else every machinery gives less than what you feed.

Bharat Ek Krishi Pradhan Desh Hai?

We always hear in everyone speech that India is dependent on agriculture but do we really care about it? Do you think in today’s world farmer get same pride as Doctor or Engineer?

We care so much about pets in our house but we never care about the person who gives us food every day.

Why should we connect with farmers?

There is no communication between farmer and consumer because of which we never understand the real challenges of farmers. We talk with a lot of unknown friends but we never interact with farmers. We go for weekend picnics but we never visit farms from where ou food comes. We do visit a lot of agro-tourism centre and try to think how farmers live but we never try to reach out to the farmer and speak with him and ask him to supply the good food.

If we want to source some regular supply for our business house we visit the manufacturer we speak with is a team, we analyse his strength and weakness, we talk about quality.

Do we do the same thing in the case of food which we eat every day and so much important to us?

Let us support India’s 1st Fair Trade mission.

Keep following us to learn more about Fair Trade, Farmer, Health and Nature.

Saameer Ravindra Athavale 

fight poverty via trade, not aid!

CEO – Executive Director  

Shop for Change Fair Trade  

Mobile +91 93200 32675

Email sameer@shopforchange.in

Shop for Change Fair Trade is not for profit organisation which is working on developing the long-term partnership between farmer to a consumer without having any commercial interest.

Shop for Change is not a funded NGO we wish to run this NGO with support from people as we do believe that it should be a people’s mission, not some corporate mission.

Do visit our

website http://www.shopforchange.in

facebook page https://www.facebook.com/shopforchange/

twitter handle https://twitter.com/ShopforChange

WordPress blog https://shopforchange.wordpress.com/










I would like to share our success story under my leadership at Shop for Change Fair Trade. I took charge of the organisation as CEO and Executive Director in September 2015. At the same time, we started working with traditional business house involved in canvas / nonwoven bag manufacturing. Assured business opportunities and consistent follow-up are showing results. Approximately 60 artisans will witness the change in their life just in 1 year which they never experienced earlier for past 2 decades.


Shop for Change Fair Trade decided to work in canvas bag segment in May 2014. Since then SFC was interviewing a lot of business house across India. It was not easy as very few people shown interest to work with fair trade guidelines. After more than year’s search we came across a group based in Sangli, who is involved in the traditional business of canvas and non-woven bag manufacturing with social vision in mind.

The entrepreneur behind this business house was really got connected with cause and immediately accepted the concept of fair trade. The unit is based in outskirts of Sangli. More than 50 people are employed in the unit among which more than 50% are women. Around 200 women staying nearby, get the opportunity to work from home, for more than 7-8 months in a year through this unit.

Skilled stitching women now earn around Rs.8000-10000 a month whereas unskilled women earn Rs. 4000-5000 a month. All employees are covered under Government insurance scheme. The entire unit follows 8 hours shift timing and after that, they get over time.

Shop for Change is working with this unit since October 2015 and trying to implement the concept of fair trade. Although the unit is good in paying their employees still SFC was not 100% satisfied with working condition as it was even difficult to convince employees to sit in the separate area for lunch etc. This was not an easy task but consistent follow-up and assured business opportunities made it very easy and really boost the moral of this group. Business owner decided to go with 100% Fair Trade norms by October 2016. The group is constructing new unit with complete Fair Trade norms as, separate gents and ladies toilet, separate pantry area for workers, separate changing room with locker facility for ladies staff and complete air conditioned unit for stitching and finishing area.

Thanks to DHL, Edelweiss, Marriott, Goqii and  Godrej Nature’s Basket, we started and achieved capacity building stage for this group but was very difficult to explain them the need of hygiene and sanitation. The opportunity which you shared with us not only generated additional income to artisans but also going to change their working conditions.


Fair trade is my mission, not just a profession.

Saameer Ravindra Athavale

CEO – Executive Director



शॉप फॉर चेंज संस्थे तर्फे १७ एप्रिल २०१६ ते २२ मे २०१६ पर्यंत दौंड तालुक्यातील दुष्काळ ग्रस्त शेतकर्यांना पिठाल भाकरी विकण्यासाठी ठाणे येथील गावदेवी मैदानात छोटा गाळा लावून देण्यात आला होता. ठाणे करांनी ह्या उपक्रमला प्रचंड पाठींबा दिला. फक्त सव्वा महिन्यात १.५ लाख रुपयांची पिठाल भाकरी विकून ह्या महिलांनी ८० हजार नफा कमावला. एका छोट्या उपक्रमातून बळीराजाला आर्थिक पाठबळ तर उभ राहिलाच पण जगण्याची नवी उमेद पण मिळाली. ११, १२ आणि १३ ला विक्रोळी येथील WNS ग्लोबल सेर्विसिस ह्या कंपनीने ह्या महिलांना त्यांच्या कॅन्टीन मध्ये येउन पिठलं भाकरी विकण्याची संधी दिली. ३ दिवसात २० हजार रुपयाची पिठाल भाकरी विकली गेलि. शॉप फॉर चेंज सन्थे कडून असे उपक्रम सातातात्याने राबवण्याची तयारी आता आम्ही केली आहे. तुमच्या शुभेछा बरोबर असतिलच.
झी २४ तास चे प्रमुख संपादक श्री उदय निरगुडकर ह्यांनी आणि WNS चे ग्लोबल CEO श्री केशव मुरुगेश व त्य्नाच्या पत्नी शामिनी मुरुगेश ह्यांनी देखील ह्या पिठाल भाकरीचा आस्वाद घेतला.
During April 17th to 22nd May 2016 Shop for Change assisted drought prone farmers to put up stall at Gavdevi Maidan in Thane to sell traditional Maharashtrian food Pithal – Bhakri.
All thane citizens supported this activity. During this month farmer families could able to make revenue of 1.5 lacs and earned 80K as net profit. This small activity not only helped them in earning money but also gave them hope of continuing farming as their main profession. ON 11, 12 and 13th May 2016 WNS Global Services also invited them to sell Pithal Bhakri in their cafeteria. In just 3 days they could able to sell worth 20,000 INR Pithal Bhakri. Shop for Change is trying to continue such initiatives through out the year. Hope your wishes are always with us.
Chief Editor of Zee 24 Taas Mr. Uday Nirgudkar and Global CEO of WNS Mr. Keshav Murugehs along with his wife Ms. Shamini Murugesh also enjoyed this traditional Mahrashtrian food.

Shop for Change @ kalaghoda

February 3, 2016

The only stall promoting Fair Trade labeled products.


Wide Range of Fair Trade Products………………



About us:

Farmers and artisans in India have been deprived of economic growth. Shop for Change gives you a chance to hear their story and ensure their fair share through   FAIR TRADE !

Set up in 2009, ‘Shop For Change’, credited as India’s first fair trade label, works with the farmer and artisans to connect them directly to main stream markets, thus cutting through the long chain of intermediaries.


  • Over 200,000 units of fair trade certified products sold in the Indian market.
  • Widespread success throughout the country, amounting to INR 10,00,000 fair trade bonus to producer organizations and their members.


No more intermediaries! Shop for Change brings you the hassle-free way to trade.




To know more about fair trade visit http://www.shopforchange.in

or whats app on 93200 32675

Saameer Ravindra Athavale


Shop for Change has entered Mahindra’s ‘Spark the Rise’ social change competition.  Our entry will be evaluated on two fronts – review by an expert jury and votes for our project received from the public. Will you show your support for fair trade by voting for us?

There are three easy ways to vote:

  1. Give a missed call from your Indian mobile to +912261850314.  You’ll get a confirmation sms.
  2. Send an sms to 54646.  Key in MHRISE<SPACE>P08457
  3. Register and vote online here: http://bit.ly/Vuhizy

To learn more about our project submission and Spark the Rise visit www.sparktherise.com/projectdetails.php?pId=8457

We need as many votes as possible so please tell your friends to to visit this blog post and vote.  Thanks so much for your support!

Looking for a fast-paced, exciting opportunity to make your mark on the world?  Shop for Change is hiring new members of its food and textile business development teams, as well as our marketing and finance/operations teams.  For more details download the job descriptions: 1)  Business Leader – Food, 2) Business Leader – Textiles, 3) Head Marketing, and 4) Finance Controller.


Listen to Nonchalant Gourmand aka Nikhil Merchant -Food Product Manager @Shop for Change talk about food, fair trade, farmers and much more with RJ Hrishi K on his morning show.

Fair Trade Recipe for Gajak

Last week we had some of the very versatile food bloggers- Amrita aka lifekirecipe, Kriti aka food mantra, Shirin aka Food chant, Shivani aka yellow butterfly dish out some mouth watering fair trade recipes- by that we mean they used some our fair trade certified ingredients like herbs, chutneys etc sourced from various farmer groups.

So check out this yummylicious fair trade recipe for baked potatoes with plum chutney and homemade herbed ricotta courtesy Food Chant. Here she has used fair trade certified Herb Blend sourced from our farmer group Kumaon Grameen Udyog and fair trade certified Plum Chutney sourced from Mahila Umang Producers Company.


Now, for those with a sweet tooth, we have fair trade recipe for Malai Barfi and Almond Gajak courtesy Food Mnatra. Herefor Malai Barfi, she has used Shop for Change Fair Trade certified nut meg sourced from Varanashi Organic Farmers Society as one of the ingredients and for Almond Gajak, fair trade certified mace sourced from Varanashi Organic Farmers Society has been used.



Also check out the fair trade recipe for Smoky Potato and Herb Donut


Now, the next recipe is for all non-veg food lovers courtesy lifekirecipe who made Plum Glazed Chicken with fair trade ingredients like fair trade herbs, fair trade Plum Chutney..Enjoy the recipe http://lifekirecipe.com/?p=930

We also had Yellow Butterfly dishing out Green Pea Soup made from fair trade certified ingredients like fair trade  pepper corns sourced from one of our certified farmer groups Varanashi Farmers Society.


To all our fair trade supporters, fair trade certified food products will be soon available with select retailers. Will keep you all updated as soon as they are up on the retailer shelves.

We are excited. Last year we took the first step towards

Fair trade certified exotic food products

extending our footprint to food via a pilot project in the Diwali Gifting segment. We enabled VAPCOL (BAIF) to sell 2000 gift boxes comprising of fair trade certified food products (e.g. cashews) to DHL.

This year we are going a step further. Working closely with 6 farmer groups across India- Mahila Umang Producers Comapny ( Anita Paul-Founder of Umang has been featured in the August issue of  BBC Good Food India), Kumaon Grameen Udyog, Varanashi, Nageshwara Charitable Trust, Sahaja Aharam Cooperative (CSA of Satyamev Jayate fame), Varanashi Organic Farmers Society we are trying to create a market for fair trade food products like cashews, walnuts, wild forest honey, vanilla powder (which is anything but plain!), chamomile tea etc. We are now targeting not only in the corporate gifting segment but various other channels such as luxury hotels, specialized online and mainstream food retailers.

The entire range of products is tasty, healthy, well packaged and absolute value for money. Yet our Diwali gift packs targeted at businesses ensure that 20% of the price goes back to farmers as a fair trade premium ensuring at least 50% additional income for them. This means a lot to a small farming family which barely earns INR 2500 p.m. otherwise.

Fair trade food products such as fruit, chocolate, confectionery, yoghurt, honey, herbs, spices, nuts, preserves and rice are widely available in a no. of countries across the world like UK. Consumers in India will soon have an opportunity to ‘Shop for Change’ when they buy fair trade food products.

To get the entire list of fair trade food products click here.