Magazine article New Internationalist

Fairer Than Fair

Magazine article New Internationalist

Fairer Than Fair

Article excerpt

Fairer than fair trade - that's what Just Change India (JC) is about. Rather than focusing solely on better prices for producers, it takes control of the market itself. By creating the infrastructure for producers and consumers to trade directly with each other, it ensures that poor people can afford quality products, while producers are fairly paid. For JC, it's not only about the money - it's about power.

Profit, the ultimate goal in the capitalist system, is replaced by benefit, which positively affects every link in the business chain. This idea is based on the principle that all human beings have an equal right to the Earth's resources, both natural and created, and that participants should therefore benefit equally from economic activity.

JC, born in India among the adirasi people of the Nilgiri mountains, has over the years successfully expanded its operations to other parts of the country, and now focuses on products such as rice, lentils and spices as well as tea. It also has strong branches in Germany and Britain.

Co-founder Stan Thekaekara believes that ensuring the project's growth without damaging the environment is a big challenge. 'Consciousness of the environment leads us to make choices that can affect "profitability", but nevertheless are of greater benefit to us as human beings,' he explains.

With this in mind, JC tries to source as locally as possible, takes food miles into serious consideration and always prefers organic to non-organic products. It also supports the use of 'primary' products. …

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