As a part of its South-to-South market intervention to promote and develop Fairtrade markets, Network of Asia and Pacific Producers has started facilitating the participation of producers in renowned National Trade Fairs across various potential countries in Asia.
In India, the market for organic food continues to exhibit strong growth and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 25.25% during 2022-2027. A major factor driving the demand for the Indian organic food market is the rising levels of health awareness in the country. Indian consumers have started giving attention to the nutrient content and the quality of the food they eat, thereby leading to rising demand for organic food. The demand is being further catalysed by the strong support of the government for promoting organic farming by providing financial support to farmers who are adopting organic farming under various government schemes. (Source India Organic Food Industry Trends and Drivers).
Fairtrade NAPP currently has 114 Fairtrade producer organisations in India out of which the majority are organic producers certified as small producer organizations, multi and single tea estate plantations, and contract production. Therefore Biofach India, the leading trade fair for the Organic Industry in India held under the aegis of the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India was identified as the key fair to advocate and create awareness of Fairtrade.
The event was held in New Delhi from 1st to 3rd Sep 2020. With the co-funding support of the European Union, NAPP exhibited a customised Fairtrade branded booth that demonstrated information about Fairtrade standards, services, producers, and products in the country to promote the concept and values of Fairtrade. A strategic marketing plan was laid out in collaboration with Flocert, and Fairtrade India targeting all consumers, businesses, and producers in the country. The event was attended by Sanjeet Singh Khurana, CEO of Fairtrade NAPP, Senior Analyst – Flocert, Marketing representatives from NAPP and Fairtrade India along with Program Consultants from India. 02 Producer Organisations from South India were also supported through European Union Funding to explore the event
Since the event connected all the key players from the Organic and Natural industries, it was an ideal platform to target both sectors. 78+ key meetings were conducted at the booth with various State Govt bodies, manufacturers, processors, importers, exporters, brands, retailers, organic producers, farmer organizations, and other agribusinesses.
Some of the enquiries , needs and opportunities identified through the event were:
- Inquiries about Fairtrade standards and benefits
- Inquiries about Fairtrade certification schemes and costs by govt. bodies, traders, and producers.
- Inquiries about the prospects of including new products in the Fairtrade categories such as banana fabric, different kinds of millets, spices extracts, etc
- Inquiries about Fairtrade model on access to market, supply chain, and trade.
- Inquiries about Fairtrade products, producers, and services available in the country
- Need for more awareness among the businesses, local traders, processors, and farmer organisations about the presence of local Fairtrade support units in India such as Flocert, NAPP, and Fairtrade India to provide them guidance on Fairtrade certifications and other market inquiries.
- Need more knowledge building and access to information about Fairtrade standards, policies, and benefits among the Private and Govt. bodies.
- Need for more awareness among the consumers about Fairtrade and its sustainable impacts in the country and the certified products available in the domestic retail or online market.
- Need for a strategy to place Fairtrade products in the local market where most of the consumers are still unfamiliar with the concept of Fairtrade.
- Growing interest among businesses, local traders, processors, and farmer organisations to take up Fairtrade certification.
- Interest from progressive farmer groups to apply for Fairtrade certification and access market.
- Interest from various State Govts to create awareness about Fairtrade to its Farmer Producer Companies and to get them educated on Fairtrade Model, its standards and principles.
- Interest from businesses about the process for Fairtrade certification and its costs.
- Increase in consumer demands for organic, quality, and sustainable products driven by factors such as strong economic growth, urbanization, rising income levels, health, and wellness consciousness.
Alongside the event, an exhibitor survey was also conducted to assess the market interest in sustainable production and consumption. Out of 97 responses received, 68% acknowledged they have heard of Fairtrade and most of them confirmed that sustainability was an important attribute for brands and companies to attract consumers in India. Environmental sustainability, quality, and pricing were selected by the companies as the top reasons for consumers buying their products.
The event was a great platform to advocate and build the visibility of Fairtrade and Fairtrade NAPP in the Indian market and to connect and collaborate with prospective private and govt. stakeholders. It provided an excellent opportunity for linking Fairtrade services and producers with prospective buyers and traders in India and for laying down the foundation for the growth of Fairtrade market