Hosting regional conferences unites diverse perspectives, fostering collaboration, knowledge sharing, and networking. These gatherings are essential for regional development. Fairtrade Network of Asia and Pacific Producers (NAPP) has organized 3 Regional Conferences in Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia. Today, Fairtrade NAPP has 289 affiliated organizations, including 220 Small Producer Organizations that consist of 250,000 farmers and workers. 89 producer organizations in Southeast Asia, 45 producer organizations in Central Asia and 144 Member organizations in South Asia are affiliated with Fairtrade NAPP. These conferences are crucial for building connections and innovative solutions in the regions. During all three Regional Conferences, Mr Pravakar Meher, Board Chair of Fairtrade NAPP, delivered the welcome address, ensuring compliance with the constitution. He covered vital topics, including Fairtrade NAPP’s overview, challenges faced in 2022-23, and achievements among others.

Figure: Regional Conference at South Asia

Figure: Regional Conference at South East Asia

A comprehensive report on the Road to Compliance was also presented which outlined the progress in governance, finance, audits, and compliance since 2019. This report emphasized the status of Fairtrade NAPP entities, challenges encountered, and the future direction, with a key focus on growth, human rights, digitalization, and advocacy. The regional conferences held particular significance in introducing the Regional Conference Charter and the path toward achieving living incomes and wages. The Executive Director of introduced the Regional Conference Charter that had approval from 98% of producers in the Fairtrade NAPP General Assembly in 2023.

1. Fairtrade Living Income and Living Wage Strategy

The session, led by NAPP Executive Director Mr. Sanjeet Khurana, unveiled the Fairtrade Living Income and Living Wage Strategy, targeting income disparities for smallholder farmers and workers. This strategy emphasizes price setting, business offers, standards, programs, advocacy, and monitoring to promote sustainable agriculture. It prioritizes farmer empowerment and seeks support from all stakeholders, including producer and consumer insights.

The Living Income strategy outlines six key components:

  • Price setting: Introducing Living Income Reference Prices alongside Fairtrade Minimum Prices for voluntary use by companies.
  • Offer to business (O2B): A flexible framework for market partners to engage in living income initiatives.
  • Standards: Consideration of new requirements for traders and producers based on the effectiveness of voluntary interventions.
  • Programmes: Scaling up producer-facing programs to enhance farm profitability and climate resilience.
  • Advocacy: Creating an enabling environment for collective action on living income.
  • Monitoring, evaluation & learning (MEL): Investment in farm-level data collection for income monitoring.

The session concluded with an open forum, where Mr. Khurana posed five questions to stimulate discussions on Living Income and living Wage, fostering diverse perspectives.

2. Regional Conference Formation: Election of RC Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator: Election of Coordinator:

As per the Regional Conference Charter, the Chair oversaw the selection of the coordinator and deputy coordinator for all three RCs. He outlined their roles and emphasized the importance of efficient decision-making and communication. It was recommended that the coordinator be a Fairtrade NAPP Board representative of the respective region to ensure prompt decision-making and ease of communication.

The secret ballot was used to elect the Coordinator and Dy. Coordinator wherever felt necessary. In Southeast Asia – Mr Nguyen Huu Ha and Mr Hadi S were elected the Coordinators and Dy. Coordinator respectively. For Central Asia, Mr. Xinrong Zhao and Mr.Malik M Jamil were elected. In South Asia, Mr Raghavendra Shastry and Mr R Gnanasekaran were unanimously nominated for Coordinator and Deputy coordinator positions.

3. Producer Network Meeting:

Fairtrade NAPP recognizes the evolving challenges in various supply chains and the need for collaborative solutions. In the recent consultations, producers discussed the creation of product networks focusing on major and minor commodities. This initiative aims to foster collaboration, address common challenges, and promote healthy competition to benefit producers and workers.

South-East Asia Regional Conference:

Product Meetings for different product networks, including coffee, sugar, oilseeds, oleaginous products, herbs, spices, coconut, other products, rice, and fresh fruits were held. These discussions brought forth a multitude of challenges and identified key priorities. Furthermore, a variety of recommendations were proposed, addressing all aspects of their work.

Central Asia Regional Conference

Multiple producer meetings were held, involving cotton, sports ball, rice, and saffron producers. These discussions revealed numerous challenges and priorities. Recommendations were also provided, covering various aspects of their work. Additionally, China shared specific challenges related to their products, including a lack of consistent long-term reliable orders, stagnant premium standards, climate change-induced extreme weather, an underdeveloped domestic Fairtrade market, and inadequate digital skills among Small Producer Organizations among others.

South Asia Regional Conference:

During the session on South-to-South Market Linkages at the South Asia Regional Conference, Mr. Abhishek Jani, CEO of Fairtrade India, addressed post-pandemic challenges and opportunities. He stressed the importance of sustainable sourcing and innovative models for short and long-term market growth. Fairtrade NAPP is aligning with Fairtrade International’s strategy to empower farmers and workers by developing a coordinated minor products strategy to tackle supply chain challenges and reduce stress for producers that aligns with their 2021-2025 strategy.

Several product network meetings for producers of coffee, sugar, tea, rice, cotton, herbs/ spices, coconut, and other products were held. These discussions unveiled a range of challenges and identified key priorities. Additionally, a variety of recommendations were put forth, encompassing all aspects of their work.

Fairtrade NAPP is committed to sharing its 2021-2025 strategy, programs, and services with members, emphasizing global representation and consumer connections through impact stories and trade shows. Their focus on income diversification and sustainability supports members in showcasing their products and expanding their reach. Prioritizing recommendations, they aim to promote Fairtrade products via rebranding, partnerships, and advocacy to highlight their unique value. Expanding markets and attracting more buyers is vital for sustainability. Climate resilience projects, calamity funds, and crop insurance subsidies for minor products strengthen resilience. Continuous awareness and training on Fairtrade standards and sustainable agriculture practices reduce non-compliance, reinforcing ethical trade commitments.


“Attending the regional conference Product Network Meeting organized by Fairtrade NAPP was an excellent opportunity for networking with peers and gaining valuable knowledge. Thank you, Fairtrade NAPP, for organizing this insightful event” “Hafiz Muhammad Ismael Atlas Fairtrade Farm Association Pakistan.

“It was an immense pleasure to be part of such a platform where we discussed our Fairtrade products, their strengths and challenges which has not only boosted my knowledge of different products but also shared our product (Saffron) as a part of the producer organization.” – Ilham Jalali Arghvan Dashte Paezaan- Iran.

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