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Domestic cotton finds place in potential Intl market
10
Mar '08
Fairtrade, a certificate ensuring that products taken by member companies have been produced under ethical working conditions, is fast becoming a part of Indian business practices.

Across the country, products like garments display a prominent fair-trade tag to show that the goods are sold at a premium price.

The most obvious result of switching to fair-trade practices is that cotton farmers in Gujarat and Orissa are now finding buyers at global fashion houses. To the extent that popular European fashion labels like Marks and Spencer, Oxfam, Max Howler and Vericott forms the key customers to these small Indian traders.

Agrocel, an agriculture outreach initiative, pays Fairtrade price and markets cotton, yarn and even garments made from the cotton grown by certified farmers in both the states.

It is for largely this reason that Agrocel-linked farmers do the largest production for Faritrade.

Arvind Mills, Alps Industry, Maral Overseas and Vardhman Mills are few of the Agrocel's India-based customers.

Nearly 1,500 farmers in around 70 villages produced 1,250 tons of cotton that was supplied to M&S last year.

Experts believe that this year, about 500 more farmers will join the Fairtrade initiative in Orissa.

Fairtrade certification for cotton has increased the demand for products supporting this logo. This tag stands as evidence that the retailer has paid a fair price to the producers engaged in production across the supply chain.

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