Get Your Fairtrade Rice & Raisins Here! Stories from Biofach
I love the way Fairtrade makes the world that bit smaller; that it connects people across continents and cultures, all with a common goal of making global trade fairer.
Like me and Himanshu Baghel. I never thought I would see him again, and yet there he was, just a few stands down from us at the Biofach fair.
Himanshu works for Agrocel, Indian producers of Fairtrade and organic basmati rice. He helped organize my trip to their farms just over a year ago, calmed me down on the phone when I was stranded at Delhi airport. I walked through their paddy fields, saw the rice being processed and bagged up. I watched farmers using laser-land leveller and rice-sifting machinery that they had bought with the Fairtrade Premium.
I was obviously curious to hear how Agrocel had developed since our last encounter. Good news - their Fairtrade sales have increased to around 60 percent of production. But Himanshu is determined to achieve more.
“We are happy with the Fairtrade system, the farmers are happy but what we need is more market,” he tells me. “There is so much potential for doing good with the farmers, but we need more sales to do that”.
To help achieve this, Agrocel are encouraging farmers to diversify into other products. Raisins are their latest offering. But finding a Fairtrade buyer is now the problem. Their raisins are relatively expensive compared to other countries, and rather pale in colour. But I can vouch for the taste, and the great work that is behind it.
So who’s interested in buying?