Success at Last for Indian Grape Growers
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” ― Winston Churchill
Such is the case with Fairtrade grapes from India … a fruit of one Fairtrade importer’s persistent efforts.
Fruit importer Univeg has been trying to launch Fairtrade grapes in the UK since 2007, but it has been quite a long journey. First they had to find suitable producers. Then they had to ensure the whole supply chain was Fairtrade certified. Not to mention quality issues, and the extremely short shelf-life grapes have.
Over in India, one of the Fairtrade cooperatives I support was also having problems. Agrocel Pure and Fair Fruits and Nuts Growers Association (APFGA) was hardly selling any of their Fairtrade raisins, making it unviable for them to remain certified. As a last resort, a few of the farmers decided to produce Fairtrade grapes. Could this be the supply Univeg was looking for?
There were still failures to overcome: APFGA’s first Fairtrade grape crop in 2011 was too poor quality to be exported. But they didn’t give up. Thanks to support from Univeg and another Fairtrade buyer, Euro Fruits, APFGA farmers tried again in 2012 … and have been successful. The first batch of grapes hit UK supermarket shelves a few months ago, and were praised for their top-quality.
APFGA has already started reaping the fruits of this success. From their Fairtrade Premium they have purchased raisin packing materials collectively and managed to bargain 20% savings on this purchase for their members. APFGA members are all smiles on their new prospects.
“It is like a new life to our cooperative. Now we can persuade our other farmers to also allocate part of their crop for Fairtrade table grapes and part for Fairtrade raisins, and continue to be a part of the Fairtrade system,” says an excited Prakash Sangave, APFGA member and Fairtrade table grapes grower.
Contibuted by Anup Singh, a Fairtrade liaison officer in India. If you’d like to source Fairtrade table grapes from India, contact him here.
There are over 50 Fairtrade liaison officers worldwide. Learn more about their work on our website.