An exceptional year for Fair trade town initiatives!

Though I have been travelling between India and UK between the month of September 2018 to February 2019, there  have been so many activities.

Firstly, strategising with the Fairtrade India office and concurrently absorbing the key elements of the "Switch Asia" programme that have now been approved by the European Union. These key elements from the above discussion were to focus on key Metropolitan cities as we need to drive sustainable consumption and prod...

February 4, 2018

After returning to India , buoyed by the lovely contacts and meetings in the UK, the end of the year 2017 was marked with a lot of productive activity.  Firstly, a national steering committee for fair trade towns met and reviewed the work done in Pondicherry and Kotagiri (the seaside town and the town at the top of a hill , as I lovingly refer to them) ; both of which are making plenty of progress towards certification.

A one day discussion on how to be prepared for the formalization, i.e. official fai...

February 4, 2018

After a gap of a few months, I am here to update everyone on the amazing developments and activities that have taken place. 

In November of last year, following from my last update, I was given a unique opportunity to meet a faith based, but ecumenical peace organisation that works towards sustained interfaith relationships - "Grassroots". The contact came about through the die-hard activists, Hilary Tyrell and husband, Philip

At the meeting, they shared stories about fair trade, including their use of fai...

September 24, 2017

Since the last update, where I discussed the "Fair Trade Way" walk in Pondicherry, it has been a while my friends! But, I have a lot to important, positive news to share.

During two extraordinary visits to Kotagiri and Pondicherry, i noticed a healthy competition between the two towns, the hill town and costal city. Both of whom have replenished the steering groups with substantive members from business and enterprise. 

While I attended a face to face steering group meeting in the iconic basement/story-telli...

Months of planning , with support around the world and in particular from devoted and tireless campaigners in Pondicherry and Auroville culiminated in a walk. As part of the International Festival of Fair Trade Walks a group of 10 people including fair trade supporters from UK, France, US and ofcourse, Pondicherry walked through it's streets on Saturday 29th April 2017.

Plenty of preparation and a "mock-walk" was even done before the actual day to make sure things go to plan, without a hitch. The reality wa...

On March 15th, I took the train back to Kotagiri, after last setting foot in that beautiful place during the 450 km walk from Pondicherry. After passing through some charming town-stations with a characteristic old-world charm such as Mettupalayum and taking a jeep up the hills to the very top, a superb day of free flowing discussion, brain storming and plan of action for making Kotagiri Fairtade town before August followed.

The Niligri Adivasi Welfare Association (NAWA), a leading charity in Kotagiri has b...

In 2009 Oxfam campaigner “Push” came through St Albans. He was walking to the Copenhagen Climate Talks to take a message from the poverty-stricken farmers he had interviewed in Africa and Asia. In 2017 Push was here again, this time on a drive to establish the first Fairtrade Towns in India, at Pondicherry-Auroville and Kotagiri in Tamil Nadu.

Push met local supporters of Oxfam, Global Justice, and Fairtrade, and spoke at a Harpenden school. Ann, from Marlborough Rd Methodist Church and Global Justice, was...

February 25, 2017

After a 6 month visit to Cambridge, St.Albans and the UK, I return to India with a renewed sense of purpose. Making the fairtrade town concept a reality is well and truly on the top of the agenda and with the support of Abishek Jani , CEO of Fair trade India, who has done some stellar work towards the ethical consumer movement in India, it surely expediates the process.

Watch the video of the short interview I had with him yesterday.

October 2, 2016

It has been a while since the last update and, wow, have things really happened since then! We are inching very close to declaring "Kotagiri" as India's first officially declared fair trade town. Watch this space closely.

Just to re acclimatize everyone (no pun intended) with the work done so far in the realm of "walking for climate justice and fair trade", here is a quick 2 minute video!

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Pushpanath Krishnamurthy

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