Nature Bio-Foods, India
Nature Bio-Foods Ltd. and Berief Feinkost GmbH have partnered with FairTSA to bring Community Development projects of the Fair Trade certification process to rural farming communities in India. The villages that benefited from Social Development Fair Trade funding in 2015 are kilometers away from the nearest towns, making technology, education, and water resources a far-off and laborious endeavor. The projects proposed and executed in 2015 is a water collection system, women’s learning facility, computer technology center, and new supplies of agricultural tools.
Through democratically elected officials, the most pressing needs of these communities are being addressed in sustainable and enabling ways. Women in these communities now have access to resources which provide them with skill-based opportunities in a patriarchal society where women are often disenfranchised and subjugated in the domestic realm. Through the efforts of our partners, the FairTSA Fair Trade system is bringing gender equality, humane living conditions, and the opportunities afforded by modern technology to places where these contemporary liberties haven’t yet realized.
Nature Bio-Foods Ltd. started with basmati rice production in 1997, and now offers a wide range of products from spices to nut and bean products. They have a longstanding commitment to organic agriculture and social responsibility, having proven their commitment to the goal of “working in balance with nature, rather than trying to repress it through technology.” While technologies in this sense are untenable difficulties on our environment, technology is also an inescapable condition of contemporary professional success. As such, bringing computer literacy to impoverished communities is an invaluable skill which challenges rural India’s globally marginalized position. UNESCO data shows that only 10.36 % of schools in India have computers, while the percentage of schools with computer in rural areas is much lower.
In the village of Dhapada where there are 171 producers on 268 hectares working with Nature Bio-Foods, computers are a distant luxury. There is no computer education taught in schools, and no private organizations in the area offer any outreach. During the FairTSA Community Development meetings with the villagers last year, discussions on various proposals were held but ultimately the proposal of a computer education center was unanimously agreed upon. Since August 2015, 26 students- predominantly underprivileged or orphaned boys and girls- have been enrolled in this program, which is taught by a local resident who holds a computer technology certificate themselves. With a certificate in computer science, these children will be qualified to engage with a global community and are on the path to professional avenues that have been, until now, a difficult and inaccessible option.
In conjunction to this computer learning center, a sewing center was opened in the village of Powerjhanda in efforts to provide women a venue to create more options of autonomy in the farming communities that are traditionally male-controlled and oppressive of women in comparison to contemporary global standards. While the learning center for sewing is open to all genders, it is a much needed and valuable space for women to meet and learn skills to help them get into the world. Often kept in the home, the women of these communities commonly face domestic violence and don’t often participate in affairs outside of the domestic space. Although the trade of tailoring and sewing is a traditionally female domestic practice, it is an important step in these traditional agricultural communities where the women involved can have access to a trade which can become an income generating profession- something uncommon for women in Powerjhanda. This sewing center is a good step toward social change and gender equality. Most pressingly, the water collection system in the village of Ranapura has been updated to relieve the hardship that summer seasons and infrequent rain has brought. Through efficient collection and storage of rainwater, the hardships in this area are being diverted to simple conscientious means, working with the natural assets of their land.