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He was one of the founding members of his local fair-trade alliance, which was established more than six years ago, after his region suffered an "agrarian crisis"."Between 19, there was a terrible economic crisis for agriculture in Kerala.All the prices fell and this made us look for markets that offered fair deals to farmers.Some £1.3bn is spent on Fairtrade-badged goods in the UK.
The first three products to showcase the Fairtrade mark hit the shelves in this country 18 years ago.
Farmers who pay for certification are assured a minimum price – which can never fall below market level – and a premium to invest in their communities.
Sales of the fair-trade goods increased by 12 per cent in the UK between 20, and this year alone, Mars – the third biggest confectionery brand in the UK – will switch Maltesers to Fairtrade, representing more than a 10 per cent increase in total sales.
Two decades ago, the Windward Islands supplied 60 per cent of UK bananas; now the Islands' share has plummeted to 9 per cent, displaced by lower-cost bananas from Latin America.
Supplying his crops to Sainsbury's and Waitrose, Mr Rene says he thinks fair trade is the only way forward for his industry."My local group of 80 members signed up to Fairtrade at an important time.
Pundits on the right argue that it distorts markets, exaggerates its claims, prices out the poorest farmers and perpetuates inefficient modes of production.