PODIE was established in 1985 in Negombo, and buys directly from producers on Sri Lanka's west coast, exporting their products directly to fair traders around the world.
PODIE works with 14 groups which involve approximately 1500 people. Three of these groups are women's groups that are mainly involved in producing packing materials. Ten are farming groups which produce a range of spices, and one is the group of employees that carry out the processing on PODIE's premises.
By eliminating several links in the traditional trading chain, PODIE is able to both pay farmers more income for their spices (25% to 40% above market rates) which is used to provide education, sanitation, housing and basic health care for families, and also to fund other services which together also help to raise the living standards of its members.
For Staff (processing and management):
Light meals at breaks/snacks
Medical bills paid
15% on top of basic salary for savings
Workmans compensation insurance
Higher than minimum wages
Annual medical checkup
Annual staff picnic
An annual bonus and gift
For Farmers groups:
Higher than market prices
Capacity building programmes
Minimum one or two trainings per group per year
Good manufacturing knowledge
Bio dynamic farming
Organic seeds for crops
Replanting projects with subsidies on vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon plants to encourage farmers to replant and increase their yields
Spray tanks for sprays for natural pesticides and fertilizers
Rock phosphate and dolomite to control bacteria when making compost
(All images courtesy of Trade Aid)
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A little about Asha Handicrafts: Asha Handicrafts provides the security of markets to small scale artisan workshops around India, like ANSA, the soapnut harvesters in Tamil Nadu.
New Internationalist Australia is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization, which means we have to stock a percentage of Fair Trade products, and also adhere to Fair Trade practices ourselves. Great for supporting producers rights, and also for our staff.
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