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What is Fair Trade?
According to the International Federation for Alternative Trade (IFAT), “Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South.”

IFAT is founded upon 10 trading principles, including no child labor, environmentally friendly production activities, fair wages, and equal rights for men and women. Drishtee haat has adopted these principles and developed its own Code of Ethics based upon them, as well as the local context of India.

What does Drishtee haat do?

Drishtee haat primarily acts as a Fair Trade network and retail platform, which allows even the smallest of producer groups and individual artisans the opportunity to display unique One-of-a-Kind artwork while connecting with other key players in the industry.

Drishtee haat not only provides online space for the community to grow and thrive, but it also engages in marketing activities to promote the site and generate consumer traffic via email and physical outreach to social consumer, social venture and handicraft networks, as well as to the home décor, accessories and gifts consumers. Tie ups with such well-established companies and organizations as Google, Microsoft, Acumen Fund, Grassroots Business Initiative, eBay and World of Good assist Drishtee haat with the proper resources, support and outreach needed to build a thriving community and marketplace that meets the needs of all individuals and organizations involved in a fair, ethical and sustainable manner.

Drishtee haat recognizes the necessity of sustainable livelihood generation for artisans, and realizes that a certain scale must be achieved in order for this to be possible. In order to address this need, Drishtee haat has established a partnership with MILA, a bulk export and marketing partner, to create a joint fair trade project that is developing its own brand of eco-friendly, fair trade items under the brand name, Dhartee. For this partnership, Drishtee haat is facilitating the R&D and production for Dhartee by locating producers, providing design assistance and capacity building where needed, carrying out sampling and ensuring that producers understand and can maintain the high quality standards and timely delivery that is essential to exporting products to clients abroad. Items sold under the Dhartee brand will be tailored to the eco-friendly “Green” industry in the west (the U.S. in particular) and will be sourced directly through the Drishtee haat network of producers and designers. The Dhartee opportunity begins with a line of handmade all-natural, organic candles.

Drishtee haat recognizes that many producer groups throughout India may be in need of some capacity building support in the form of design development, skills up-gradation, business skills development, etc. To help prepare producers for the international market and to enable them to remain competitive in this regard, Drishtee haat is creating a capacity building fund from 15% of all sales. This fund will be put into the hands of Drishtee Foundation, who plans to work in conjunction with AIACA (All India Artisans & Craftworkers Association) to facilitate capacity building projects for those organizations/individuals in need of such assistance and inputs.

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