Football Fever for Fairtrade Farmers
It wasn’t quite Wembley or Camp Nou, but for one group of Indian cotton producers it was the biggest soccer event of the year – the final of their Fairtrade Football tournament!
Cotton farmers from Pratima Organic Grower Group in Orissa, India, organised a football tournament to promote Fairtrade in their area. The group wanted to raise awareness of Fairtrade amongst local decision-makers and their communities, and show the benefits of being Fairtrade certified. Several villages took part in the tournament before the big final on 21 March.
The two village teams in the final battled it out for the Fairtrade trophy kitted out in Fairtrade cotton t-shirts provided by the company that buys their cotton. They were cheered on by people from the surrounding villages, local officials and Fairtrade International staff, who were on a visit to the area and were invited to present the trophy to the winning team.
“It was really great that this was an idea that came from the producers, not something organised by an outsider,” said Xavier Huchet, Head of PSR Asia. “They really tried to use the event to promote Fairtrade and show what it’s all about”.
Following the final, the farmers proudly displayed two new tractors they had bought with the Fairtrade Premium, which they will use to take their cotton to the processing unit, and bicycles to help them travel around more easily.
“There was a fantastic atmosphere, it was like the final of the World Cup!” laughed Xavier. “People in the area certainly know about Fairtrade now.”