'Constant efforts on Fair Trade awareness raising’ and ‘establishing Fair Trade outlets’ were the recommendations mooted by the participants in the consultation ‘Exploring Fair Trade: A Kerala Perspective” organized jointly by Fair Trade Forum – India and ESAF in Thrissur, Kerala on 22nd March 2012. The program was organized in partnership with HIVOS under FairConnect project.
Eighty icons from different sectors - Consumer groups, Environment activist groups, Academicians, Students, NGOs, Trade bodies, Media, Government departments and FTF-I members debated to draw a clear Fair Trade advocacy and campaigning plan for Kerala. Mr. P Sridharan Nair, Vice President, FTF-I welcomed the participants and gave an overview of the programme. Mr. Paul Thomas, founder of ESAF delivered the keynote address on "Livelihood Generation - A Value based approach". Mr. Mathew John, CEO of Keystone Foundation spoke on "Social Markets". The participants were divided into three groups and the group leaders presented their views on ‘Responsive Consumerism’, ‘Socio-Environmental issues & Fair Trade’ and ‘Fair Trade Promotion & Advocacy - A Kerala perspective’.
A committee of 10 leaders representing each sector was constituted to take up Fair Trade campaigning in Kerala by lobbying with the government and through promotion among corporate sector as well as consumers. A mega campaign and Fair Trade Fair was also recommended in Kochi, the biggest city of Kerala during the World Fair Trade Day celebrations in May 2012.