The Fairtrade Foundation has announced the launch of Fairtrade India in Bangalore, in a bid to encourage Fairtrade product sales in India to build on the success of the export model.
At the start, the products available to purchase with the Fairtrade seal of certification will be coffee, tea, spices, cotton and nuts.
Chief executive of Fairtrade India Abhishek Jani commented: "This is an exciting opportunity for India to demonstrate that it can actually lead on ethical consumption and show its support for our small farmers. Buying Fairtrade is an immediate way for us to directly support the poorest farmers and the environment."
The Fairtrade brand is one of the fastest-growing and most widely recognised ethical certifications in the world. Last year, global sales of Fairtrade products came to a value of approximately €4.8 billion (£4 billion), with some saying this is proof of how much consumers take ethical considerations into account when parting with their hard-earned cash.
Furthermore, in India specifically, the nation's farmers and workers received an additional €2.4 million as Fairtrade Premium above what they would have typically received selling their produce.
Chair of the Association of Indian Fairtrade Producers Tomy Matthew said he believes the foundation has made a "tangible difference" to Indian farmers' lives.
Through operations like Fairtrade, poorer workers in rural communities – ones which often do not have access to the resources, funding and training of better connected and provided-for areas – can plan for the future, while consumers are able to make a difference to poverty by doing something as simple as purchasing Fairtrade coffee when they go to the supermarket.
One of the key focuses of the Fairtrade Foundation is fostering a partnership between producers and consumers, cutting out potentially exploitative and corrupt middlemen. Not only does this safeguard a fair price for farmers, but other Fairtrade principles also ensure that the environment is protected and that stringent best practices are adhered to.