Our farmers receive at least a 5% premium over the market price.We are always looking for ways in which to offer them even better incentives for growing organic produce. We do not push the typical 5% loss on to the farmers, which is the general practice. We bear the loss ourselves as a fairtrade practice.
In our efforts at sustainablity we have encouraged and helped our neighbouring farmers to move to natural farming and remain organic. e.g. A few farmers regularly grow jowar for cattle feed at the time of the north-east rains. As these are completely rain-fed, no additional inputs like fertilizers or pesticides are added. We were able to convince them to follow the same with the groundnut grown during the south-west monsoon thus making them completely natural.
Our employees with the exception of the manager are women. The eight to nine women handle most of the operations except for the peeling of coconuts for which we call in the men on a contract basis. (Each man peels on an average 1500 coconuts a day.) Our modified ghanis do not require a lot of physical power to operate, thus making it easier for the women employees. It has worked wonders for us. The women folk feel empowered in many ways. We benefit from their total commitment to hygiene and superior work ethics.
In order to provide continuous employment we peel and process only enough raw materials for a week’s supply. According to industry norms this is not the most “efficient” way but we believe it offers our employees continuous engagement and makes them more committed to us and the work.