Asia and the Pacific - a region of great potential

The Network of Asia and Pacific Producers helps farmers and workers in the region make the most of the Fairtrade system.  

The Network of Asia and Pacific Producers (NAPP) ensures the voices of producers from the Asia- Pacific region are well represented, including at Fairtrade International’s main decision-making body, its General Assembly.

All producers in Fairtrade ‘own’ Fairtrade. That’s to say, Fairtrade is a truly democratic model. Farmers vote for their representatives who then have their say in how Fairtrade is run.

NAPP was formed in 2005 to give a voice to producers and workers in the region. It now represents close to 250,000 farmers and more than 200 groups of farmers and workers. These groups extend from Iran in the west of Asia, to Samoa in the east of the South Pacific.

NAPP’s work has three elements:

  • It supports the empowerment of small-scale farmers and farm workers within Fairtrade from Asia and the Pacific
  • It facilitates bringing more producers from Asia and the Pacific into Fairtrade through its current range of products and services
  • It works to ensure that local conditions and context in Asia and the Pacific are taken into account when Fairtrade Standards are set, without compromising the basic principles of Fairtrade.

Fairtrade ANZ has a close relationship with NAPP and we work hand in hand to improve the support services offered to producers as well as to assist with building new markets for Fairtrade products.

The Asia-Pacific region has considerable potential for increasing growth, both of Fairtrade producer organisations and Fairtrade markets. NAPP CEO Ayan Banerjee says what excites him most is this potential.

Asia and the Pacific has the world’s biggest producer base and its biggest consumer base as it is home to half of the world’s population, including India and China. “The potential for South-South trade is huge”, he says.

“A shift in gear [is needed] from seeing Europe as the main or only market, to identifying South markets for the produce of our members,” he explains.

“The need to tap into the Middle East market translates to strong collaborations with Fairtrade Africa on common strategies. For the producers in the Pacific Islands and South East Asian archipelago, the markets of ANZ become important.

“Fairtrade ANZ is a natural partner and closer ally.”

Mr Banerjee said NAPP’s priorities are forming stronger cooperative institutions, dealing with climate change and working on gaps in supply chains through continuous support.

He is in no doubt of the potential that Fairtrade can offer. “My visits to our member organisations has clearly shown the positive impact Fairtrade Premium, accumulated over the years, is providing. The empowerment of communities and people is awe-inspiring. However, much remains to be accomplished.”

To find out more, visit the NAPP website

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