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Shymala - Fairtrade Funding for Higher Education

Fair Trade Rubber Tapping in South India

Shymala works in the latex factory of New Ambadi rubber estate. She is a trade union leader, not just representing the workers of the plantation, but also the rubber workers in the whole district. Additionally, Shymala is a member of the joint body which started when our sourcing partners began buying rubber under Fair Trade conditions.

Our sourcing partners are the only company in the world who pay a Fair Trade premium for latex, this is then processed into components for footballs and other sports balls in Pakistan providing an ethical way of supporting local communities. 

The joint body has regular meetings and keeps a minute book recording all relevant information. After many discussions, the joint body decided to save the Fair Trade premiums and start a fund to pay for higher education for the children of the plantation workers. Even though in principle education in India is free, sadly, only children who can afford to go to private schools have a chance of getting a decent job after their education. The joint body has told our sourcing partners that it needs to buy at least ninety tons of rubber in order to feed the fund with enough money to start paying out stipends.

Shymala hopes that her granddaughter will be one of the first to benefit from this scheme. She hopes she will train as a nurse, therefore giving something back to the local community. The three year course costs approximately £2750 in fees, which she could never afford out of her salary. The second benefit of Fair Corp buying rubber is that it has paid for New Ambadis registration with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) scheme for responsible forest management, helping to make rubber production more sustainable.

To help Shymala, and other people like her, fund this Fairtrade scheme, check out our selection of rubber products

Published 11/10/11

Photo(s) ® M.Kunz Fair Deal Trading
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