07 Jun 2006
Just Change is helping producers to deal directly with buyers and retailers, by cutting out the middle-man at the centre of the global economy.
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Just Change is helping producers to deal directly with buyers and retailers, by cutting out the middle-man at the centre of the global economy. The organisation began by working with the Adivasis, the indigenous people of India, helping them trade their tea for saris. Now it works with an expanding network of people, both in India and the UK.
Every organisation that joins the Just Change network becomes a share holder, putting money into a common pot and drawing out whatever they need to participate in the network, be it as producers, value-adders or retailers. The profits made by the goods sold are divided between all the shareholders.
By using a system in which every member is seen as an investor, Just Change is able to break the monopoly that investors often hold, where they gain all the profit, despite the fact that growers and consumers have also contributed to creating it.
Just Change gives people back the control over their product but still allows them to sell it internally in a global market. Its work strengthens local economies ñ local both in the sense of being within a region geographically and also local in terms of having similar values and ideas. Writing about the ethos behind the Trust, the founder Stan Thekaekara says: ‘Thinking globally and acting locally has led us to think locally and act globally as well. Just Change seeks to link people in a cooperative chain where they can work for the mutual benefit of all within the chain, irrespective of where they reside.’
Contact: www.feasta.org/documents/ review2/thekaekara2.htm
Photo: © Fairtrade Foundation
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