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April 2011

From the Desk... Prakruthi is one of the pioneering NGOs in Asia, addressing social, environmental and economic conditions in supply chains by promoting effective Corporate Social Responsibility policies. Agricultural commodities like coffee, tea and sugarcane are traded in a highly competitive and demanding market. Many companies are under pressure from stakeholders’ concern of social and environmental issues, not to mention the statutory compliances like food safety. In its interventions, Prakruthi is trying to create a win-win situation for both small producers and businesses by introducing sustainability principles along the value chain. Enabling Sustainability Newsletter is an initiative of Prakruthi to share its activities, please feel free to send your suggestions and comments to further improve it to prakruthi@prakruthi.org Pramod John for Team Prakruthi

CSR Network Meeting with Afghanistan Civil Society Organisations in New Delhi Prakruthi is working with eight civil society organisations in Afghanistan to encourage CSR activities in partnership with business. In Afghanistan CSR is understood as a form of philanthropy: giving back to the community in whether it is through funding, volunteering or any kind of donation. In its network and training program Prakruthi is cooperating with different Afghan NGOs to shift one-time philanthropic donations into a focused CSR program that can be a good first step for companies to develop a comprehensive approach to social responsibility.

Learnings from the CSR Network meeting in Delhi, India, December 2010 • Mrs. Suliman: “I also learned that in the market, companies strive for a unique selling point that can separate them from the competition in the minds of consumers. CSR can play a role in building customer loyalty based on distinctive ethical values.” • Mr. Safi: “Prior to going to the meeting in India, I had very little knowledge about CSR. I was taking it only as the will of a company, to donate money on social projects. Whereas now, after the CSR session, I know that companies are indeed bound socially and ethically to deliver some services to their societies in return of what they receive from them.” • Mr. Ahmad: “I learned how the civil society sector can encourage corporations in Afghanistan to be a social responsible company. A CSR strategy should be developed by the civil society organisations in coordination with the business sector.”

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High Demand for Certified Smallholder Coffee

constructed a drying yard in his farm, a proper stand for the pulping machine, a channel for waste water and a cement tank.

In 2010, South Indian smallholder coffee farmers have been working very hard to adhere to the sustainability standards of Utz Certified. Prakruthi, along with

Solidaridad SSEA and coffee trader ECOM initiated the STEPS project to improve the quality and quantity of smallholder coffee produce. In the first year of the project, 2542 smallholder farmers have become certified coffee producers, enabling them to access higher value export markets. The demand for Indian coffee, certified against sustainability standards, has grown appreciably. The smallholder farmers participating in the STEPS project received an average 10% premium for quality and sustainability above the local market price.

Story of Change: Improvements at field level Mr. Nagaraj (57), is the Secretary of Pachalur Small Growers Coffee Association. He owns a coffee farm of 6.00 acres in his own village. In his field, the pulping unit was not properly maintained and the pulping water leaked in to his field and a pond. He used to dry his coffee on some rocks nearby his farm. After attending Prakruthi’s Good Agricultural Practice training sessions and discussions with the agronomist, he has taken more care of growing his coffee. He has

Mr. Nagaraj: “After enrolling into STEPS Project, I came to know about modern coffee farming technologies. Through training, I learned that banned chemicals must be avoided, because of its negative effects on human beings and the eco-system. Nowadays, I avoid the use of banned chemicals in my farm and also recommended the same to my neighbours. Now I am more concerned about growing my coffee, and preoccupy about hygiene and quality. The coffee beans should be taken care of at the time of pulping, drying and storing.”

Prakruthi ties up with Cafe Coffee Day SARSIC, the Sustainable and responsible South Indian Coffee program is a partnership of Prakruthi and the Amalgated Bean Company (ABC), well-known for its brand “Coffee Day”, to promote sustainable coffee farming in India. The project activities are conducted in Kerala State (Iddiki, Kottayam and Wayanad) and in Karnataka State (Chikmagalur & Hassan), India. The main goal is to enhance the living and working conditions of the coffee farmers through sustainable production and trade.

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New Publication on Garment Support Group, Bangalore Prakruthi published a meeting report “Garnering support for the garment sector in Bangalore”. On 18th of December 2010, the Garment Support Group (GSG),

• Submit a proposal to SAI and BSCI for giving GSG a

consultative status and initiate awareness-raising programmes on CSR standards. • Invite different Bangalore-based suppliers and key

brands to participate in the GSG

Chip-bud Technology in Sugarcane Cultivation Prakruthi released a training video on the innovative Chip-bud technology in Sugarcane. This particular method of cultivation helps the farmers to germinate

organised a meeting to discuss its activities with brands, manufacturers, certifying bodies, trade unions and NGOs. Sixty participants represented four brands, three NGOs, six trade unions, two manufacturers and two certifying bodies.

Summary The acknowledgement of the fact that issues are very complex and there is a lack of trust between the stakeholders is a good starting point. The second step would be to build a congenial environment and trust to discuss those contentious issues openly and start working together. The third step would be more enabling discussions and deliberations to address sustainability issues.

Future Plan • Prioritise some of the key sustainability challenges

in Bangalore garment cluster and create consensus on solutions.

the seed-links minimum seed material and time. The usage CB technology also helps the farmers to cultivate/grow a good quality sugarcane crop. By using this technology and using those seedlings in the field, the crops ability to grow and quantity of yield is enhanced. By this we can avoid the wastage of crop and get more harvest.

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CACHe (An exclusive programme of Prakruthi to support the underprivileged children and youth)

Nrityati 2011 Nrityati 2011 staged at the Yavanika Auditorium on 3rd February, 2011. It was the maiden venture of CACHe School of Dancing, which had been training girls in

classical dances for the past ten years. What started as a ‘labour of love’ by Mrs. Lincy Pramod is now poised to spread its wings under the patronage of Prakruthi, that has created a separate wing, aptly named CACHe or the Centre for Art, Culture and Heritage. CACHe strives to unleash the hidden potential in children by giving them opportunities to showcase their talents in performing and fine arts. Nrityati 2011 provided just that to 24 youngsters in the age group of 6 to 20, of which 15 were debutants, who were undergoing training for a little over a year. As for the others, they exhibited their finesse in both classical and contemporary styles.

CACHe launches ‘Sing ‘N’ Dance for a Cause’ CACHe, the art and culture wing of Prakruthi, offers an exciting chance to enjoy the weekends and get together parties along with being part of Prakruthi’s work with

under-privileged youth and children. While you have your fun, you can support a Cause. CACHe boasts of audio-visual studio with modern facilities. CACHe artists can bring you the technology and skills support to make you sing like a professional using state-of-the-art technology. All you have to do is to pick the mike and sing. For songs you Sing ‘N’ Dance, the underprivileged children would be privy to quality education. To know more about this unique programme please call up the event Co-ordinator @ 9740716067

Prakruthi

#143, 2nd Cross, Ramaya Layout, St. Thomas Town Post, Kammanahalli, Bangalore 560 084, Karnataka, INDIA Tel: +91 80 25438935/36 Fax: 080 41732338 E-mail: prakruthi@prakruthi.org URL: www.prakruthi.org

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Enabling Sustainability Newsletter I 2011  

Quarterly newsletter of Prakruthi

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