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Major Sponsors of World Fair Trade Day 2008:

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Fair Trade Federation

Oxfam America

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Catholic Relief Services

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Equal Exchange

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Exert provided by Alter Eco. To learn more visit there website here.

Sustainable and Fair Trade: Thai Purple Rice

In the province of Loei in Northeast Thailand, only a very small portion of rice farmers are growing an ancient variety: Black Sticky Rice, grown exclusively in the fertile soil of the Esan Plateau and typically prepared by the local population only for feasts and celebrations. Mixed with White Jasmine rice, ALTER ECO Purple Rice’s vibrant color and sweet flavor is a perfect marriage of rich taste and aesthetic appeal.

The co-operative Na Raï Loei comes from a common wish of E San, ALTER ECO and the local producers to set up a sustainable project whose objectives are to increase standards of living in the villages by generating new income activities through environmentally friendly practices and a high potential of social enhancement.

Members have been growing Black Sticky Rice again for four years. Over the last few decades, production of this traditional rice was gradually abandoned in favor of the White Jasmine rice for which there was a greater demand. As a direct result of ALTER ECO’s development projects, this rice is again being grown and rediscovered. Farmers use traditional methods that ensure quality and respect for the environment. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides have been replaced with organic fertilizers and natural plant extracts to produce this premium quality, environmentally friendly rice. Seeds are stored from harvest to harvest, thereby avoiding the risk of using contaminated seeds. The farmers of Na Rai Loei are contributing to a sustainable form of agriculture and preserving their cultural heritage.

ALTER ECO Fair Trade brings the farmers of Loei market access for their unique products In Loei, the livelihood of farmers is based on crop diversification. This way, Fair Trade contributes to the promotion of traditional products and increases the triple bottom line for farmers: people - allowing farmers to stay on their land and have a decent life- planet -by promoting biodiversity and environmentally-friendly farming- and profit -ensuring farmers and their families a steady revenue.

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