How Fair is the Practice of Fair Trade?

with Rajah Banerjee

This webinar took place on May 15th, 2018 

Fair Trade helps smallholder farmers and producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions. Members of the movement advocate the payment of higher prices to exporters, as well as improved social and environmental standards. But how fair is Fair Trade?

In this webinar Rajah Banjaree, a fourth generation tea planter in Darjeeling, will take us back to the historical roots of Fair Trade. Drawing on his experience of being the first tea garden to be certified ‘Transfair’, Rajah will look at the how the concept of Fair Trade has evolved over the years and explore how we can take Fair Trade back to its roots.

In this webinar participants will hear:

  • The history that created the current popularity of Fair Trade products.
  • The philosophical roots that led the Makaibari Tea estate to becoming the first tea garden to be certified ‘Transfair’.
  • The rapid rise of Fair Trade products globally, making it a mainstream generic brand.
  • What Fair Trade standards require.
  • How we can simplify modalities to return to ‘true’ Fair Trade andholistically improve the livelihoods of all marginalised farmers.



Rajah Banerjee

Rajah is a fourth generation tea planter in Darjeeling, Indian Himalayas. After graduating from London University in 1970, Rajah returned to the family-owned plantation and transformed the estate by pioneering biodynamic practices in the tea plantations and tropical farmlands, saving 450 hectares of primary forest, with tea as a permacultural island. The model has inspired 90% of Darjeeling tea growers and a neighboring state, Sikkim, to go organic. Rajah is a social activist for tea labourers and small organic farmers, an anthropologist who works tirelessly to preserve the cultural heritage of the Himalayan region and an environmentalist who fights to conserve its rich biodiversity.