Fair Trade Tour with Indian Artisan Coordinator, Lata Kachhawaha

Courtney Lang May 11, 2012

Lata Kachhawaha joins Handmade Expressions and Fair Trade Towns for a fair trade tour along the west coast.

There are millions of artisans around the world who live in poverty. Lata Kachhawa is a passionate social activist who has devoted her life to improving the conditions of such impoverished artisans, particularly women. Lata ji founded the Society to Uplift Rural Economy (SURE), an NGO that supports over 600 artisans in the Barmer region of Rajasthan, India, to sell products in a fairer market and has been working directly for artisan empowerment for over 20 years. Her particular expertise lies in women’s empowerment, health, education, and drought relief.

 In particular, Lata ji has played a significant role in empowering women in Barmer through forming self-help groups and skills development. In 2011, she led a project sponsored by HME to install solar lanterns in rural huts that will make it easier for women to work and children to study in the night. This month, Lata ji will be traveling with HME and FTT to share her story with fair trade supporters about how SURE’s work has helped to empower and bring social development to rural artisans in the Barmer district.

 We invite you to join us in welcoming Lata ji on this tour (see schedule below) not only because of the insight and knowledge she has to share, but also because she learns from you! Fair trade is about partnership and exchange. It is inspiring for her to see the enthusiasm and support for fair trade in cities across the US. It also benefits her business to understand product trends, consumer demands, and retailer needs. We are thrilled to be embarking on this tour with Lata ji and facilitate the discussion about the realities of fair trade and artisan livelihoods in India. Please come see us if we are stopping by a town near you! Contact Alison (alison@handmadeexpressions.net) or Courtney (clang@fairtradeusa.org) for more details, information, or questions.


 Join Us in Your Town!


 Friday, May 11: Austin, TX

 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Handmade Expressions


Saturday, May 12 (WFTD!): San Diego, CA

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Bazaar Del Mundo and Around the World Gifts


Sunday, May 13: San Diego, CA

9:00 am – 12: 00 pm, The Unity Center


Tuesday, May 15: San Francisco, CA

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm, Global Exchange


Wednesday, May 16: Berkeley, CA

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm, Dinner with Fair Trade Berkeley


Thursday, May 17: Healdsburg and Santa Rosa, CA

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm, One World Fair Trade

4:30 pm – 7:00 pm, Kindred


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Courtney Lang, National Organizer | Fair Trade Campaigns

Courtney Lang brings over 5 years of community organizing to Fair Trade Towns USA, building both the Local Food and Fair Trade networks in Vermont. As Local Food Coordinator with City Market/Onion River Cooperative, Courtney worked with local producers, institutions and consumers to grow the local food system and organize a strategic model for community engagement through farm tours, workshops, and local food challenges. Like many in the Fair Trade industry, Courtney was inspired to take action in Fair Trade when she witnessed child-labor first hand in Costa Rica. As a founding member of Fair Trade Burlington, she has worked with economic development organizations, businesses, and consumers to build awareness of Fair Trade among Vermonters. She also worked with a Fair Trade USA licensee, Vermont Coffee Company, as Friend Ambassador where she united the story of Fair Trade to every purchase of coffee.