Factsheet on working conditions on smallholder Fairtrade farms
In the cotton season 2020/21, SÜDWIND and the Indian partner "Centre for Labour Research and Action" (CLRA) conducted a study on the working conditions of field workers on smallholder Fairtrade farms and published the results in autumn 2021 (Ferenschild 2021). The survey was mainly based on interviews with field workers. In summary, the survey showed that the majority of cotton pickers worked as day labourers and overwhelmingly did not receive the legal minimum wage. In addition, respondents reported that they had observed child labour in the fields that went beyond child labour as family labour.
These are two serious abuses that prompted SÜDWIND and CLRA to conduct another survey of field workers in the 2021/22 season. Shockingly, this survey also came to the conclusion that workers on Fairtrade certified cotton farms in India do not have better working conditions than workers on conventional cotton farms.
In the factsheet on the study, you can read about the conditions of the workers with the help of informative tables and study results. Raising awareness of this issue brings the importance of uniform legislation to the fore and can help to make supply chains sustainable so that living wages and incomes become the standard.