The produce of Adivasi communities in the Nilgiris, including honey, beeswax, shikakai, amla, soapnuts, coffee, pepper, silk cotton and millets are sold by Aadhimalai.
Adivasi shareholders part of the Aadhimalai Pazhangudiyinar Producer Company Limited, which was recently awarded the Equator Prize 2021 by the UNDP, now get better prices for their value-added produce due to the company.
Registered in 2013 as a producer company, produce of Adivasi communities in the Nilgiris, including honey, beeswax, shikakai, amla, soapnuts, coffee, pepper, silk cotton and millets are sold by Aadhimalai.
“Through our livelihood projects in Keystone Foundation, value addition was made to much of the produce. Aadhimalai was started to ensure that local communities get better prices for their produce through collective bargaining,” said Snehlata Nath, founder-director of Keystone Foundation.
The Keystone Foundation now assists Aadhimalai Pazhangudiyinar Producer Company Limited in an advisory and capacity-building role.
With over 1,600 shareholders, managed by a seven-member board of adivasis and a non-adivasi CEO, the company has been structured to ensure that profits from the produce from communities is shared equitably and fairly.
Aadhimalai also trains women from local communities in adding value to their products, ensuring that women from Adivasi communities too benefit from the commercial success of the company.
“Aadhimalai aims at providing a sustainable livelihood support and income generation through fair trade practices to the community while preserving their traditional way of life and conserving the environment,” a statement from Aadhimalai said. Meanwhile, out of 1,609 of the organisation’s total members, 775 shareholders are women, the company said.
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