Project - Retail Marketing Project with Elements Homestead Products
RETAIL MARKETING PROJECT WITH ELEMENTS HOMESTEAD PRODUCTS
LEDS has partnered with Elements Homestead Products Pvt. Ltd, a social business based in North Kerala, in creating and operating a Sales and Distribution system in South India for the marketing of its organic and fair-trade products.
The ‘Elements’ branded products – Coconut Oil, Virgin Coconut Oil, Cashew, Coffee etc - are sourced from around 5000 organic farmers in the Malabar region under the farmer collective ‘Fair Trade Alliance Kerala (FTAK). The project envisages linking these small holder farmers to the conscious consumers in the domestic Indian market. LEDS believes that linking Elements- FTAK farmers to the fiercely competitive FMCG markets through a best-in-class marketing system is a critical step in addressing the sustainability of farmer collectives, as this happens to be the weakest functional area for most farmer organizations.
Elements and FTAK evolved as a response to the agrarian crisis of poverty and indebtedness that gripped Kerala during the beginning of the 21st century, when producers were not even getting the cost of production for much of their produce. They aimed to address the crisis and to try and find solutions. This led to collaborative action with producers, distributors and consumers to try and create a more just system, where trade is not just to make profit but is an exchange with a human face. Through working under Fair Trade principles, farmers are given a fair price for their products and sustainable farming means that farming protects and nurtures the land as well as the workers.
Under the project, LEDS has instituted a Sales & Distribution system with best-in-class processes that currently services more than 1000 top retail stores in Kerala. The following sales channels are covered:
•Hyper and Supermarkets
•Provision and Stationary
The Sales & Distribution system that LEDS has instituted for Elements has five key functional areas for which elaborate Core Work Processes are laid out and operated as below:
• Resale Operations
• Human Resources and Capability Building
• IT and Management Information Systems
• Finance and Commercial
The following define the philosophy of the project:
1. The determining characteristic of all our business endeavours will be ‘organic’ and ‘fair’ – the former denoting our relationship with the larger universe and the latter the relationship with our fellow human beings.
2. We will constantly strive to reduce the size of the ‘environmental footprint’ of the goods and services we deal in.
3. We seek to uphold principles of equity and fair play in dealing with our various stakeholders. This would include affirmative action in favour of primary producers of goods and services and preferential commercial dealings with those disadvantaged by global commerce.
4. We will seek to define afresh and continuously extend the boundaries of corporate social responsibility and ensure that our business objectives are not merely aligned to but dictated by our responsibility as a corporate citizen.
5. We will seek to set standards and serve as a benchmark for North- South business partnerships anchored on mutual respect, cultural sensitivity and global economic justice.