Producer Profiles

Sunstar Overseas Ltd.

Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, Sunstar – the Federation of Small Farmers of Khaddar Area - cultivates Fair Trade Certified Basmati rice that is fed by water from the Ganges River. Basmati rice was originally domesticated in this region of India and continues to be prized for its nutty taste and fragrance. The federation supplies high-quality aromatic rice while harnessing market opportunities for small-scale farmers.

Sunstar Fair Trade farmers exclusively grow organic rice, illustrating the federation's dedication to sustainable farming practices. Since becoming Fair Trade Certified by the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) in 2004, the federation has improved their stewardship of the land and raised the standard of living for its 907 member farmers. Federation members represent a great diversity of ethnicities, scheduled castes and religious beliefs.
 

Quotable

The higher price received for our rice has helped farmers emerge from an exploitative eternal debt cycle... The vicious cycle has been broken by the Fair Trade mechanism, because Sunstar provides interest-free loans. The added income has infused confidence among farmers and their condition is not only improving economically, but also socially.  

Ajay Katyal, Sunstar Exporter

Programs

Environment

The federation offers training on organic and sustainable agricultural practices, and provides loans for agricultural improvements. It also funds and facilitates the organic certification process.

Education

Sunstar provides women and children increased access to educational opportunities and health care. The federation runs agricultural training for disadvantaged women, facilitates self-help groups, and provides family planning programs. A school wall compound was also constructed.

Credit Program

Sunstar provides interest-free loans for farmers' crop season investments, such as bio-pesticides and manures.