Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to marginalized producers and workers.
Since its inception the motto of Maroma has been to put people before machines, hence our work environment reflects this maxim. We are a member of the World Fair Trade Organization and Fair Trade Forum India.
We follow the Fair Trade policy for all those involved with the company, taking care of the cleanliness and safety of the work space to the well being of the workers. We have always run our business with consciousness and integrity to produce not only a beautiful product, but to produce it in an environment conductive to creativity for all those involved in the company.
1. Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
Maroma’s policy is to employ a majority of women who come from the neighboring villages.
The location of our organization offers convenient opportunities to these women in an area where there are limited avenues, to make them economically independent.
2. Transparency and Accountability
As part of the Auroville community, we are an organization which is completely dedicated to the Auroville philosophy of non ownership. Maroma is not owned by any individual but by a Trust.
This background makes Maroma a transparent and accountable organization at each level :
- Audited Statement of Accounts,
- Salary slips with break ups for Employees,
- Invoice from Suppliers,
- Billing to buyers.
3. Fair Trading Practices
Maroma maintains long term relationships with all its partners (employees, clients, suppliers…) based on solidarity, trust and mutual respect that contribute to the promotion and growth of Fair Trade.
As part of this, we are regularly creating Fair Trade Awareness amongst our suppliers and employees. We also have committees to address various issues of Fair trade, like Sexual Harassment Prevention and Employees Welfare.
4. Payment of a Fair Price
We give our suppliers a price which is above the local rate, along with a proper costing sheet.
As our production is completely dependent on employees and not producers, we practice at least the minimum wages in accordance to the Tamil Nadu minimum wages along with all the statutory benefits:
- Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC),
- Employees’ Provident Fund (PF),
- Medical and accident insurance,
- Leave with wages,
- National and festival holidays,
- Weekly offs,
- Special loans (based on the necessity)
- Annual increments.
5. Ensuring no Child Labour and Forced Labour
In Maroma, we check Date of Birth Certificates or Educational Certificate to ensure the age of new employees is 18 years or older.
6. Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment, and Freedom of Association
In Maroma, the majority of employees are women, and they are paid according to their skill irrespective of their gender. We only value work and ethics and have no discrimination by gender for any kind of facilities or rights.
The organisation recognises all people irrespective of their religion, nationality or political affiliation. We nurture each persons’ talent and contribution to the whole team.
We believe that mutual respect is of the utmost importance.
7. Ensuring Good Working Conditions
Maroma is committed to good working conditions and employee welfare.
As part of this:
- Fire fighting training is conducted regularly in the premises,
- Fire warning systems are installed with proper emergency exits and lights as well as fire fighting equipments in the use of which selected employees are trained,
- A group of employees are trained for First Aid support,
- We provide state of the art sanitation facilities and dining hall,
- Tea breaks are provided 2 times a day, as well as filtered potable water and a proper lunch break.
In case of any serious health emergency, the employee is taken to the Auroville health centre which is 500 meters from our unit.
Usage of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is mandatory in some areas of the production and optional for those who wish to use it in any other area.
8. Providing Capacity Building
Maroma cares about improving employees skills and capabilities.
- Workers are trained to take up any work in the factory. We encourage our employees to have an diverse set of skills and to progress upwards from their designated positions. We have instances of gardeners becoming section supervisors, or lady typists becoming Managers and taking various sections of Administration in charge, such as export documentation and product sourcing.
- We implement new strategies and update our production team frequently to meet the expectations of the clients and changing market condition.
- We try to source products from local materials as far as possible to support our local suppliers.
9. Promoting Fair Trade
Employees & local suppliers are given trainings on fair trade awareness once in a year.
We create fair trade awareness through our website, social media, shops and product catalogues.
10. Respect for the Environment
Maroma has a particular sensitivity to environmental issues and a dedication to help preserve the planet’s natural resources.
- Waste is greatly minimized : our used cans, carton boxes, waste glass and plastic are separated and given for recycling to a company that comes and collects them on a monthly basis.
The waste wax from the candles is reused to make special candles at cheaper prices for the community and other activities. There is no waste perfume because it is being reused till it is finished.
- We filter our waste water with soak pits before it is absorbed into the ground.
- Most of the ingredients in Maroma’s products and packaging are recyclable and naturally abundant or taken from renewable resources. We are constantly trying to find materials with minimal impact on the environment.
- Our products are cruelty-free and never tested on animals. Most of them are vegan (only a few contain honey).
- We have solar powered lighting.
- Auroville is one of the first city to completely offset its electricity use by feeding into the grid wind-generated energy from captive power windmills installed by the Auroville unit Varuna.
To learn more about Auroville, please visit www.auroville.org.