Why We Setup

Zameen’s mission is to build profitable supply-demand partnerships between strong organizations of small farmers in India and ethical brands worldwide. Zameen’s vision is to create a different kind of market where the promise of organic farming and fairtrade can be realized. A market where farmers are known and celebrated, where innovative design, social equity and stewardship of the land go hand in hand, and where fair returns are shared by all partners of the value supply chain (Progreso Network, Undated).

Like the majority of farmers across India, individual cotton farmers tend to own very modest parcels of land, and it is a struggle to earn a decent livelihood on these small plots of land. To help meet this challenge, AOFG partners with Zameen to provide three categories of services to the company’s farmers.


First, AOFG helps to organize the farmers into a multi-tiered and self-managed network, gathering their individual voices and energies into a more powerful collective. Farmers at the top of the network structure are responsible for communication with Zameen’s board; investment of the fair-trade premiums into community development projects such as water wells, specialized composting equipment, and a community mill house; the purchase of farmers’ equity shares in the company; and the distribution of dividends from these shares to farmers (Koekoek, Leijdens, and Reiks, 2010). The second category of services that AOFG provides to Zameen farmers encompasses training in organic farming practices. These organic farming practices not only generate a premium for cotton produced in this manner, but also reduce input costs for the farmers and increase their overall farming efficiency. The third category of AOFG services relates to organic certification. AOFG monitors the farming techniques of Zameen farmers and guides them through the multi-year organic certification process. Zameen has earned several internationally recognized certifications for its cotton, including the FAIRTRADE mark from the Fairtrade Labelling Organization International (FLO) and certification by the Global Organic Textile Standard.