Fair Trade Producer Spotlight: Tara Projects
- Mata Traders
- 19 Apr, 2022
All Mata Traders jewelry comes through Tara Projects in Delhi, India. Recognized as a Guaranteed Fair Trade member of the WFTO, Tara, which stands for “Trade Alternative Reform Action,” is the oldest organization we partner with, having begun in 1966. Tara provides operational and production support, as well as representation and marketing efforts for 25 artisan groups primarily in Delhi and nearby states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Rajasthan. Each group typically specializes in a particular craft technique ranging from jewelry making, to weaving, and stone carving. Mata’s jewelry collections use many different materials, ranging from brass, to thread, to raffia, wood, bone and other natural components, which means our jewelry isn’t made by one single artisan group.
The organization was founded by Shyam Sharma, an accomplished thought leader in the military and higher education. He also started several other social impact initiatives including the Asia Fair Trade Forum and was a founding member of the Fair Trade Forum India. Shyam Sharma’s passion for social justice lives on in the current CEO (since 1985), his daughter Moon Sharma. Moon is best described as a powerhouse of a leader - an activist as dedicated to fair trade as she is vocal about community issues, fighting disease, raising awareness, strengthening safe water management, developing micro-finance and savings programs, and other various aid and economic programs for those living in poverty. She is a mover and a shaker, and an endless source of energy for the work that Tara Projects does.
Tara’s dedication to over 400 artisans in their network extends beyond supporting their craft; Tara also supports non formal and vocational schools attached to its artisan communities with educational, health and wellness, finance, and environmental initiatives, even opening a few health centers in areas of need.
Working to raise awareness around water management and conservation and environmental issues in local communities and villages, their efforts include leading waste management programs like village cleanup days and secondhand collections, as well as rainwater harvesting and pond repairing and cleaning. Members of our team have participated in tree plantings at Tara many times in the past!
Our pride in this partnership knows no bounds, and we continue to be impressed by Țara Projects’ investment in their communities and exceptional jewelry making skills.