March 2017: Winmeen Fisher Women Federation promoted by MSSRF’s Fish for All Centre in Poompuhar and Fish Chain, a Coimbatore-based for-profit social enterprise, announced on March 8, 2017 that they are entering into a partnership. This tripartite agreement aims to sell high quality fresh, dry fish and fish value added products produced by the fisherwomen in the processing plant of the Centre, to outside markets.
MSSRF provides the technical support and will facilitate the entire process. Fish Chain will be providing the packaging and marketing support. The Winmeen Federation will be involved in the procurement of raw materials, processing the fish and be responsible for the quality control.
Fish Chain has a series of ‘FishVans’, which drive up to consumers doorsteps and shows the fresh catch of the day that has been refrigerated and processed in hygienic conditions. Fish Chain has given a FishVan facility to Winmeen Fisher Women Federation for its processing units, which is part of their CSR activities to support the livelihood activities of fisherwomen in and around the region. The profits made from selling the fish will also be again given back to fisherwomen.
The fish trade is mostly male dominated as this involves massive investment, risks in transportation, processing, and loading. These are reasons why women are not involved by men in this economic activity. The Fish for All Centre facilitates the empowerment of women in economic activities . The tie-up with Fish Chain after a series of meetings, discussions, and training is yet another step forward in this economic empowerment process. The women are mobilized into three groups from three different landing centers and are provided support related to credit, processing, and training on packaging. Apart from this, they are also facilitated to set up linkages with the boat owners to buy fishes which are in turn bought by Fish Chain.
On International Women’s Day, while launching their products in Bangalore, Ray Nathan – CEO and Co-founder ‘Fish Chain’ in a press release said, “Women make up nearly 40% of fisher folk, but are themselves highly marginalized in what is a male-dominated industry. Fish Chain is honored to work with the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation to find ways to support fisherwomen package and market their produce, with 100% profits going back to support and build the fisherwoman community.”