Vinita Singh is an independent consultant based in Gurgaon, India. Her main areas of expertise are livelihoods and ethical trade.
She has worked on a variety of issues in the area of trade and development as former Director of International Resources for Fairer Trade and as Coordinator of ETI’s Homeworker project in India. She has a Masters degree in business management and in social policy.
Vinita has focused much of her efforts in looking at how ethical trade can positively contribute to the livelihoods and lives of workers, in the formal and informal sector. She has worked with several UK retailers notably B&Q, Coop, Sainsburys, John Lewis, Boots, Traidcraft, on understanding the involvement of the informal sector workers in their supply chains and developing initiatives in improving of the livelihoods of these workers. This has been in several product areas like rice, nuts, coir, carpets, brassware, garments, jewellery and crafts. For example, with B&Q, she worked on understanding the supply chain related to coir mats that they sourced from Kerala in India. She specifically examined the issues of weavers, spinners, beaters and retters – all informal sector workers closely involved in coir mat production. She then developed, together with the coir-mat suppliers and local NGOs, grassroots Self-help Groups for addressing the credit needs of these workers. Recently, with the ETI, she facilitated a multi-stakeholder group of exporters, brands, NGOs and trade unions in India to develop and action the ETI guidelines for homeworkers. This group is now an independent organisation dedicated to improving the conditions of homeworkers in India.