TRIFED was established in August 1987 under the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 1984 by the Government of India as a National level Cooperative body under the administrative control of the then Ministry of Welfare of India, with the basic mandate of bringing about socio-economic development of tribals of the country by institutionalizing the trade of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) & Surplus Agricultural Produce (SAP) collected/ cultivated by them.
As a market developer and service provider, the objective of TRIFED is socio-economic development of tribal people in the country by way of marketing development of the tribal products on which the lives of tribals depends heavily as they spend most of their time and derive a major portion of their income. The philosophy behind this approach is to empower tribal people with knowledge, tools and pool of information so that they can undertake their operations in a more systematic and scientific manner.
The approach involves capacity building of the tribal people through sensitization, formation of Self Help Groups (SHGs) and imparting training to them for undertaking a particular activity, exploring marketing possibilities in national as well as international markets, creating opportunities for marketing tribal products on a sustainable basis and creating a brand.
TRIFED's MSP for MFP & VanDhan program is in line with the "The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers ( Forest Rights Act, 2006 )", a key forest legislation passed for securing protection & livelihood of poor tribals and concerns with the rights of forest-dwelling communities to land and other natural resources.