Many of you will be familiar with Traidcraft. It is the UK’s leading fair trade organisation, founded in 1979 on Christian principles and dedicated to fighting poverty through trade. But you may not be aware that Traidcraft has been running at a trading loss for four consecutive years and is now telling the Church and wider community that it urgently needs their help.
Traidcraft feels that there are two general misconceptions. The first is that the Fairtrade battle has been won. Chocolate, tea, coffee and many more products with the now familiar Fairtrade Mark are stacked high on our supermarket shelves. However, the job is not done. Injustice in trade and its resulting poverty is as much of a scandal now, as it was 36 years ago and Traidcraft is still doing everything it can to tackle it directly. The second misconception is that Traidcraft and Fairtrade are the same. They are not. Traidcraft is an independent trading company, with a linked development charity. It does not benefit from sales of Fairtrade products in supermarkets. Traidcraft trades with and supports the most vulnerable farmers and artisans (who could not cope with the demands or scale required by big businesses or supermarkets) as well as running development projects and campaigning for trade justice.
Traidcraft urgently needs our help to keep going, because despite the growth of total Fairtrade sales, Traidcraft sales have declined significantly. Why? People are buying Fairtrade products from the supermarket and not from Traidcraft or its supporters, which means that its original pioneering mission is now under serious threat.
Traidcraft is asking churches to support the sales of Traidcraft products as much as possible, for instance by not just serving refreshments with the Fairtrade Mark on, but making sure they are from Traidcraft, and encouraging Fair Traders to run stalls selling Traidcraft products.
In Bradford North Circuit we are planning a Festive Fair Trade Fair on Saturday 17th October from 10am to 12 noon at St. Andrew’s Church, Undercliffe. Please put this date in your diaries, as we need your support. Please also think about having a Traidcraft stall at your church, even on a one-off basis. I can provide stock for this on a “sale or return basis”. Thank you.
Ruth H, Calverley