“Over the past 40 years, Traidcraft has pioneered the first fair trade chocolate, coffee, tea, fruit juice, wine, rice, honey, charcoal, rubber, palm oil… Almost everything we know today as fair trade began with Traidcraft.” Wow!!
In September last year they announced “that like many retailers Traidcraft has been going through very difficult times, particularly due to the rate of exchange. Currently they are considering closing the business at the end of the year so that they will still have sufficient assets to pay all their creditors.”
Fortunately there was such a supportive response from many stakeholders that they revised their plans. The Board of Traidcraft has accepted a plan for the future of the plc, which has room for 12 employees & will begin its work at the start of 2019. It will maximise the profitable parts of the business, phase out loss-making lines, create a membership culture & set a new high bar for ethical trading in the UK. As such, Traidcraft wishes to build on the extraordinary success of fair trade for a new generation of trading, sourcing & buying, in the manner of its pioneering fair trade founders.
Traidcraft will initially focus more deliberately on its established partners & advocates, who are predominantly active in Christian churches. Traidcraft’s 4,300 Fair Traders, 85% of whom are motivated by faith, will be able to access a new version of the company they already do business with. Further to this, products will be available to all consumers through the online Traidcraft shop & by mail order.
Returning the business to profit will involve a simpler range of products. The new Traidcraft will: • establish core grocery lines • carry fewer craft lines • encourage communities to buy cooperatively & in bulk, saving on packaging & benefitting the planet • deliver discounts through a membership model.
All of Traidcraft’s 67 members of staff have faced redundancy through the legal consultation process; 22 of whom chose voluntary redundancy, & a further 45 were issued notices of redundancy. Sadly there will be only 12 roles available within the future plan for the organisation.
So if you see Traidcraft items for sale please support them, there is a Traidcraft stall at Holmfirth Methodist Church during the Thursday Coffee Morning from 10am to 12 noon - do pop by and show your support.