How Traidcraft is pioneering - This is from their website :
Traidcraft is committed to working in new and innovative ways. We have been working in the fair trade area since 1979 and have been influential in changing the way other businesses work.
" We set up Shared Interest (a co-operative lending society offering ethical investment in fair trade with the developing world).
" We worked with partners to set up the Fairtrade Foundation.
" We worked with partners (Oxfam, Twin Trading and Equal Exchange) to set up Cafédirect. Cafédirect was the first Fairtrade product to hit supermarket shelves.
" We were the first plc to carry out fully audited Social Accounts (in 1993).
" We were the first to offer a fair trade wine in the UK. Fairtrade wine would not be in supermarkets today if Traidcraft had not worked with the Fairtrade Foundation and FLO to make it possible.
" We developed Fairtrade cotton through our "In the Cotton Fields Project" with Agrocel. There is now a Fairtrade Mark available for cotton and Marks & Spencer are sourcing direct from Agrocel.
" We were the first to develop a Fairtrade composite food product: Geobar.
" The Just Pensions project was the first of its kind - to work direct with investors on pension funds.
" Ours was the first policy team to specialise in fair trade.
" We were the first to spot the threat of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), which are free trade agreements that force developing countries to open up their markets to EU imports. These have now been debated in Parliament and are on the agenda of many development organisations. We have worked with Marks and Spencer to introduce a range of fair trade cards to their stores.
Traidcraft the Charity
Traidcraft's charity, Traidcraft Exchange, is the UK's only development charity specialising in making trade work for the poor.
Established in 1986, Traidcraft Exchange works to enable poor producers in Africa and Asia to grow their businesses, find markets, and engage effectively in trade.
They passionately believe that trade can provide opportunities for people to work their way out of poverty.
They are currently managing 14 major projects with a total value of about £5.5 million. These projects are directly benefiting 350,000 people with a further 1.4 million indirectly benefiting.
Three interlinked areas of work
They identify the problems that prevent the poor benefiting from trade, and work to overcome these. This might involve helping producers and buyers to find and work with one another, or enabling producers to understand the demands of different markets and what they need to do to access them.
They identify the services that small businesses need to enable them to trade effectively, and build the capacity of local service providers to provide these services on an affordable basis.
They undertake lobbying and advocacy activities to campaign for trade policies that help rather than hurt the poor. And help poor producers to understand the rules that restrict how they trade and encourage them to speak up for their rights.
Traidcraft are the only international development charity in the UK focusing exclusively on trade and are seen as pioneers in this field. They have over 20 years' experience of managing and implementing large trade-focused projects across Africa and Asia, and are also widely known and respected for their trade-related policy and advocacy work in the UK and Europe.