Traidcraft

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Traidcraft
Type Public limited company
Industry Retail (Fair Trade)
Founded 1979
Headquarters Gateshead, Tyne & Wear
Key people Mags Vaughan (CEO)
Revenue £12.429 million GBP (2013/14)[1]
Employees 140+
Website www.traidcraft.co.uk

Traidcraft is a UK-based Fairtrade organisation, established in 1979. The organisation has two components: a public limited company called Traidcraft plc, which sells fairly traded products in the United Kingdom; and a development charity called Traidcraft Exchange[2] that works with poor producers in Africa and Asia.

History[edit]

Traidcraft was set up as a faith organisation in August 1979. It was launched from the top floor of a 1920s warehouse (India House, Carliol Square) in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne by Richard Adams with six members of staff. Its first catalogue was hand-drawn featuring a small selection of jute products from Bangladesh. Within two years tea, coffee and subsequently a wide range of other foods were introduced.

In September 1983 the organisation moved into a 58,000-square-foot (5,400 m2) warehouse on the Team Valley Trading Estate in Gateshead, Tyne & Wear.

In 2004 it opened a second warehouse on the Team Valley, which houses the quality control, food packaging and logistics departments. Traidcraft also has a policy unit based in London, taking the staff total to over 140. It sells fair trade food, clothes/accessories, paper and crafts. Traidcraft works with more than 100 producer groups in over 30 countries around the world.[3]

Traidcraft structure[edit]

Traidcraft has overseas offices in Nairobi, Kenya; Hyderabad, India and Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Traidcraft Foundation[edit]

The Traidcraft Foundation was set up to ensure that Traidcraft plc and Traidcraft Exchange remain focused on their principal aim. It was also the Founder member of the Traidcraft Exchange charity and as such appoints all its directors.

The Traidcraft Foundation holds the Guardian share in Traidcraft plc. This gives the Foundation the power of veto over election of directors to the plc board, payments of dividends and to the Memorandum and Articles of Association. The Foundation must also be consulted on Traidcraft's major strategic plans and has a role of representing the views of external stakeholders in the social accounting process.

Traidcraft plc[edit]

Traidcraft plc is the trading arm of the organisation. The products are sourced from producers in over 30 developing countries including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Philippines, Kenya, Malawi, Chile and Cuba. Products include coffee, tea, fruit juice, sugar, wine, clothing, jewellery, paper and craft items. Among their food products is a snack bar called Geobar, Fairtrade chocolate, dried fruit, honey, pasta, rice and muesli.

Traidcraft plc holds a 10% stake in Cafédirect which it set up jointly with Equal Exchange Trading, Oxfam and Twin Trading.

Traidcraft is a founder member of the European Fair Trade Association (EFTA). Traidcraft also helped establish the Fairtrade Foundation with CAFOD, Christian Aid, New Consumer, Oxfam and World Development Movement in 1992. It was also instrumental in the establishment of Newcastle based company Shared Interest in 1990. Shared Interest is a co-operative lending society that aims to reduce poverty in the world, by providing fair and just financial services.

Traidcraft plc aims to tackle poverty by creating a market for fair trade producers and to show the commercial viability of the fair trade model.

Traidcraft Exchange[edit]

Traidcraft Exchange is the charitable arm of the Traidcraft organisation. Its first director was Graham Young. Registered charity number: 1048752.

Established in 1986, Traidcraft Exchange aims to enable poor producers in Africa and Asia to grow their businesses, find markets, and engage effectively in trade.

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.[4]

Traidcraft Exchange also lobbies and advises governments and organisations with the aim of improving trade rules and market access for small organisations in the developing world. This is done by the Policy Unit which focuses on trade and development polices within the UK Government, the European Union and the World Trade Organisation. The Policy Unit also works with other fair trade organisations in the UK, Europe and internationally.

The Traidcraft Exchange was awarded the 1999 Worldaware Award for Not-for-Profit Organisations in recognition of its positive work.[5]

Social accounts[edit]

Definition: Social accounting is a systematic means of accounting for the social impact of an organisation.

Traidcraft was the first public limited company in the United Kingdom to produce a set of social accounts and has been doing so every year since the early 1990s. The social accounts that are produced are a joint account of the impact both companies work has on various stakeholders. The social accounts are treated with the same seriousness as the financial accounts. They are also submitted to an external audit, and approval at the Annual General Meeting.

Traidcraft has won awards for the social accounts it reports. In 2005 it was awarded the Social Enterprise Champion (Organisation) Award at the New Statesman Upstarts awards. In 2006 it received the Queen's Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) gives out the award annually for Corporate social responsibility:

  • 2007 - Joint Commendation for SME reporting
  • 2006 - Commendation for reporting on stakeholder engagement
  • 2005 - Winner
  • 2004 – Runner-up

Traidcraft Meet the People Tours[edit]

Traidcraft has run trips to visit fair trade producers for over 20 years and now offers what it calls "Meet the People Tours". The tours offer people who are interested in fair trade the chance to visit fair trade producers in developing countries. The tour includes visits to workshops, workers' homes as well as visiting sites of historic interest. Traidcraft Meet the People tours were highly commended in the Award for Best Tour Operator in 2005.[6]

Internet operations[edit]

Traidcraft has two main websites: an information site on Traidcraft and fair trade, and a webstore for the sale of fair trade products.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]