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Traidcraft Exchange trading as Transform Trade
Key people
Mark Buchanan (CEO)
Number of employees
1 [2] (2023)
Traidcraft Exchange
Formation1986; 37 years ago (1986)[3]
Registration no.1048752
Legal statusCharity

Traidcraft Exchange trading as Transform Trade is a UK-based Fairtrade organisation, established in 1984, developing from a prior organisation established five years earlier. The organisation a development charity called Traidcraft Exchange[5] that works with poor producers in Africa and Asia. It was once known as Traidcraft although this business name and logo are discontinued and may be sold off to repay creditors of a failed side venture that used this name.

Historically Transform Trade and its predecessor organisations have worked to promote fair trade and can claim to be a co-founder of the Fairtrade Foundation.[6] Furthermore, it can claim to be a founder member of the European Fair Trade Association (EFTA) to have 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 co-operative lending society Shared Interest in 1990.[7]


Transform Trades origins can be traced back five years before its foundation to the top floor of a 1920s warehouse (India House, Carliol Square) in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne where Richard Adams with six members of staff, launched a venture known as "'Traidcraft"'. this organisation was established as a faith organisation drawing support and revenues from a growing group of faith motivated consumers.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.[8]

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, housing quality control, food packaging and logistics departments. At this time a policy unit was also based in London, taking the staff total to over 140.[9]

In 2018 it was announced that the trading arm of Transform Trade was facing closure.[10] A consultation on its future led to continued operation for a further four years, with a "slimmed-down" focus on popular food products, before supporters and Fairtrade individuals who personally sold the organisations range across the United Kingdom and or held equity shares in the failed venture were notified of the news.[11][12]

Organisational Structure structure[edit]

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

Traidcraft Foundation[edit]

The Traidcraft Foundation was set up to ensure the organisations ethos and as such appoints all its directors.

As of February 2023 the future of Transform Trades historic holding of a 10% stake in Cafédirect which it set up jointly with Equal Exchange Trading, Oxfam and Twin Trading remains unknown.[13]

On 20 January 2023 Transform Trades side venture with its private investor 'FairTraders', which had been known as Traidcraft announced that it would be going into administration with the loss of 50 jobs. The separate entities £500,000 of debt may wipe out investor supporters equity, while its warehouse, which increasingly was being leased out to other organisations to run their own logistics operations was a wholly owned freehold interest. HSBC bank. The last annual report indicated the ventures pensioners pots were sufficiently secured.[14][11]

=Now and the Future[edit]

Transform Trade operates in multiple countries providing direct support and advice to producers in developing countries, and campaigns for fair trade policies and practices. On 25 September 2022, Traidcraft Exchange rebranded and renamed itself as 'Transform Trade.' Transform Trade, formerly known as Traidcraft Exchange now works in three main areas: Fashion, Tea, and Agriculture.

The charity runs development projects across South Asia, East Africa and West Africa. Its programmes particularly focus on the tea sector, honey sector, handcrafted textiles and climate resilient agriculture.[15]

It lobbies and advises governments and organizations 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 policies within the UK Government, the European Union and the World Trade Organization. The Policy Unit also works with other fair trade organizations in the UK, Europe and internationally. In 2018 it successfully campaigned for several major British tea brands to publish details of their suppliers.[16]

The Traidcraft Exchange was awarded the 1999 Worldaware Award for Not-for-Profit Organisations in recognition of its positive work.[17]

The Social accounts concept[edit]

In the past Transforming Trades predecessor organisations produced a set of social accounts from 1993 to 201#.


[18] They were submitted to external audit, and approval at the Annual General Meeting.

In 2005 this effort was awarded the Social Enterprise Champion (Organisation) Award at the New Statesman Upstarts awards and was recognised by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) gives out an award annually for Corporate social responsibility, in which Traidcraft has been recognised several times:[19][20] In 2006 it received the Queen's Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development.[21]


  • 2004 – Runner-up
  • 2005 - Best social report[22]
  • 2006 - Commendation for disclosure on stakeholder engagement[23]
  • 2007 - Joint Commendation for SME reporting[24]

Meet the People tours[edit]

Traidcraft has run trips to visit fair trade producers for over 20 years. 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 a sustainable travel agency's award for Best Tour Operator in 2005.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Filing history". Companies House. TRAIDCRAFT PUBLIC LIMITED COMPANY. 28 October 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  2. ^ Lynch, Oscar (18 December 2018). "Traidcraft CEO looks forward to relaunching business". Insider Media Ltd.
  3. ^ "Traidcraft history". Traidcraft Exchange. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  4. ^ "THE TRAIDCRAFT EXCHANGE - Charity 1048752". Charity Commission. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  5. ^ Organisation's website, About Traidcraft Archived 2008-12-07 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "UK fair trade's Gateshead origins". BBC News. 1 March 2010.
  7. ^ Mellor, Mary; Moore, Geoff (March 2005). "Business for a Social Purpose: Traidcraft and shared interest" (PDF). Development. 48 (1): 84–91. doi:10.1057/palgrave.development.1100118. S2CID 84734541. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2006.
  8. ^ Alldred, Sarah (2 September 2020). "A Fairtrade story: Celebrating the history of Traidcraft". Co-operative News.
  9. ^ Traidcraft website Archived 2009-06-11 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Gateshead fair trade 'pioneer' Traidcraft faces closure". BBC News. 20 September 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Is this the end of the road for Traidcraft?". BBC News. 4 October 2018.
  12. ^ Strange, Ruth (23 November 2018). "Traidcraft's plan to continue fair trading". Ethical Consumer.
  13. ^ Davies, Iain A.; Ryals, Lynette J. (October 2010). "The Role of Social Capital in the Success of Fair Trade" (PDF). Journal of Business Ethics. 96 (2): 317–338. doi:10.1007/s10551-010-0468-3. S2CID 55239701.
  14. ^ "Traidcraft PLC goes into administration". Church Times. Retrieved 24 January 2023.
  15. ^ "Programmes". Traidcraft Exchange. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  16. ^ "Yorkshire Tea, Twinings, Tetley, Clipper & PG Tips become first major tea brands to publish supplier list". Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. 3 July 2018.
  17. ^ "Worldaware Business Awards 1999 - The Worldaware Award for Not-for-Profit Organizations". Retrieved 2008-02-24.
  18. ^ Dey, Colin (12 June 2007). "Social accounting at Traidcraft plc: A struggle for the meaning of fair trade". Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal. 20 (3): 423–445. doi:10.1108/09513570710748571. hdl:1893/25742.
  19. ^ "Co-op Bank wins third honour". TriplePundit. 30 November 1999.
  20. ^ "Who won last year?". Upstarts Awards. New Statesman. 2005. Archived from the original on 17 December 2005. Social Enterprise Champion (Organisation) Award: Traidcraft{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  21. ^ "No. 57962". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 April 2006. p. 4.
  22. ^ "Sustainability reporting awards". Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. Archived from the original on 20 March 2006.
  23. ^ "Vodafone takes top spot at ACCA Sustainability Reporting Awards". Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. 2 March 2007. Archived from the original on 6 March 2007.
  24. ^ "BT wins at ACCA Sustainability Reporting Awards". Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. 13 Dec 2007. Archived from the original on 31 December 2007.
  25. ^ "2005 Responsible Tourism Award winners". Responsible Travel. Retrieved 30 April 2021.

External links[edit]