Traidcraft is the original fair trade pioneer in the UK - challenging the norm, fighting injustices and breaking rules for over four decades. We advocate the importance of organic farming, sustainability and transparency to the lives of growers and artisans around the world.
For over four decades, we have led the way in proving that fair trade could work commercially. Over the past 40 years, we 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. We buy and sell fair trade. We are one of the leading, dedicated fair trade companies, in the UK and globally. We stock a huge range of ethical and fair trade foods, beverages, household cleaning and rubber products, as well as fair trade crafts and clothing.
Our movement of radical, church-based individuals began by importing goods directly from artisans and growers from over 30 developing countries and distributing them directly to shoppers in the UK, cutting out the middlemen. The team collaborated with the growers and artisans throughout the process, and over time got to know their needs, dreams and ambitions.
They were all partners working together to show trade could be different and fair. Fair trade was no longer about aid - it was a collaborative process of learning and trading simultaneously.
From the church stalls and markets the original team sold through, to independent shops and a website, Traidcraft has continued to grow. In 1992, we co-founded the Fairtrade Foundation, and helped establish the standards that underpin today’s well-recognised Fairtrade Mark. We set up our sister charity – Traidcraft Exchange – in 1986, and the charity has since worked to make sure the UK Government rules against the worst extremes of corporate abuse. Why not take a look at our full story and what’s coming up in the future for Traidcraft?
As much now as we did over 40 years ago, Traidcraft is changing peoples’ lives through trade. We aim to save vanishing, traditional skills from extinction and celebrate a world of creativity and culture, through quality, fair trade products. We bring their goods, from all over the world, to you; offering future-proof, fair trade food and drink, sustainable fashion, home and garden goods and handmade, ethical, fair trade gifts.
While pioneering the future of fair trade, we have the following three key themes very much at the heart of every decision we make.
We are painfully aware that 40 years of fair trade has not done enough to counter the incredible power imbalances in international trade. We are passionate about economic justice and believe that transparency is key in achieving this.
We are actively, noisily passionate about equality across all areas, including: gender, religion, opportunity, regardless of background, heritage, experience or inheritance.
We are increasingly concerned and worried about the killer effects climate change is having on our partners. We will bring people’s attention to the crisis which will be created if we overstep the UN’s ambition to pursue a limit to global warming of 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. See here for more on the choices we make which impact the environment.
We are very mindful of our heritage here at Traidcraft. Being co-founders of the world fair trade movement could either mean a weight on our shoulders to uphold the original vision in all its glory, or a liberating sense of freedom to carry on breaking the normal rules of trade, whenever and wherever we can. We prefer the latter - guarding the flames, not tending the ashes.