Traidcraft may stop selling goods!!!
Traidcraft plc is in trouble. With very poor recent trading figures and despite enormous efforts by the staff and management and Fair Traders, it warns that the present model for the company may be no longer viable.
Traidcraft's charity branch, Traidcraft Exchange, will continue to support farmers and lobby government through its charitable arm, and the decision about closing the trading arm is still in a consultation period and not final.
Traidcraft plc first started in 1979, selling fair-trade coffee, sugar and chocolate as well as rugs and handmade baskets from Bangladesh. They went on to sell fair-trade clothes and wine. Most of us remember them from church stalls and markets. Their aim was to keep a close link between producer and purchaser.
A spokesperson for Traidcraft said: "Traidcraft plc's mission to put the principles of fair trade into commercial practice is not, in any sense, fulfilled but we appreciate that it is time to consider new approaches."
Brian Renwick, Traidcraft's representative at HT adds:
The decision is not final, there is a 30 day consultation period which is almost over so we should know for definite soon, but the proposal being considered is that the trading arm of Traidcraft will cease to operate by the end of December. The charity arm will continue.
For Holy Trinity this could mean the end of monthly Traidcraft stalls after church. Also the loss of about 68 jobs in Gateshead. But the biggest losers we should all be concerned about are third world workers and small businesses who will lose their main customer.
However the fair trade movement is bigger than Traidcraft and the good news is that supermarkets are so far continuing to sell more fair trade goods. We should all support this, and also note that many of our favourites such as Divine chocolate and Café Direct coffee etc., can be bought in Stirling at the Oxfam shop.
Some say that this may be a further symptom of the malaise which seems to be infecting the developed world these days, which puts our own national interests first, with a loss of concern and support for those from other ethnic or religious backgrounds, especially refugees who need our help more than ever!!!
Explore the Diocesan website, which has lots of up-to-date news and photographs.