By now you may have heard the news: Traidcraft, the fair trade pioneer and our close partner for many years, is going into administration.
Those are painful words to write, but I wanted to pass on the news personally and share some reflections at this difficult time.
Many of you will have supported Traidcraft for years and do not need me to tell you that today marks a huge loss. After an exceptionally difficult few years, one of the founders of the trade justice movement is closing its doors.
Since 1979 Traidcraft has reimagined the relationships between producers and consumers, putting justice at the heart of trade. It’s no exaggeration to say that the fair trade movement as we know it would not exist without Traidcraft.
But what now?
When we changed our name to Transform Trade, Richard Adams, the founder of Traidcraft said…
“Transform Trade have picked up the baton with their new strategy and name… the work is not done yet.”
We didn’t realise at the time just how relevant those words would be, only a few months down the line. Together, we must pick up the baton.
The good work that Traidcraft has done over the years will not disappear. Instead it must be built upon.
Our mission it to transform trade so that everybody benefits. As we continue this work, our focus right now is on two things.
1. Supporting producers
Over the years, Traidcraft did incredible work with smaller producer groups – helping them find a route to market where no one else could. We’re working on plans to expand our work supporting small groups of artisans and farmers, like those Traidcraft was originally set up to help, in order to fill the gap they leave behind.
2. The system
Trading ethically within a system that is unjust is always going to be difficult – especially during a cost of living crisis. From the start, the odds were stacked against Traidcraft. Our campaigning and advocacy work aims to level the playing field by demanding change to the entire trading system. We’ve shown in the past that it can be done, but we must press on with renewed energy.
I firmly believe that there is hope for the trade justice movement.
The good work that Traidcraft pioneered cannot and will not be undone. We are committed to transforming trade – and I am so grateful that you stand with us.