St Andrew's Church supports the Traidcraft association. Items that have been fairly traded can be purchased in church on selected Sundays and at some of the regular scheduled events.
Traidcraft is the UK’s largest fair trade organisation, which was set up in 1979 to challenge the unfair way in which international trading systems are usually structured. Small businesses in ‘third world’ countries face many disadvantages in trade. These include:
- lack of money
- unpredictable world prices and demands for their products
- tariffs and quotas, which limit how many of their products other countries can buy
- a lack of knowledge about how trading systems operate
This can make it difficult for them to compete on world markets and to earn enough money to pay for adequate food, shelter, health care and education.
Traidcraft operates on the principle that by paying a fair price for the products we buy, and establishing long term relationships of partnership and co-operation, we can help poor communities to work their way out of poverty and create a more equitable world. Most of Traidcraft’s trading partners are community-based enterprises and associations of small holder farmers organised for the benefit of their producers and growers. Traidcraft can give producers access to credit which allows them to buy the raw materials they need. We also support training programmes which develop the skills and knowledge of our producers. Traidcraft is a Christian initiative which welcomes co-operation with all who share a concern for fairer trade.
Traidcraft’s approach to trading means that, wherever possible, our products come from groups which:
- are organised primarily for the benefit of their members and the community
- pay fair wages and provide working conditions that are better than average for the locality
- encourage and enable workers’ participation in ownership and decision making.
Fair trade makes a real difference to the lives of the producers we work with. Improvements in health care, housing and education, along with safer water supplies and a better diet, are among the tangible benefits that fair trade can bring.
Traidcraft sells a range of fair trade products, including crafts, fashions, foods, beverages, paper and cards. Our products are sold through an extensive network of Fair Traders (Traidcraft representatives), as well as by mail order catalogue and in mainstream and independent retail outlets. We also work in co-operation with a number of other European fair trade organisations to sell fair trade products and promote fair trade. When producers are ready to do so, we help them to find markets in the commercial mainstream.
Traidcraft as an organisation consists of Traidcraft plc, a trading company and Traidcraft Exchange, its linked charity. Traidcraft plc provides a working model of fair trade within the commercial sector, while Traidcraft Exchange works to promote fairer trading systems as a solution to ‘third world’ poverty. This is achieved through providing information and training to ‘third world’ producers so that they are better equipped to trade, promoting ethical business practice, and raising awareness in the UK about fair trade through Traidcraft’s work.