Why Traidcraft Exchange?
“If we want our church to continue to support Traidcraft Exchange, then we’re going to have to make a good case for doing so… What makes Traidcraft Exchange different? "
That’s a recent question from Shelly, a long-term Traidcraft supporter.
What strikes me first is that this is absolutely true. We don’t want people to support us out of guilt, fear or pity. Instead we want people to support us because they believe that together we can make the world a better place.
But to get to that point, we need to be clear on what a donation to Traidcraft Exchange actually does for the world.
I hope as you read our emails, like our Facebook posts and take part in our campaigns - you start to build up a picture of what your support means to people around the world. It makes lives better - through the power of trade.
We will always make it a priority to share the good news stories that your hard work makes possible.
But it’s actually Shelly’s second question that I want to deal with today… what, if anything, makes us different? It’s a question that is hugely important to us right now.
While many charities operate in the business world (for example, through charity shops or promotional sales), we came out of a fair trade business.
Traidcraft Exchange was set up to further the mission and goals of Traidcraft Plc.
Those same life changing principles of fair trade also inspire our work - but we use different methods to put them into action.
So unlike other charities, who run development and disaster relief programmes, we work specifically on trade issues. We are smaller in terms of income and staff - but we are specialists, and our impact is tangible, powerful and long term. We do one thing - trade justice - really well. It’s in our DNA.
To reach further
While Traidcraft plc supports a limited number of producers whose products are suitable for export, Traidcraft Exchange works with 300,000 people across the world, many of whom may never reach the export market.
We help them to get better deals for the hard work they do everyday. We bring them together in groups so they can negotiate fairer terms, demand their basic rights, and learn new skills. It's not unusual for us to see the people we work with increase their income by 50%. Alongside all this, we campaign and lobby to change trade laws that impact millions of the world’s most vulnerable people.
A note on the future
I'd just like to reiterate that we are devastated by the potential plc news, and whilst not immediately affected, we rely on the support and donations of fairtraders, customers and supporters of Traidcraft Plc.
So we very much hope you can continue to support Traidcraft through buying products this season, and by donating what you can to make the world a better, fairer place.
Thank you so much for your continued support.
Kate Dixon is Traidcraft Exchange’s Senior Fundraising Communications Officer