Statement on the future of Traidcraft plc

20 September 2018

The pioneering fair trade company Traidcraft plc has announced that, following recent poor trading results, it is in consultation with staff about ceasing its current trading model.

Traidcraft Exchange, its partner charity, is unaffected by these consultations and will continue its work to challenge injustice in trade through development programmes in Africa and South Asia, and through advocacy and campaigning in the UK.

At its Annual General Meeting on 15 September 2018 in Gateshead shareholders were informed of the consultation process.

“Traidcraft has shown that trade could be done differently and that those producing the groceries and crafts we buy in the UK could earn a fairer slice of the pie,” said Robin Roth, CEO of Traidcraft plc.

“Unfortunately, economies of scale mean that Traidcraft plc in its current form is no longer a viable proposition in today’s marketplace,” added Robin Roth.

Traidcraft was founded in 1979, introduced the first fair trade tea, coffee, wine and sugar to the UK and co-founded the Fairtrade Foundation in 1992. In 1986 it set up a charity, Traidcraft Exchange, to widen its impact by challenging mainstream trade. Traidcraft Exchange is not directly affected by the Traidcraft plc decision.

“Our thoughts are with our colleagues and friends in Traidcraft plc, as well as with its overseas suppliers, who will understandably be concerned by this news,” said Esther Stevenson, Director of Traidcraft Exchange.

“Looking to the future, this situation makes us more determined to continue the original mission of Traidcraft through our work at Traidcraft Exchange. At this critical time, when the rules of trade are changing, we will continue to support people living in poverty by championing new ways of doing business better,” added Esther Stevenson.

ENDS

For more information or to interview Robin Roth or Esther Stevenson contact Jon McNaughton: jon.mcnaughton@traidcraft.org or 0191 497 3983 or Tom Sharman: 07757 753 318.

Notes for editors:

  • Traidcraft plc is consulting with staff on restructuring which could involve significant redundancies. The consultation will look for alternative sustainable business models. No final decisions have been made.

  • Traidcraft plc stands for changing people's lives through fair trade, saving vanishing traditional skills from extinction, and celebrating a world of creativity and culture through quality fair trade products: https://www.traidcraftshop.co.uk/

  • Traidcraft Exchange is an international development charity which uses the power of trade to bring about lasting solutions to poverty. It runs development programmes in South Asia and Africa, works directly with businesses to improve their supply chains, and does advocacy and campaigning in the UK to promote justice and fairness in international trade. Traidcraft Exchange is a registered charity, no. 1048752: https://www.traidcraft.org.uk/

Tom Sharman