needs your help because the world's poorest small-scale farmers, struggling to feed
         and support their families, need our help.

        Sound like a familiar plea?  It should.  It's the same message as when we first started our mission over 35 years ago –  to  practically apply the love and justice which lies at the heart of Christian faith to international trade, and so give the world's poorest farmers the opportunity to trade fairly and thrive.  

    Given that we’re about to publish our accounts which show a trading loss for the fourth consecutive year, we are taking the unprecedented step of trying to communicate directly with Church leaders and members, to try and reinforce the work that we and our supporters have been battling to do.  There are two general misconceptions. 

    The first is that the Fairtrade battle is won.  Chocolate, tea, coffee and many more products with the now familiar Fairtrade Mark are stacked high on our supermarket shelves.  Something Traidcraft and our supporters can be proud to have helped bring about.  However, it is a myth that the job is done.  Unfortunately, injustice in trade and its resultant poverty is as much of a scandal now as it was 35 years ago, and right now we're still doing everything we can to tackle it  directly. 

    The second misconception is that Traidcraft and Fairtrade are the same.  They are not.  Traidcraft is an independent trading company, with a linked development charity.  We do not benefit from the sales of Fairtrade products in the supermarkets.  Traidcraft trades with and supports the most vulnerable farmers and artisans (who could not cope with the demands or scale required by big business or the supermarkets).  We pioneer to bring new commodities into the fair trade arena.  Our linked development charity runs projects developing peoples’ potential to trade their own way out of poverty in their own countries; and we lobby big business and government for fundamental changes to the way trade works so that it benefits the poor.  We believe this is the 'best of fair trade’.

    But we urgently need help to keep doing it because despite the growth of total Fairtrade sales, we've seen Traidcraft sales significantly decline.  Why?  People are buying Fairtrade products from the supermarket and not from Traidcraft or its supporters.  This means our original pioneering mission is now under serious threat.  

    Our plea is simple ... Ensure there's a Traidcraft Fair Trader in your church, offer them as much support as possible and buy Traidcraft products through them.
           
    Don't just serve refreshments with the Fairtrade Mark on, make sure they’re from Traidcraft.

    We hope our approach galvanises support.  That’s really all we’re asking; for support.  Together, we will continue to make trade fairer for the world's poorest producers who still desperately need our help. 

    The new  catalogue  for Autumn  and  Christmas is  now available from Reg Cockerell.  Many of  you  like to support  charities  at this  time  and here are  some  suggestions:

    • Practical Support  enables  people to  join the  Traidcraft  Project: £10
    • Learning and  Growing  helps people  gain  the extra  skills  needed: £25
    • Supporting Schools: £15
    • Supporting Families: £30

    (Submitted by Reg and Glenys Cockerell)

    See also:
      Amnesty International U.K.
      Christmas items which are ethical, organic and fairtrade.