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    3 Reviews
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    • More +
      06.08.2012 17:07

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      Love me a bit of Traid over Aid

      Great selection of goods particularly Fair Trade teas, coffee etc.

      Product availability can be an issue, but in general great for those of us who are trying various ways of impacting on global equality.

      They are from a Christian background, but it ain't shoved down your throat.

      Super to have a look if you're not sure of christmas and other presents for ethically minded people. Lots of ideas on their website, and also makes you think about what is important to you when purchasing (fair trade, recycled, organic etc.)

      They are stocked through various other ethical sites, and you can buy bulk through the Traidcraft website.

      You can also search on their website for stockists, inlcuding local individuals who promote and sell Traidcraft in smaller batches.

      They also do profiles of their suppliers on the website and on some products. You can book trips through them to visit producers and growers.

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      13.12.2003 14:38
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      skip this first bit to be able to read the review with capital letters intact. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. <
      br> Ha. Christmas shopping accomplished in three hours. Beat that, all you Real Life shoppers. I don't do Real Life shopping, even for Christmas. I hate shopping, even at Christmas. You might call me Bah Humbug, and you might be right, but I've done my Christmas shopping in the safety of my own home, in three hours, and it all it took was the internet and a few mail order catalogues. One of the catalogues was from Traidcraft. From them, I bought several little gift sets of Fair Trade chocolates, beautifully presented in colourful handmade paper bags produced by a small co-operative in Nepal. They were a snip at £2.50 each, comparing very well with the small boxes of truffles you find in many shops at this time of year. I shall give them to various aunts with teeth as sweet as mine. That's if I don't scoff them first! For my great aunt, who isn't internetted-up, and with whom I exchange snail mail letters, I bought a writing set of paper made from hessian and elephant dung (!). This is made in Malawi and aside from being an interesting twist on what could be a very boring gift of writing paper, is a fantastic idea because it's not only providing local people with paid work, it's encouraging them to protect elephants against poaching. For a measly three pounds I think it's a great and appropriate gift for a lovely old lady. What else? Oh yes, for my nieces I bought some pretty glass and metal bead necklaces, made in India at factories with decent working conditions and where child labour is outlawed. They're lovely, and at a fiver each are probably a little bit more expensive than similar items found in the High Street shops, but not prohibitively so. For my friend Pat, who's been such a star helping me settle in to this little village here in Devon over the past year, I bought a Kenyan soapstone carving. You may have seen similar things around - they're always very organic with their gently curved
      lines and are very representational with simple designs. This one is of two carved loops symbolising friendship. It was £16. For my nephew, Matthew, who's two, I bought a brightly painted - lead free, of course - wooden counting puzzle. It was made in Sri Lanka by an organisation which trains young people without education into worthwhile employment. It was £8 and I've seen similar in craft markets in this country for over a tenner. Oh, and I bought a case of South African Fair Trade wine. Traidcraft do a very drinkable Pinotage at £66.50 per case. I'm not going to give that to anyone though. I'm going to guzzle it all myself! Are you seeing a pattern here? Are you guessing what Traidcraft are all about? They are the leading supplier of Fair Trade goods in the UK. Set up in 1979, they aim to fight poverty through trade and provide access to the international market - that's you and me, punters - to disadvantaged producers right across the developing world. They have a linked charity - Traidcraft Exchange - which supports business development and provides advocacy across the developing world, but Traidcraft itself is NOT a charity, it's a fairly trading business. There's a difference, you know. If you choose to buy from Traidcraft then it's safe to say that you're doing your bit to help fight world poverty without it being charity. You're paying a fair price for people's labour, and you're ensuring that the products you buy aren't made in horrible sweat-shops, by children. And that can only be a good thing, right? The idea is that you're not doing anyone a favour - you're simply doing the right thing. I've been shopping from Traidcraft for about ten years now, and I've always been very happy doing so. All the goods are of high quality, so don't be suspicious that you'll be paying high prices for inferior items, because you won't be. Everything comes reliably pa
      cked - in all those ten years I've never had a breakage - but not wastefully packed. And only once, amongst dozens of orders, have Traidcraft ever let me down. Their supplies of a particular item had dried up and they'd sent me a substitute which I didn't want. However, there were no quibbles when I sent it back, and my refund was prompt. They don't do substitutions now, so it is well to be aware that goods made in remote places may not always be available. I'd recommend ordering in plenty of time to be sure you won't be disappointed. If you telephone your order then you can pay by Visa, Mastercard or Switch - but not Solo - and if you post an order form to them, you can also send a cheque. They don't debit your card until your goods are dispatched, either, so big up to them for that. Traidcraft tell you to allow fourteen days for delivery, but it's generally about a week and is ALWAYS all present and correct, supplies allowing. Delivery though, is a frightening £4.50 which, I admit, is steep, especially if you're not buying a lot. There is no next day express delivery available. I used to buy a lot more directly from Traidcraft than I do now. There's a lot more to the range than a few nick-nacks you might want to buy at Christmas time. There are ranges of clothes, of jewellery, of stationery, but also just about the biggest range of Fair Trade foodstuffs available from one supplier anywhere in the UK. You can buy fairly traded tea, coffee, cocoa, sugar, chocolate, breakfast cereal, honey, wine, pasta, dried fruits and many other things. Sadly though, you can't buy these items singly. For example, Traidcraft sugar comes 10 x 500g packs and their rice in 6 x 500g packs. This may well put off those of you not totally committed to buying Fair Trade items. Luckily for me, Traidcraft run a distributor scheme and a local lady sells most things singly in the village hall once a week, so I can buy in small quanti
      ties. The commission she makes is donated to her local church's fund buying cows for Kosovan families. They've raised enough to provide three families with a cow this year, so for me that's a double whammy. Of course, Fair Trade food does come at a price. Traidcraft's Indian rice costs £1.50 per 500g pack and you can buy organic rice at Tesco for 99p. Fairly traded organic sugar from Paraguay costs £1.25 per 500g from Traidcraft, but Tate & Lyle's organic offering sits on Tesco's shelf at 89p. However, Geobars, teabags and coffee are all at pretty much comparable prices. I've been buying the catering packs of teabags in big bags of 440 for £7, which I think is bargain. I'm happy to pay more for trading relationships which outlaw exploitation and give producers a living wage, though, how about you? I've written this now, because it's close to Christmas, and Christmas is a time when we try to spread some happiness around, not just keep it greedily, all for ourselves. We do this in lots of ways - by getting together with friends and family, by sharing meals and time together, even by giving to charities. But we also do it by buying gifts for others. Yet so many of the things we buy in High Street shops aren't spreading much happiness for the people who have produced them - those people who work in sweatshops without the employment rights we take for granted. Some of these people are children, younger than our own children for whom we're buying gifts. Some are farmers, dependent on world market prices, ruthless corporations and unfair trading regulations, and they are unable to feed their families and educate their children, no matter how hard they work. To me, presents bought for others at Christmas from producers in such conditions are somewhat tainted presents. I'd like the gifts I buy for others to be free of guilt. It would be nice to think that some of you might agree and take a look this year a
      t what Traidcraft have to offer. Happy Christmas shopping! Traidcraft: 0870 443 1017 or http://www.traidcraftshop.co.uk (One star off for the non-availability of some items and having to buy in multipacks).

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        07.10.2001 01:28
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        In pretty much every community in Britain, from the Isles of Scilly to inner city Manchester the Traidcraft Stall is lurking; in a church hall, a shop or maybe a school there's one near you somewhere and it's worth checking out. Full of goodies of all kinds from chocolate chip cookies, organic pasta, yoghurt raisins and Geobars to coffee, cards, crafts and clothes, and even recycled loo roll. The range is extensive, the food is yummy, the crafts are beautiful, and everything is fairly traded. This means that the people who produce the products have received a decent price for them, and are therefore able to do basic things that we take for granted like educating their children and getting healthcare. 'Hmmm' I hear you thinking - this sounds like business not charity and that's exactly right. Although Traidcraft stalls are all run by volunteers, Traidcraft is a business and it's slogan is 'Fighting poverty through Trade'. It's much better to pay people a proper price for their labour than to give them aid because exploitative working conditions keep them poor. Traidcraft is also a charity, and donations to the Traidcraft Exchange are used in the form of grants which are given to support projects in 3rd world countries, from setting up and supporting fair trade initiatives to giving small loans to enable people to set up in business, or receive training. Traidcraft products are of a high quality and many are organic (not just the food - some of the clothes and textiles are made with organic cotton.) so you can use your consumer power to make a better world and get some great products at the same time. You can find out where your local Traidcraft rep. is by contacting Traidcraft or you can buy from Traidcraft directly using their catalogue. Some of their products are available on-line and you can also look out for Traidcraft Geobars, cookies, and coffee in supermarkets. Ge
        t hold of a catalogue now and you'll find some wonderful Christmas cards and gifts. Go change the world!

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