Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your questions about Traidcraft. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

General FAQs

Can I use your logo on my website, products or publicity materials?

Logos are available to download here. The logo must not be changed in any way. Commercial organisations are not permitted to use the logo without permission. Email enquiries@traidcraft.co.uk for written consent.


Why is Traidcraft a Christian organisation?

Traidcraft was established as a Christian response to poverty. Our research shows that 90% of our Fair Traders, shareholders and donors are regular church-goers. At the same time we do not wish to limit our efforts to attracting churchgoers, and are keen to work with everyone who shares our vision of fighting poverty through trade. Our legal governance rules require that directors of Traidcraft must be practising Christians, but we do not discriminate in the appointment of other staff on the grounds of their faith, except where a role has an occupational requirement for the job-holder to be a practising Christian. Our producers are also drawn from a wide variety of faith backgrounds.


Fundraising FAQs

I’ve raised some money for Traidcraft. How do I pay you?

Thank you! We appreciate your support.

Firstly, pay the money into your bank account. You can then call us on 0191 4976445 and pay with your credit or debit card or send a cheque, payable to Traidcraft Exchange, to:

Traidcraft Exchange
Public Fundraising Department
Freepost NT972
Kingsway
Gateshead
NE11 9BR 

Please do not send cash in the post.


How do I pay you if I use an online fundraising page?

If you've set up an online fundraising page, the money donated by your sponsors will automatically be sent to us.


Can I claim Gift Aid on the funds I have raised?

To claim Gift Aid we need the first name or initial, surname, full home address and postcode of each of your supporters/sponsors and they need to tick the Gift Aid box on your sponsorship form. We can’t claim Gift Aid without this information.


Product & Producer FAQs

How does Traidcraft find producers and choose who to work with?

Traidcraft’s strategy is to maximise its impact in the particular countries in which it works. Most new producer groups come to us through our existing links within a particular country or region. We are frequently approached by groups wanting to trade with us, but given our strong commitments to existing relationships we are only able to take on a few new producers each year. Sometimes this means limiting the number of new countries we source from in order to have a greater impact in existing partner countries.


How do you set the prices you pay to producers?

Traidcraft consults closely with each producer group to establish a fair price for their products. In the case of products carrying the Fairtrade Mark, a minimum price is set externally by Fairtrade International. A ‘fair price’ needs to take into account certain factors that may be unique to a particular producer group, such as cost of inputs (equipment, seed etc.) and cost of living in that particular area.


How do you set the final retail price?

Where Traidcraft is not selling directly to the consumer, it is the supermarket, retailer or Fair Trader that decides the final selling price. Producers receive their money at the point of sale to Traidcraft (and, in fact, often receive a substantial proportion in advance) not at the point of sale to the consumer. Each seller will have their own cost structures, and for trade to be sustainable, each person in the supply chain must make a reasonable profit.


What proportion of the final price goes to the producer?

Traidcraft’s social accounts show that the total amount paid to producers accounts for just over one third of our cost of sales. This is a much higher proportion than you would typically find in a commercial organisation. The proportion received by the producer varies from product to product. It is influenced by direct costs of production, the number of processes involved after the product leaves the producer, and on tax and duty requirements.


Why do producers occasionally drop out of the catalogue?

Our fair trade principles do ensure long-term relationships with producers, but this does not mean they are indefinite. Indeed, our aim is to reduce producers’ dependency on Traidcraft so that they can stand on their own two feet and survive without the added benefits of fair trade. We can then turn our attention to supporting other, newer fair trade producers as they start out on the road to sustainability.

We conduct rigorous partnership reviews with each of our direct partners at least once every three years, establishing goals for the development of our relationship and how they can be achieved. In the case of some producers, it becomes clear that they no longer need our custom. Sometimes groups decide they no longer want to meet all fair trade criteria, and that they therefore no longer wish to trade with us. Sometimes we have to recognise that the market for a particular type of product is in decline, and that if, after product development support, that group is unable to adapt its range we will be unable to guarantee continued orders. Some groups are not well-suited to exporting and decide they would do better to concentrate on domestic markets.

Very occasionally, we will conclude that a particular group is not responding to our training and development inputs and is therefore not drawing the benefits of fair trade nor being able to supply the quality of goods our customers have a right to expect.

In every case where our trading relationship is coming to an end we try to find ways to help groups, whether through lobbying governments, writing off debt owed to us, helping fund training or providing contacts for other potential buyers.


How do you know the money gets to the producer?

In most cases Traidcraft has a direct relationship with the producers or their representative organisations. This enables us to check that they are satisfied with the way the trading relationship develops.

Where we buy through intermediaries (usually other fair trade organisations), external groups like the Fairtrade International and the International Fair Trade Association (IFAT) monitor standards.


Why do some of your products not carry the Fairtrade Mark?

Products with the Fairtrade mark must meet international Fairtrade standards, which are set by FLO International. The majority of certifiable products are food, although non-food products that can carry the certification include cotton, cut flowers, gold and silver.

Reasons why a product might not carry the Mark include: 

  • The product may contain fair trade ingredients but not enough to justify carrying the Mark as a product
  • Producer groups may not be registered with FLO yet. They might be too small to justify the costs of certification or they may be working towards certification.

Traidcraft sells many products that do not have a Fairtrade mark. However, we have a strict purchasing policy so that we operate under rigorous fair trade criteria even if the Mark is not available on the type of product we’re selling.


What is Traidcraft’s policy on environmental issues?

Environmental protection plays a key role in the fair trade system and one of Traidcraft’s founding principles is to “respect all people and the environment”. We’re always looking for ways to reduce the environmental impact of our activities.

For more information on how we’re performing against our environmental targets, read our latest social accounts


I am concerned about food miles and carbon emissions. How do you transport products to the UK?

Wherever possible, we transport products from developing countries by sea rather than air and we offset out carbon emissions. We also source non-fair trade goods from the UK and Europe so as to further lessen our environmental impact.


Shouldn’t I buy local rather than fair trade?

The products we source from farmers in the developing world are rarely in competition with British producers.


What is palm oil?

Palm oil comes from palm fruits which have gone through milling and refinement, it grows naturally in West African countries like Nigeria and Ghana. There are hundreds of products in our supermarkets that contain palm oil but it remains a fairly hidden ingredient. Sometimes it is listed simply as vegetable oil so it goes unnoticed. It’s one of the world’s most traded agricultural commodities - especially in developing countries.


What are you using fair trade palm oil for?

We’re putting it in our brand new household cleaning range, Clean & Fair, which is the first ever to carry the Fairtrade Mark. The range consists of four products - handwash, washing up liquid, laundry liquid and a multi-surface cleaner. Fairtrade coconut oil from our partners in India will also be a key ingredient in the new range.


Is it not a bit controversial?

The controversy surrounding palm oil comes mainly from large plantations in the Far East where areas of rainforests are being destroyed to make room for more oil palm trees. We’re trying to reverse this trend by sourcing our palm oil from small-scale farmers in Ghana. Here palm oil grows naturally - so we’re working with nature rather than destroying it. Focussing on smallholders also means a Fairtrade premium will help some of the poorest farmers in West Africa.


Jobs FAQs

Do you reply to all applications?

Due to our limited resources we are unable to reply to all applications. Applicants who have not been contacted within 30 days of the closing date may assume that they have not been successful.


Do you accept late applications?

It is advisable to contact us if your application will arrive late as it is at the discretion of the Recruiting Manager as to whether late applications are accepted.


Can I apply by post rather than submitting my application online?

We accept postal and hand delivered applications. Please send them to:

Human Resources
Traidcraft
Kingsway
Team Valley
Gateshead
Tyne & Wear
NE11 0NE


Can I apply for more than one role?

Applicants may apply for more than one vacancy but would need to submit separate applications for each role. Please note that the application process can vary for each vacancy.


For UK roles, do you accept applications from overseas candidates?

Yes, however applicants will be required to demonstrate their eligibility to work in the UK, as per UK requirements. Telephone pre-interviews may be held with overseas applicants to ensure their suitability and interest before inviting them for an interview in the UK. Structured questions related to the selection criteria will be asked.


I am not a practising Christian. Can I still apply for a role within Traidcraft?

Traidcraft is a Christian response to poverty. We welcome applicants from all faiths or none, but it is important that all employees understand and sympathise with the Christian vision, ethos and culture of Traidcraft.

However, it will be an occupational requirement that a practising Christian is needed for some specified roles. This will be highlighted in the job description and person specification and will be clearly stated in the job advert.


If I am not shortlisted for interview, can I request feedback?

Yes. Please contact us to request this if you have not been contacted within 30 days of the closing date.


Is overseas travel mandatory for all roles?

No. If overseas travel is a requirement of the role it will be clearly stated in the person specification. For roles involving overseas travel you will be expected to undergo a medical examination to ensure that you are fit to travel and work overseas.


Does Traidcraft offer any assistance for relocation?

Traidcraft offers a variety of limited financial and non-financial assistance to both new and existing staff in relation to relocation within the UK. Further details of the assistance that may be provided will be available at interview

 


Campaigning FAQs

Why does Traidcraft campaign?

Traidcraft believes in making trade work for everyone. As well as buying and selling fair trade products we also work to change government and international policies which affect the way trade works. We do this by researching alternatives and making the case to decision-makers. We also run campaigns to increase the pressure for change – it’s a big task and we can only do it with your help!


What have you achieved through campaigning?

Thanks to the commitment and actions of Traidcraft campaigners, here are some of the things we’ve achieved over the last few years:

  • Amendments to the Companies Act which mean that top UK companies have to report on their social and environmental impact
  • Delayed the introduction of ‘Economic Partnership Agreements’ between the EU and some of the world’s poorest countries, giving those countries time to develop their negotiating capacity
  • Persuaded the Government to set up a Groceries Code Adjudicator, who can hear complaints from suppliers to supermarkets both in the UK and around the world and has the power to impose fines.

How do you chose what to campaign on?

Our mission is to fight poverty through trade – so all our campaigns are on issues that relate to that. From time to time we review what we campaign on, thinking about things like potential impact, likelihood of success and what Traidcraft can add. We work on a lot of issues ‘behind the scenes’ – meeting officials and lobbying privately with our research and expert opinions. When we find that that public pressure will make a difference, we invite our campaigners to take action. We have been campaigning on some issues – like international trade agreements or supermarket supply chains – for many years because we know that real change will take time.