trade aid, who are we?
- a pioneer in fair trade -
Trade Aid is the New Zealand pioneer in fair trade and has been revolutionising trade for over 35 years. We are a not for profit organisation that believes in an alternative form of trade - a fairer form.
- committed to our trading partners -
Trade Aid is committed to placing our trading partners, their identity, and their product at the front of all of our business activities. Trade Aid is also active in advocating and educating within New Zealand for fairer trade and to raise awareness of trading injustices - such as the eradication of poverty and slavery.
- enrich, empower, transform -
Trade Aid’s form of trade helps to enrich, empower and transform disadvantaged producers’ lives around the world through income generation that helps to restore producers' dignity and self reliance. This helps them send, and keep, their children in school, provides adequate housing and access to health care. Our trading structure supports social change and gives women a voice, protects the environment and creates sustainable development that enables producers to invest in their futures. Trade Aid's form of trade gives producers hope for the future of them, their families, their communities and their countries.
-trade aid – how we work -
There are various arms to the organisation but essentially they can be divided into the following:
- An importer and distributor: Trade Aid Importers are responsible for forming trading partnerships with our suppliers, who are some of the most disadvantaged producers, importing and distribution of product and supply to our Trade Aid shops and other businesses including wholesaling to other retail outlets, churches and cafeterias.
- A retailer: With over 30 stores nationwide Trade Aid is actively present within most cities in New Zealand. Stocking a wide range of both fairly traded handcrafts and food Trade Aid shops showcase products that are beautifully created or hand grown by some of the most marginalised people in the world.
- A development agency: Trade Aid has a development committee which selects and monitors trading partners, allocates NZAID funds for capacity building projects, approves education and advocacy work and formulates policy.
- show your support -
Fair trade works on a principle of dignity and respect - the same principles we encourage in our workplaces and communities. Show your support for fair trade and stock Trade Aid products – contact our Customer Service today to discuss this as an option for your business.
Trade Aid Customer Service FREEPHONE 0508 TRADE AID (0508 872332) or
“When we sell through the free market, it only develops the investment of the individual processors and suppliers, the farmers cannot get anything from it, not infrastructure or other benefits, so we ask the consumers and the roasters to drink fair trade coffee that is sold to the co-operative union because it is invested in the locality to build social infrastructure – schools, potable water, clinics etc and this is why the consumer should choose to support coffee sold through Trade Aid.” Kebele, Negele Gorbitu Co-operative part of the Oromia Union, Ethiopia
- why do we need fair trade? -
At the moment, international trade rules are rigged in favour of Western countries. The worlds’ richest nations control the way that trade works and have imposed agreements and rules that protect their interests and leave poor counties exposed. Because of these unfair trade rules, the gap between the rich and poor is getting wider every year. Even though developing nations supply products that have a high value in the West, they do not earn a fair share of this trade. Half the world now lives in poverty surviving on less that US$2 a day.
- what is fair trade? -
Fair trade seeks to shift the balance of power in international trade, and in doing so improve the livelihoods of producers in the developing world. By setting fairer trading terms with producers, fair traders in the West can enable them to develop greater self-reliance and self-determination for their communities. In a nutshell concern for the social, economic and environmental well-being of disadvantaged small producers is at the core of fair trade.
basic fair trade practice
Basic fair trade practice ensures that producers receive a better deal than conventional trade will allow them, including:
• A guaranteed minimum price which provides producers with enough money to meet their basic needs
• A social premium (extra payment) for the co-operative to put towards a raft of community initiatives of their choice such as schools for their children, medical centres, improved water supplies, or environmental enhancement programs
• The many benefits that co-operative structures can bring to groups; these include technical assistance for crop and harvest improvement, efficiencies in processing and shipping, strength in negotiation and access to an array of important social services, such as health care and credit
• An expectation of regular future orders they can rely on, which helps them to maintain and to improve upon this basic standard of living
above and beyond - trade aid’s fair trade practice
Basic fair trade is good, but it can be improved upon. As a unique New Zealand organisation Trade Aid’s version of fair trade is more than fair wages. Trade Aid operates using the best standards of fair trade which include:
• Profit sharing with our producers: the surplus profits Trade Aid makes are given back to our trading partners/ producer groups, as we believe it only fair that they should share in our successes
• Providing pre-financing interest-free to co-operatives: by providing this option it allows our trading partners to pay their members up-front for their produce without incurring punishing interest charges on bank loans
• Actively advocating for significant changes to the way global trade is conducted: Trade Aid openly illustrates the positive impact that our chosen method of trade has on our producer groups
• Helping to fast-track improvements at co-operatives: by channelling outside-sourced funding into capacity building projects which have been designed and are managed by the co-operatives themselves
• Conducting rigorous self-assessment through social audits: to assess whether or not we are achieving our stated goals as effectively as we can, and to help highlight ways that we can further improve our trading model
• A commitment to helping farmers protect their natural environments
We know how well our form of fair trade works because our producers tell us!
‘We have not had any clients like you before, who have even shared with us their trading results (whether good or bad) much less one who is willing to share any profits with their suppliers!’ CENFROCAFE co-operative, Peru
‘We appreciate you for giving us the rebate. We will use the money to buy furniture for schools. Most schools in our coffee (co-operatives) do not have benches and desks and they are sitting on the soil’ Oromia Coffee Farmers’ Co-operative Union, Ethiopia.
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