January 21, 2023
It is with tremendous sadness that we announce that Traidcraft PLC is going into administration.
The business has been in a weak financial position for some years and the Covid-19 pandemic presented a significant new set of challenges. Just as we were emerging from the pandemic, like many other retailers, we faced the combined effects of the war in Ukraine, rising energy prices, and increased transport costs.
Sadly, despite the heroic efforts of our team at Gateshead, low consumer confidence during the critical autumn trading period led to a sales result significantly short of what was required to sustain the operation. December sales were also negatively impacted by the uncertainty created by Royal Mail strikes.
After much deliberation and following advice from external advisors, we have come to the conclusion that the only honourable course of action is to appoint administrators. Our hope is that by doing this in a timely manner, we can minimise the impact on our suppliers and creditors.
It is heartbreaking to bring the Traidcraft plc story to an end in this manner but we can at least take some consolation from the knowledge that we have been a major force for good in the ethical retail sector for over forty years. We have championed the cause of trade justice to the point where we now have better standards and procedures in place to protect the rights and dignity of growers and producers all over the world.
We would like to offer our heartfelt thanks to all those who have journeyed with us as employees, board members, shareholders and suppliers. We would particularly like to thank our loyal band of “Fairtraders”, many of whom have been with us since the very beginning.
The mission to combat trade injustice and poverty is far from complete. It is important to recognise that Transform Trade (previously Traidcraft Exchange, the charity arm of Traidcraft) will continue its vital work supporting producers and fighting for trade justice and people-centred trade. Our hope and prayer is that others will also emerge to pick up the torch that we have carried for four decades.
Board of Directors, Traidcraft plc, January 2023
Transform Trade continues the fight for trade justice
A message from Transform Trade CEO, Charlotte Timson in response to the announcement that Traidcraft PLC is set to close:
By now you may have heard the news: Traidcraft, the fair trade pioneer and our close partner for many years, is going into administration.
Those are painful words to write, but I wanted to pass on the news personally and share some reflections at this difficult time.
Many of you will have supported Traidcraft for years and do not need me to tell you that today marks a huge loss. After an exceptionally difficult few years, one of the founders of the trade justice movement is closing its doors.
Since 1979 Traidcraft has reimagined the relationships between producers and consumers, putting justice at the heart of trade. It’s no exaggeration to say that the fair trade movement as we know it would not exist without Traidcraft.
But what now?
In 2018 Traidcraft and Transform Trade (then called Traidcraft Exchange), split into two completely separate organisations.
When we changed our name to Transform Trade in 2022, Richard Adams, the founder of Traidcraft said…
“Transform Trade have picked up the baton with their new strategy and name… the work is not done yet.”
We didn’t realise at the time just how relevant those words would be, only a few months down the line. Together, we must pick up the baton.
The good work that Traidcraft has done over the years will not disappear. Instead it must be built upon.
Our mission it to transform trade so that everybody benefits. As we continue this work, our focus right now is on two things.
1. Supporting producers
Over the years, Traidcraft did incredible work with smaller producer groups – helping them find a route to market where no one else could. We’re working on plans to expand our work supporting small groups of artisans and farmers, like those Traidcraft was originally set up to help, in order to fill the gap they leave behind.
2. The system
Trading ethically within a system that is unjust is always going to be difficult – especially during a cost of living crisis. From the start, the odds were stacked against Traidcraft. Our campaigning and advocacy work aims to level the playing field by demanding change to the entire trading system. We’ve shown in the past that it can be done, but we must press on with renewed energy.
I firmly believe that there is hope for the trade justice movement.
The good work that Traidcraft pioneered cannot and will not be undone. We are committed to transforming trade – and I am so grateful that you stand with us.