Traidcraft       

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Fairest place in the UK

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Traidcraft @ Wylde Green

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Traidcraft Day

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Product News

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History of Traidcraft at Wylde Green

 

    @ Wylde Green

Traidcraft is the UK’s leading fair trade organisation, working with more than 100 producer groups in over 30 countries around the world. Traidcraft's mission is to to fight poverty through trade. Traidcraft sells the largest range of fairly traded products in the UK, with a wide range found at the 'shop' in our church. 

Our 'shop' in the church is open all year round

10.00 - 12.00 on Fridays and Saturdays (November and December opening hours are extended to 10.00 - 14.00)

Visit the Traidcraft web site to find out more.

Fairest place in the UK in May 2009

Fair Trade mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?  Wylde Green United Reformed Church is!

After 25 years of Fair Trading, Wylde Green United Reformed Church were thrilled to find out that they purchased and sold more Fair Trade goods than any of the other 5,700 outlets in the UK in 2007.  The goods sold originate from developing countries with a guarantee that a fair price is paid, enabling families to lift themselves out of poverty and to work for a sustainable future. 

Dorothy Slater, who helped start the whole enterprise explained:

Early in 1984, my son Philip asked me if I could sell some Traidcraft tea and coffee at our church. Not knowing anything at all about Traidcraft, I asked for more details and thought it sounded an excellent idea.

Of course the Minister at the time, Brian Holroyd, immediately wanted to extend the idea to selling a whole range of their products and I found myself flung in at the deep end!  I soon found some willing helpers including Marjorie Clarkson, who was very enthusiastic.  My flat was taken over by huge boxes of goods and after a while it became obvious that, because of the way our church had welcomed the Traidcraft philosophy, I was short of space, not only in my flat, but in my spare time.

Dorothy and Marjorie have since been joined by a small army of volunteers that help keep the stall going and were thanked during a service in the church when they were joined by Revd Holroyd, who came out of retirement in Cheshire for the occasion.

The church opens up its doors each Friday and Saturday morning from 10.00 until 12.00 to sell Traidcraft food, clothing and household items to the local community.  The church also supplies thirty other organisations including schools, community groups and other churches.

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Wylde Green become a Fairtrade Church during Fairtrade Fortnight 2006

Read the press release on our achievements and living a Fairtrade lifestyle

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Traidcraft Day

The church hosted a TRAIDCRAFT day, which was tremendously encouraging. Fairly traded products have become really well established in the UK, with sales overall now exceeding £140 million per annum.  The number of fairly traded products available has leapt from 150 to 835 in just one year - as any visit to a supermarket bears out.  We took issue only 2 or 3 years ago with Tesco for displaying huge notices about Fair trade fortnight whilst having scarcely any products on their shelves.  Today, Tesco boasts many fairly traded goods - and even Marks and Spencers have fairly traded fruit …

Fairly traded choice just keeps on growing.      

“Great” I said.  “Problem solved.  It’s good now to buy everything we can at the supermarkets, isn’t it, to stop them backsliding…”   WRONG!

Apparently, it is not as simple as that!  The organisers told me that it is still vital for us to support TRAIDCRAFT.  Yes, a growing number of people are buying fairly traded goods at the supermarkets - and that is wonderful.  BUT: the TRAIDCRAFT craft suppliers are still wholly dependent on us.  By buying the paper products, foodstuffs, tea and coffee from TRAIDCRAFT itself, we are enabling the organisation to fund and sell their vast range of craft goods.  This helps many extra suppliers and producers to have access to a market that the supermarkets will not touch.  (TRAIDCRAFT did try to find markets for two products - table mats and tea towels - but they did not ‘move’ in the time or quantities supermarkets demand.)

TRAIDCRAFT itself now has a turnover of over £16 million pa - it has doubled in the last 4 years.  The number of ‘fair traders’ working with them has grown and our own TRAIDCRAFT stall - so amazingly sustained by the efforts of Ruth and Robin Loutit and Marjorie and Michael Clarkson, with the team of ecumenical volunteers - is one of the most flourishing in the entire country.

So, as we approach Christmas, please look especially at the craft items - selling these really makes all the difference to their makers.  But throughout the year, remember that it remains as important as ever to support TRAIDCRAFT by buying all the usual foodstuffs and paper products…

Between us, we have to keep giving the idea of ‘fair trade’ a high profile; and we especially need to support TRAIDCRAFT - to help the suppliers the supermarkets will never reach.  

Meriel Chippindale

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Newsletter sign up - Find out more about Traidcraft's producers and the work of Traidcraft by signing up for a regular copy of the free newsletter.  Click here to email your request - save paper by getting it delivered by email (and indicate whether you wish to receive other communication from Traidcraft or from other organisations.)

Product News

 

Simply Divine

Divine milk with orange, irresistible chunks of smooth, creamy milk chocolate with zesty, mouth-watering orange

 Rich Divine Dark chocolate bar with 70% cocoa solids - perfect for an after dinner treat

All Divine chocolate is made using the finest cocoa beans purchased on fair trade terms from Kuapa Kokoo, a farmer's co-operative in Ghana.  In addition to receiving fair price for their cocoa, Kuapa Kokoo also benefit from a share in the profits of Divine.  After all, they do own part of the company.

Upstarts Awards

Traidcraft and its founder, Richard Adams, have both picked up major awards for their pioneering work in promoting social enterprise.

Both were recognised as social enterprise champions in this year's New Statesman "Upstarts Awards" with Traidcraft taking the organisational category and Richard receiving the individual award.  For the full story, visit Traidcraft.

The Bhopal Rehabilitation Centre, India

Traidcraft's Julia Franklin and Helen Lockie from the product development team have been to Bhopal to work on developing their range of leather products.  ideas for the spring 2006 catalogue include passport and travel accessories, jewellery cases, stationery and office accessories.

The Bhopal Rehabilitation Centre was established in 1985 to assist and rehabilitate the victims of the Bhopal gas disaster, especially those who had lost family members.  So far, it has provided training for 360 men and women.

In the current catalogue, you will find a handmade soft leather wallet (page 14) and a black leather purse, with a compartment for coins and 8 openings for cards and notes (page 4).  Both these items are stocked in our Traidcraft shop.

Marjorie Clarkson

 

Traidcraft Within

Traidcraft has a brand called Traidcraft Within.  Over the coming year, you will see this brand appearing on a growing range of products that are branded by other companies.  It is a sign that Traidcraft has worked with the producers involved to ensure that they are benefiting properly from the trade.  See Traidcraft WITHIN for more details.

 

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History of Traidcraft at Wylde Green

Dorothy Slater writes: "Early in 1984, my son Philip asked me if I could sell some Traidcraft tea and coffee at our church. Not knowing anything at all about Traidcraft, I asked for more details and thought it sounded an excellent idea.

"Of course Brian Holroyd immediately wanted to extend the idea to selling a whole range of their products and I found myself flung in at the deep end! I soon found some willing helpers including Marjorie Clarkson, who was very enthusiastic. My flat was taken over by huge boxes of goods and after a while it became obvious that, because of the way our church had welcomed the Traidcraft philosophy, I was short of space, not only in my flat, but in my spare time.

"Marjorie, very ably assisted by Michael and often the whole family, took over the task of organising Traidcraft and, most wholeheartedly and artistically, developed it to its present very healthy state. She has done more than most people realise to promote Traidcraft, not only at Wylde Green, but much further afield, becoming an area co-ordinator and supplying reps who are operating in a much smaller way, with goods on sale or return. “As the storage and display facilities were of a rather temporary nature (i.e. cardboard boxes and two tables!), Charles Ainsworth and June Northway explored the possibilities of ‘something better’. Unfortunately, Charles died before this was completed, but June’s husband Graham took over. The result was the excellent mobile cupboards we have today. In 1984 we sold almost £2000 worth of goods and this has increased each year to £10,000 in 1992."

The next landmark for Traidcraft came in 1993, when a small group looked at the possibility of selling Traidcraft goods in a “short-let” shop, somewhere on Boldmere Road, at least in the pre-Christmas season.  In the event, no suitable premises materialized.

Instead, the new shelving was added to the walls of the transept, by Walter Arthur, Jack Marsh and John Micklethwaite, and the very much improved ‘shop’ was opened to the public at various well publicised times.  (3,500 homes were leafleted!)  And during the ten weeks the shop was open to the public for the first time, before Christmas 1993, we took over £8000!

In the first full year of opening to the public, 1994, a total of £17,400 worth of goods was sold. It was quickly realised that quite apart from this magnificent result, there were many other ‘spin-offs’ from the new Traidcraft ‘shop’:

·       We could now afford to have a much larger and wider range of stock – and to help even more churches and organisations by providing them with sale or return goods.

·       We have developed a truly ecumenical team of enthusiasts, willing to do their ‘shift’ in our building – and this ‘grass-roots’ ecumenical contact continues to develop and deepen.

·       The larger ‘profits’ also enable the shop to give generously to the church, to Traidcraft Exchange  (the charitable wing of Traidcraft), and to any emergency disaster appeals.

The church is now open at set times, which has enabled people to pop in, to look, to talk, to sit quietly and pray.

Traidcraft itself has  developed from those early days. The first order (pages and pages) had to be painstakingly copied out by hand, by Jenny (Dorothy Slater’s daughter). Compare this with the phone, fax and E-mails of today. Nor was there always absolute clarity – as when ’12 boxes’ of tea, produced 144 packets! 1 box apparently = 12 packets!  And in those early days, that was an awful lot of tea!

In the February 1995 Tidings, Traidcraft’s previous year was summed up in these words: “It has been achieved… because of the vision, the imagination and the sheer hard work…of Marjorie and Michael Clarkson and Ruth and Robin Loutit. They continue to shoulder the day-to-day responsibility of ordering, unpacking, pricing, sorting rotas, making the stall look attractive, finding floats and banking money … so many of the behind-the-scenes tasks, which largely go unseen and are taken for granted.” By 1999, sales were running in the region of £25,000  p.a.

Not everyone finds the idea of a ‘shop’ in the church easy. For others, however, it has come to be a symbol of our concern for justice for all God’s people, showing that we are prepared to act, as well as talk. As Elisabeth Kasten  (a young German ordinand, who did her last piece of ministerial training with us) wrote on her return to Germany in 1997: "I like …  especially that you sell Traidcraft products after the service in the church building. For me that is a way of getting word and action together as the two aspects of worship. So my final comment is: Keep on this way! And be happy with all that you have got."

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