Closure dates over the Christmas period 2014-2015

Please note that BAFTS will close at 12 noon on 24th December 2014 and re-open on Monday 5th January 2015 at 9am. Wishing all our members, enquiring businesses and supporters of fair trade a very prosperous trading period this Christmas, and a peaceful start to 2015!

Posted in Fair Trade

CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF “ZAYTOUN” TRADING FAIRLY WITH PALESTINE

Never before have I (Kathryn, BAFTS’ Marketing and Membership Coordinator) attended an event where a carpet was laid out before me – a carpet of aromatic, crisp olive leaves sent by a Palestinian grower whose visa had been delayed and could not be with us in person to celebrate Zaytoun’s 10th Anniversary event. I felt humbled to tread upon them but was warmly welcomed to do so. This welcome set the tone of warmth, generosity and sharing for the whole evening; a tone which I now understand to be typically Palestinian. Read the whole article about this delightful heartwarming event here…Zaytoun 10th Anniversary 

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Posted in Fair Trade

BAFTS’ “Gateway World Shop” wins Independent Category, Durham City Retail Awards 2014

I am delighted to announce that Gateway World Shop, long-term BAFTS’ shop based in Durham, and managed by BAFTS’ Company Secretary, Hazel Dobson, won the “Independent Category” award in the Durham City Retail Awards 2014. There were 21 nominees, and Gateway World Shop won out of a short-list of six nominees. As Hazel is currently out of the country on a Traidcraft “Meet the People” Tour in Vietnam, we would like to wish her and her Board of Directors and Staff team all the very best and sincere congratulations!

Gateway World Shop Board and Staff, L to R Colin Cuthill, Chair of the Board, Ruth Kell, Shop Staff, Helen Lewis, Shop Staff, katy Scott, Casual Staff, and kathryn Sygrove, Casual Staff with the award at the Ramside Hall Hotel, Durham

Gateway World Shop Board and Staff, L to R Colin Cuthill, Chair of the Board, Ruth Kell, Shop Staff, Helen Lewis, Shop Staff, katy Scott, Casual Staff, and kathryn Sygrove, Casual Staff with the award at the Ramside Hall Hotel, Durham

Posted in Fair Trade

Social Enterprise day 20th November 2014 Facts and figures

BAFTS decided to join Social Enterprise UK a couple of months ago, after referring this matter to its membership. We have joined as a supporting member, as BAFTS does not fit the criteria of being a Social Enterprise which earns more than half of its income through trading (one of the points quoted on their website).

20th November is Social Enterprise Day and as some of our members are also Social Enterprises, we thought we would quote some facts and figures from the above source, about the extent of Social Enterprises in the United Kingdom today.

Social enterprise – business with a social or environmental mission – in the UK is thriving. Social enterprises have a higher start-up rate than traditional SMEs (Small to medium Enterprises) and 1 in 5 start-ups is now socially-driven. There are 180,000 in the UK alone, contributing £24 billion to the economy.

Key stats about UK social enterprise:

  • More than a third (38%) of all social enterprises operate in the UK’s most deprived communities, compared to 12% of traditional SMEs
  • Half of social enterprises (52%) actively employ people who are disadvantaged in the labour market, including ex-offenders, people with disabilities and the long-term unemployed
  • More people are moving from the private sector than any other sector to work in social enterprise (35%, compared with 33% from the public sector and 17% from charities and the voluntary sector).
  • Social enterprises are far more likely to be led by women than mainstream businesses. 38% of social enterprises have a female leader, compared with 19% of SMEs and 7% of FTSE 100 companies.
  • The majority of social enterprises (57%) draw 100% of their workforce from the local areas in which they operate.

Reference: The People’s Business report (2013)

More points on the UK social enterprise movement:

  • Social enterprises have a primarily social mission – but they do business and turn over profits to achieve it – think  Divine Chocolate.
  • On September 13th, the UK saw its first Social Saturday – a day to buy from social enterprises, gathering support from celebrities and politicians including the Prime Minister and Jamie Oliver.
  • Private companies are increasingly getting involved social enterprise. Close to half of all social enterprises now trade with the private sector. Corporates are rethinking how they do traditional Corporate and Social Responsibility by incorporating social enterprises into their supply chains.
  • The UK’s social enterprise sector is one of the country’s most successful exports. Countries around the world are looking to the UK example to discover how they can build social enterprise into their economies.
  • The UK is also now home to the world’s largest social investment market – a new and growing financial market where investors seek social as well as financial returns. Research estimates the market is growing by 20% a year, making around £200m worth of deals.
Posted in Fair Trade

BAFTS’ SEMINAR COMING AT SPRING FAIR 2015!!

We are delighted to announce that BAFTS has been working alongside Spring Fair, NEC, Birmingham,  to come up with a topical, relevant seminar which will be held on Tuesday 3rd February 2015 in the Trends Theatre (Hall 6) from 13.15-14.00.

The seminar is entitled “BAFTS: Fair Trade retail panel” and will be chaired by Kathryn Sygrove, Marketing and Membership Coordinator, with the following carefully-chosen speakers:

  • Joanna Pollard, Chair of the BAFTS’ Board and owner of Aztec Arts, speaking about the importance of eye-catching visual displays
  • Robert Coloquhoun, Myakka, speaking about impactful direct marketing
  • Ali Clifford, Myakka, speaking about using social media to best effect
  • Laura Cave, Founder of Just Trade (UK) ltd, talking about the story behind the products
  • Barb Wilson, Director of LovethatStuff, with a general overview of how to be successful in fair trade retailing

For more information, please go to Spring Fair Seminars and search by date, Theatre or subject title. We are so looking forward to this opportunity!

 

 

 

Posted in Fair Trade

BAFTS’ member Little Trove wins “Business Boost” award

It is great to hear news of our members doing well. It is even better to be able to share this news with our readership. Here, we are delighted to reproduce an article on Little Trove who are a quite recent member of BAFTS and have won a Business Boost award of £1000 and a part-time apprentice. Ramona’s hard work and belief have proved vital in her winning the award, including her knowledge as a lawyer as to the types of business which qualify as social enterprises. Here is the full story reproduced from their own website 

“I am proud to say that Little Trove has bagged another business award!

Last year, I entered a business competition in Staffordshire called the Business Boost Awards offering prize money of £1000 and a part-funded apprentice. I entered in the entrepreneurial spirit category. I guess the judges were impressed by our combination of fair trade products and party planners conducting home parties because they awarded us the first prize! With the £1000, we installed a wooden cabin in our warehouse to create a heated space for my apprentice and I. I was very grateful for the win because our warehouse is otherwise freezing cold! I didn’t win the apprentice prize though. I guess applying for an apprentice in warehousing and logistics wasn’t sexy enough.

So this year in June when I saw the same advert about the competition, I thought I’d better not be too greedy. However, for the first time the organisers had a category entitled “recognising social enterprise”. I thought “what’s there to lose in trying?” We are a social enterprise and we need the money to subsidise those crazily expensive trade fair stands! Not to mention having a spare set of hands in the office will be useful if we get a new apprentice. I applied!

Stage 1: A simple application form asking the usual contact details, the intended use of the prize money, whether an apprentice was needed as well as a 100 word summary of the business.

Application Form

It was important here to make sure the summary fit the objectives of the category. Since it was for “social enterprise”, I made sure to say straight away that Little Trove was a fair trade company, whose mission was to increase living standards through trade. I explained the whole process from production to sales and reinvestment into the producer groups to highlight the social aspect of the enterprise.

Stage 2: An invitation to submit a business plan. Having passed stage 1, we were asked to submit a business plan by mid-Sept. Luckily, I have software called “Business Plan Pro” that takes you through the relevant parts of a business plan and puts in fancy graphs! The plan encompassed general information about the business, market research, management structure, a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), a marketing plan, web plan, financial forecasts (including cash flow forecast) for 3 years etc etc.

Business Plan

I’m no expert but I gave it my best! I am always prudent and conservative in my forecasts, meaning I always deflate income projections and inflate costs. That way my forecasts show a worse case scenario. The hope is always to bring in more income and to reduce costs but I’d rather not be too optimistic in a plan.

 The plan was judged by a panel of businessmen. I had no idea if it was good or not.

Stage 3: Live presentation. I  was invited to make a 10 minute presentation to the judging panel on the morning of 9th October, in the final round of the competition. That morning, my husband and I went armed in very smart business suits, a power point presentation, product samples and marketing materials.

AlaynaJug-small

At that stage, you want to create an instant good impression. You want to show them that you are a solid business. We are a small company but that doesn’t mean we have to operate unprofessionally.

Confidence is key. If a business owner isn’t confident when they walk into the room, why should anyone want to buy what they’ve got to sell?

Passion is also important. If you’re in this fair trade business, you’ve got to be passionate about it. There are easier ways to make money than this. In this fair trade business, I visit remote corners of the world, create products with people who have very basic education and infrastructure, pre-pay the producers prior to production out of my own pocket and then have to pay exorbitant trade stand fees to attract retailers and offer credit to small shops that can’t afford to pay upfront for their small orders.

Trade imbalance

Only people who see the bigger social picture and realise that they can contribute to change will be bothered to do this. The world needs such mad people to equalise the imbalance in world trade. Quite frankly, I earned more and worked less as a solicitor.

For the presentation, I used a power point presentation I had prepared with powerful pictures of our producer groups and clear information about how the business operates, the benefit to the producers & the use of the prize money. Learning from last year that warehousing and logistics isn’t interesting, I applied for an apprentice in marketing and creative design instead. I showed what support and infrastructure would be available at our office to train an apprentice.

Little Trove | Weavers

Then a 20 minute Q & A from the judging panel, drilling down some financial information from the business plan etc etc. I sensed that one judge asked what legal structure we were (which is a limited company) because he had an issue with us not being a CIC (Community Interest Company). He didn’t say it but I knew what he was wondering. It’s important in life to see behind people’s questions. They asked something but what’s behind the question? Often you should answer the question behind the question because that sorts out the heart of the matter. People don’t always know to ask the right questions. I said we were a limited company but that we had incorporated a CIC to transfer into etc. My husband told me off later for giving too long an answer when a simple “limited” would have sufficed.

I can assure you with all my legal training and quoting the Guide on Social Enterprise on the Government BIS (Department of Business Innovation and Skills) website that a social enterprise can have many legal forms; a limited company, a CIC, a sole trader, association etc. You get my gist. A CIC is only one form of social enterprise. For more information: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/legal-forms-for-social-enterprise-a-guide 

Finals: Awards ceremony

I’m not sure what the speeches were about. I was too nervous thinking about the result. They showed video after video of the finalists; 14 in total across 3 category. Then ours. I saw the competitor’s video and thought “Crap we’ve lost, for sure”. They did marvellous work locally with families. Our social impact was abroad. Doubts creep in as to whether our business is good enough. The envelope is opened and it’s US! We won the first prize of £1000!

Little Trove | Business Boost Awards 2014

Our £1000 is going straight to Spring Fair 2015. Come see us in Hall 4, Stand number to be confirmed!

At the very end, were the 2 apprentice prizes v 14 finalists. I thought “no chance” of getting one. The first one is awarded to a IT company and the very last prize of the night goes to US! I couldn’t believe it for one second. We won a part-funded apprentice too! I could not have been happier! As I write this, I still can’t believe it. I’m waiting for the real cheque to arrive and for the apprentice provider to be in touch. I’ve also won some training vouchers from our chamber of commerce and 1 year’s membership of a social enterprise organisation.

Little Trove | Business Boost Apprentice Prize 2014

Did I tell you that the judge who drilled me at the Q & A said to me right after my win, as I shook his hand, that for him I wasn’t going to win because I was a limited company and that my one answer about us becoming a CIC was what swung it for him? I smiled and thanked him for the win, thinking with my legal brain that a social enterprise is about the purpose of a company not its legal form. You see how an answer answering his real question and not limited to his actual question made the difference between a win and a loss?

The point I would like to make is that people often think they aren’t good enough or that their competitors are doing better than they actually are. People sometimes don’t put themselves forward because they think they will lose. If you don’t try you’ve lost anyway! “

Posted in Fair Trade

“One World Week” (19-26 October 2014) Breaking Chains: Making Change

 “Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.”  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Hand-Making-ChangeThis week is One World Week, and seems suitable for a pause for thought about how we, as members of a fair trade organisation, or as readers of our website who are interested in our cause, can help make a difference and break some chains in the realm of trade. Many of the ideas come from the One World Week website and pick up the strand about trading differently.

 “Living Differently” is the theme for One World Week 2014 and leads on from last year’s theme about consumption. It recognises that we as responsible citizens need to make changes to secure a fairer, more satisfying, life for us all and one that protects the planet’s resources for future generations. The subtitle “Breaking chains – making change” is inspired by Nelson Mandela’s words:

“… to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”.

This year, OWW is drawing attention to campaigns and events which promote and involve active citizenship through sourcing food differently, reducing wastefulness, and using money differently.  These simple steps can help us to break the chains of the global food supply systems and consumer habits that damage the environment and communities worldwide and challenge the current money markets by using money positively to make the changes that can build a fairer and more sustainable world.

Fair Trade fits perfectly into this equation, as it challenges the way in which global trade is currently carried out, by putting the producer before profit. It demands fairer pay, better conditions, more gender equality, transparency, long-term partnerships, and no child labour. The WFTO 10 Principles of Fair Trade to which BAFTS and its members adhere is testament to this “alternative” form of trading. So, every time you buy fair trade you are helping break the chains of poverty for producers in developing countries, and helping them to be able to afford changes in their lives.

 

Posted in Fair Trade

“Pouring Oil on Troubled Water” Zaytoun reflects on 10 years of pioneering Fairtrade in Palestine

Zaytoun CIC, whilst not a member of BAFTS, is one of our close allies in fighting the war against unfair trade terms for disadvantaged and marginalised producers in developing countries.

They have worked hard for ten years to help Palestinian farmers carry out their traditional living in Gaza, with the threat of Israeli attack, Hamas’ counter attack and war as a near constant occurrence. Some BAFTS’ members and friends will remember Cathi Pawson’s stirring account of Palestinian families trying to harvest their olive crop against a backdrop of restricted access, limited permits, illegal land grabs and widespread destruction of crops. We are very pleased to be allowed to link here to Cathi’s reflections on those 10 years and what was deemed to be an impossible dream. Zaytoun’s 10th Anniversary event is at the end of November, and BAFTS is delighted to be able to be represented there.

An elderly Palestinian woman harvest olives near an Isreali separation wall in Binin Village. Image courtesy of Hami Abu Rahma.

An elderly Palestinian woman harvest olives near an Israeli separation wall in Binin Village. Image courtesy of Hamdi Abu Rahma via Zaytoun CIC.

Posted in Fair Trade

Crisp, bright new BAFTS’ banner mirrors website colours

We are delighted that our new BAFTS’ banner has been delivered with up-to-date logo, wording and images. The aim was to try and reflect some of the bold fresh look of this website, using background colours similar to the blocks of colour found on most web pages, eg orange, light blue, turquoise and dark blue. The match is not perfect, but the message is clear: to let members, the public, and possible new members know that we aim to spread consistent information about Fair Trade in a professional manner. We hope you like the result!

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Posted in Fair Trade

Headington Fairtrade (The Windmill) flags up BAFTS’ support

We are having a spate of articles appear on a variety of websites and online magazines at the moment, relating to one or more of our members and their successes, which is great to hear.

This article comes from a fellow fair trade shop which we hope might join us soon, and talks about their beautiful shop in Oxford, whilst also mentioning quite a few BAFTS’ suppliers and our organisation too. It is brilliant to have strong links with such like-minded supporters. We hope you enjoy reading the article!

 

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