Hadeel Open Evening with Zaytoun and Palestinian Farmer 4.3.2015

It may only have been for a few hours, but Kathryn, our BAFTS’ Marketing and Membership Coordinator, could not resist a quick dash up to Edinburgh to attend the Hadeel Open Event which welcomed Zaytoun’s Palestinian Director Taysir Arbasi, and Palestinian olive and almond grower Mohammad Irsheid, to talk about how Fairtrade, the Fairtrade premium, and fairly-traded products (most, but not all of their products carry the FAIRTRADE Mark) are helping growers in Palestine survive on trade, not aid, and permitting glimpses of a future working with dignity.

Taysir pointed out that the Israelis want to keep the Palestinians dependent on aid, and distort the facts eg how long settlements have actually been there. He worries about the Settlers’ party getting voted in at the next election, and whether there will be more evacuations of Palestinians from their land. With the help of Fairtrade, the growers would rather stay on the land, and produce the highest quantities of quality products possible.

He introduced Mohammad Irsheid, from the Sir village Co-operative, in Jenin, and a member of the Palestinian Fair Trade Association who discussed problems caused by the separation wall, checkpoints preventing easy access to his family lands, and the incidents of olive trees being cut and burnt by the Israeli army and settlers. He did not speak English and had an interpreter. He was proud of growing olives, almonds and corn.  Thirteen other families worked alongside him. He was keen on organic production, explaining that all work was done by hand. He prided himself on the quality of their olive oil and explained that the Fairtrade premium was 2.5 shekels per every kilogram sold, with 1.5 shekels going back to the farmer, and the other to the co-operative.

Hadeel event in Edinburgh: L to R Translator, Mohammad Irsheid Canaan Fair Trade grower, Alistair MacLeod. Chair of Palcrafts and Hadeel Councils, Taysir Arbasi, Zaytoun Palestinian Director

He enthused about the interest-free loans which the PFTA provide, and the “Trees for Life” scheme which they run (please refer to their website for more detail). He told of them providing bursaries for their children to go to University and that they were going to develop a Research Centre for Organic Farming. Zaytoun had been one of the first companies to buy their products,  one of the biggest olive oil exporters, and the first company to have their olive oil certified with the FAIRTRADE Mark.

Despite great restrictions as to which family member got to tend their crops for a limited amount of hours (which seemed to be decided on a whim), the physical obstacle of the separation wall, the draining of water out of the West Bank, the increasing settlements, the cutting down of olive trees to enable further land confiscation by the Israelis, and the prohibition on using cameras and ‘phones, he was thankful for his lot: grateful to be a member of the PFTA, aware of the improvements which fair trade terms had brought, sad for those who hadn’t yet joined, and pleased that helpers who had come to Palestine had taken photographic evidence of the real situation. He was the youngest of the farmers and very grateful to visit Britain and have the opportunity to tell his story.

Posted in Fair Trade

FSPs (Fairtrade Sourcing Programs): what they mean

As news breaks today, just ahead of Fairtrade Fortnight, about Mars Chocolate UK being the first UK company to enter into a Fairtrade Sourcing Program for cocoa, we have shortened an article from the Fairtrade Foundation to explain the differences between products sourcing only one ingredient under fairtrade terms, and “all-that-can-be” Fairtrade products, plus looking at changes to labelling. The whole article can be found at http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/for-business/ways-of-working-with-fairtrade/fairtrade-sourcing-programs

“Fairtrade Sourcing Programs for cotton, cocoa and sugar were introduced by Fairtrade International in January 2014 to boost the volumes of cotton, cocoa and sugar that Fairtrade certified farmers are able to sell on Fairtrade terms so that greater impact can be delivered for small-scale farmers in the developing world, who rely on Fairtrade to earn a fair price and work towards a more sustainable future.

Over the years, with the support of businesses, we have made significant headway in making trade fairer for farmers and workers in the developing world. But currently just 1.2% of global cocoa sales and less than 1% of global sugar sales are Fairtrade.

Fairtrade Sourcing Programs are an additional way for businesses to source Fairtrade, and runs in parallel to the existing FAIRTRADE Mark. Under the new scheme, businesses can source Fairtrade cocoa and sugar as raw commodities, and communicate their commitments through the FSPs.

FSP explained

Fairtrade Sourcing Programs were launched in some international markets earlier in 2014 – including Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Holland and Japan. As a result, global volumes of producers’ sales of Fairtrade cocoa are set to increase by over 20% in 2014, leading to an extra $1.8m in Fairtrade Premium for cocoa farmers.

We are now looking to work with UK businesses in key product categories with the explicit focus on securing new and additional commitments for sugar and cocoa farmers, alongside the range of products certified by the familiar FAIRTRADE Mark.”

Posted in Fair Trade

A retrospective on the BAFTS’ Spring Fair Panel Discussion

It doesn’t seem like a week already, but it is indeed seven days since the first ever BAFTS’ Panel Discussion at Spring Fair. The theme picked out several strands of successful fair trade retail: Kathryn, our Marketing and Membership Co-ordinator, chaired the discussion and introduced the five speakers in turn: Jo Pollard (Aztec Arts) on effective display in a small space, and getting the message across about the benefits of fairly-traded products; Robert Colquhoun (Myakka) talking about effective Direct Marketing; Ali Clifford (Myakka) on effective social media; Laura Cave (Just Trade UK Ltd) on the story behind the products, and Barb Wilson (LoveThatStuff) on a general overview.

The whole discussion lasted 45 minutes and was spread quite evenly between speakers. It was great to see up to 60 people seated and standing, to listen to the seminar. Some of the audience consisted of BAFTS’ suppliers who had taken time off their stalls to support us, BAFTS’ shops who were following our Trail (some had come especially on the day to hear us, thank you very much!) and some customers of our supplier members. Joanna and I worked out that we recognised about half of the audience, and we were thrilled that so many others had stopped by to listen.10981401_801866533182179_2076462712106278411_n

Spring Fair had in part dictated the scope of the talk and asked that we use minimal visuals, which caused a few problems in trying to depict eg effective displays, but Laura Cave was able to show some producer images which really helped to get across the message of what a difference fair trade can mean in the way of helping families and communities, by paying a better wage and teaching them skills to create marketable items for the Western world.

The seminar was very well received and there was a minor Twitter flurry when I got back home. Thank you to everyone who posted their support. It was a very proud moment to stand back and realise that BAFTS was taking the stage and raising the profile of our organisation, our members and fair trade in general in an essentially mainstream Trade Fair. With our bright new banner and leaflets at the ready, it was indeed an excellent chance to up our game.

We were very grateful to members who gave us feedback and made suggestions for future tweeks and improvements. Whilst we are very thankful to Spring Fair for the opportunity to take the stage, we realise that one session of forty-five minutes is insufficient to cover all aspects relating to BAFTS and fair trade, and will continue to seek out more awareness-raising opportunities to promote the benefits afforded to marginalised producers in developing countries.

Posted in Fair Trade

New information on website 8.1.2015

Happy New Year to all our readers!

Recently we have uploaded new versions of the BAFTS’ DSRs (Direct Sourcing Retailers) to our Resources page (item 8), and uploaded the BAFTS’ Trail for Spring Fair 1-5 February at NEC, Birmingham there too (Item 15). We are delighted to also be hosting a Panel Discussion on Fair Trade Retailing on Tuesday 3rd February 13-15-14.00 in the Trends Theatre, Hall Six, and look forward to seeing you there!

Posted in Fair Trade

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 

2014-11-28 19.20.45

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
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