BAFTS’ Executive Officer a special guest at opening of Dundee Ethical Xmas Fair

It was a delight to be invited to come and speak on behalf of BAFTS at the Ethical Christmas Fair running in Dundee from 3-18 December and organised by Tania Pramschufer of Hand Up events. The event has usually run in Edinburgh but a change was felt necessary for their 10th Anniversary and Dundee City Square was selected. It brings together fair trade, ethical, international and local stalls and provides a wide selection of different, interesting products in one marquis. BAFTS members Lumina Jewellery and Zuri Design were there, and One World Shop and Hadeel will have stalls later on. Angus Coull from Bala Sport was attending in his capacity as a Director for the Scottish Fair Trade Forum.


Kathryn,our Executive Officer; Angus Coull from Bala Sport in his role as SFTF Director, Margaret Galabe from World Women Fair Trade and Tania Pramschufer, organiser, from Hand Up events.

The official opening took place on Monday 5th December, and included speeches from the Depute Lord Provost of Dundee, Christina Roberts; Margaret Galabe from World Women Fair Trade; myself; representatives of Dundee City Council and Tania herself. Also in attendance was Sally Romilly, Global Learning Advisor from Dundee One World Centre, Green Santa and members of the local Press and television. It was good to be able to promote BAFTS to an audience and show off our banner, plus leave leaflets with Picky from Lumina Jewellery.

I was also able to talk to some other stalls about possible interest in BAFTS, although they were quite busy most of the time. There again, as they had been in the Summer, were two stalls from Kenya: Sarah from Sanyo Crafts, and Dorothy Taro from Dorostel International, and it was good to catch up with them again. There were also stalls from the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, Blue Llama, RSPB, local food outlets, an ethical cafe, a variety of local businesses, Neal’s Yard remedies, and ACTSA . It was a warm friendly festive atmosphere despite being very very cold and it may well be that Tania is looking for more stallholders in the future, including from BAFTS, so watch this space!

To see a whole host of other images please go to our Facebook page uploads and to our Gallery page on this website. You will need to refer back to this article for who is who, as the captions were too long to include!

Posted in Fair Trade

Our Exec Officer helps open Ethical Christmas Fair Dundee Mon 5th December

We are delighted that our Executive Officer, Kathryn Sygrove, has been asked to help open the Hand Up Ethical Christmas Fair in Dundee on Monday 5th December at 1pm alongside the Lord Provost.

The Fair itself is usually held in Edinburgh but this year, its 10th Anniversary, it is being held in Dundee City Square from 3rd -18th December, and will feature local stalls, ethical and fair trade stalls from abroad and Scotland. Its opening times are 10am – 6pm (7pm Thurs to Sat). Kathryn will be talking briefly about BAFTS and the importance of supporting BAFTS’ shops in the UK. We are very much looking forward to being part of this exciting event.


Posted in Fair Trade

Ethical Consumer Conference: Fiona Gooch (Traidcraft) Retail Sourcing Practises

Although it is over a month since this very enlightening Conference, many of the discussions are still highly relevant. Fiona Gooch, Senior Policy Advisor at Traidcraft, talked with authority about the transparency of, and improvements to, retailers’ sourcing practises. As Grocery Code Adjudicator Christine Tacon’s role (otherwise known as the GCA or Supermarket Watchdog) is currently being statutorily reviewed by the government until 10th January 2017 under public consultation, it is well worth looking at what an extension of her role could do to improve accountability in the retail supply chain. To hear the full speech please listen in here.

Fiona stated that Traidcraft’s mission is to see trade organised in such a way that it fights poverty. They operate a Policy and Campaigns Unit as mainstream trade is not done optimally. Traidcraft brings products into the UK in a manner benefitting a defined group of people and finds it vital to define which groups will benefit in their supply chain. They choose to work with labour-intensive groups.

The predominant reality of supply chains is that you have to analyse where the power lies. In food and garment supply chains, the retailers push risks down the supply chain. They want lower prices, with fast and flexible production, high technical standards and good working conditions on the one hand and cheaper prices, immediate availability and demands for expedited air freight on the other. The producers and suppliers are put in an impossible situation. The garment industry sees many examples of short term contracts, no unions, cheap and migrant labour, sub-contracting and labour rights’ violations being hidden.

The way to get change is to analyse the supply chains and work out where the power is. In the case of food it lies with the supermarkets. To establish the problem, you need to look at their buying practises and that is why Traidcraft campaigned for the setting up of the role of Grocery Code Adjudicator, currently held by Christine Tacon. This key regulator has now been in place for three years. The 10 largest supermarkets systematically put down excessive unnecessary risks on to their suppliers. Suppliers to the supermarkets are afraid of complaining. She can initiate complaints and put down penalties or 1% of turnover, and can name and shame. She publishes her findings once a year.

Fiona made the noteworthy statement that retailers do not make or transform product. They buy goods, which are driven (by someone else often) to their warehouses and stored (probably by someone else) and place the goods on their shelves with about a 40% mark-up. The GCA enforces a Code of purchasing practises and has seen noted improvements due to her investigations. There have on some occasions been worsening situations. This goes to show that “transparency” is great but enforcement is the way to go.

The consultation of which we speak at the start of the article could well open up her powers. She can currently enforce on “first tier” relationships ie between the supermarkets and the importer, or the supermarket and the manufacturer. But the manufacturers can also exert massive pressure down the supply chain and the GCA’s powers need extending too to so-called “second-tier” relationships. Let’s hope the outcome is positive in January.

Posted in Fair Trade

Anti-Poverty Week 16-22 October 2016 #FairTradebreakspoverty

As a member of WFTO, BAFTS positively supports Anti-Poverty Week running from 16-22 October, and encourages all of its members by extension to do likewise. Our Facebook and Twitter banners have been changed and can be downloaded and used for the same purposes on member pages. If BAFTS’ members are indeed using social media, the hashtag #FairTradeBreaksPoverty is the one which we are asked to adhere to.


WFTO’s Press Release regarding the 2016 ANTI-POVERTY WEEK is as follows:

“Fair Trade = no poverty! This year WFTO observes Global Anti-Poverty Week (16-22 October 2016) by promoting the 10 Principles of Fair Trade as means to eradicate poverty as desired by the first goal of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals – NO POVERTY.

WFTO believes that the principles of Fair Trade are effective overarching tools to fight poverty. Using the concept of ‘Agent for Change’ (Fair Trade as an agent for change), WFTO’s formula to eradicate poverty is:  Fair Trade + Economic Opportunities = No Poverty. We would like you to join the awareness raising campaign. For the campaign, we use the icons of Fair Trade Principle 1 and Sustainable Development Goal 1 to represent visually our formula for change. See visual illustration below.” BAFTS and its members ara asked to upload images to social media of our “Agents for Change” with these icons, showing the part which Fair Trade plays in the eradication of poverty.


Posted in Fair Trade

Notes from Paul Monaghan, Fair Tax Mark, on “Tax Avoidance & public sector Procurement”

14572755_1813158625636604_5080757226764925972_nThe original speech was given by Paul Monaghan, one of the Directors of the Fair Tax Mark, at the Ethical Consumer Conference, on September 30th in London. These are my notes from re-listening via the Ethical Consumer website. Whilst all the subjects discussed were fascinating and eye-opening, this is the area about which I knew the least and felt it essential to share a greater understanding of how companies avoid tax and how they may be excluded from public sector contracts.

Paul has been involved in the area of Corporate Responsibility for 25 years. Ethical Consumer was also at the forefront of getting the Fair Tax Mark set up. Over this period of time, virtually every issue relating to corporates has seen progress – apart from executive remuneration and tax avoidance. All that changed in 2011. However, it was as long ago as 1961 when John Kennedy expressed concerns about this self-same problem.

14485146_1813158592303274_5919010143935245201_nThe extent of brazen tax avoidance forced people to come together and take action: journalists, politicians, campaigners and corporates all took a stand and wanted to state their part and, in the case of companies, show that they were being honest. Whilst the EU is one of the most aggressive regulators of this avoidance, when they took Apple to court it was about actions from 25 years hence. Paul pointed out that most people also knew who the bad guys appeared to be eg Starbucks, Facebook, and there was no way of rewarding the companies showing integrity.

With no movement by 2014, the Fair Tax Mark was set up. It helped identify those companies who were quietly paying their taxes and avoiding tax havens. They met resistance by corporates who said it was too complex and wouldn’t stand up. But they were proved wrong and reckon they must have been right when KPMG (one of the major auditors) rubbished it and claimed they were bringing out their own version – which they didn’t. It was clear that businesses needed a policy on corporate tax.

The Fair Tax Mark looks at whether companies do business with tax havens; who the beneficial owners of the company are; tax rates have to be disclosed, as well as deferred tax; and this must be listed country by country. Points are awarded for filing your corporation tax return – because nobody at HMRC checks to see if this is done. It is in essence a voluntary standard for something that should be mandatory, but isn’t.

14519708_1813158635636603_4990298765892436074_nAt first Co-ops and social enterprises came on board, alongside mutual societies, then FTSE businesses and private companies started taking note. That was when the Financial Press took an interest. But the Fair Tax Mark does not leave it to the market to enforce – it needs regulatory teams. Some local councils have changed their procurement guidance to shun tax evaders and avoiders. In fact some Councils are arguing about which political party started the work or has now moved to enforce this decision as they want to take the credit for taking this change forward.

Posted in Fair Trade

Gateway Sunday…a Service with Heather Thompson, Traidcraft Exchange

Sunday 4th September was the date for the annual Gateway Sunday, a Church service in St. Nicholas’ Church, Durham, when BAFTS’ shop Gateway World Shop (which is housed in the former vestry and has been for over 25 years) works with the vicar taking the sermon to raise themes of justice and fairness in our consumption habits, and invites speakers to talk about issues which are related to its mission as part of the Church. The shop is usually open after the service for the congregation to browse as well.

This year the guest speaker was Heather Thompson from Traidcraft Exchange who focussed on the whole issue of well being resulting from the benefits which fair trade can bring to an employee and his or her family and community. Fair trade brings not just economic wellbeing such as fairer wages, better terms of trade and improved livelihoods. It benefits in so many other ways too, in health and education, building self esteem, improving dignity and bringing social acceptance. Being able to contribute to their communities gives a voice, confidence and empowerment to people who had none of these things. Fair trade changes lives, giving safety and security. In every successful fair trade story we can see hope for a better future.

Traidcraft tea farmer

Traidcraft tea farmer

The congregation was reminded of the huge difference which the purchase of fairly-traded gifts, crafts, and foods can make to the lives of impoverished producers striving to keep their heads above the poverty line and were shown a Traidcraft video which highlighted this. The shop Manager Hazel Dobson puts many hours into ensuring that this service is as effective and enjoyable as possible and that the campaign message is clearly understood.

Posted in Uncategorized

Edinburgh in a day: the Fair and Ethical Trade on the Fringe, and Just Festival

Key elements of the Just Festival summed up in an excellent poster.

Key elements of the Just Festival summed up in an excellent poster.

On Tuesday I was given the opportunity to visit Edinburgh to attend the Fair and Ethical Trade on the Fringe event  running from 7-27 August, and to attend some exhibitions and a drama as part of the Just Festival which runs concurrently from 5-28 August. The fair is an opportunity to visit and buy from ethical stalls from abroad eg Kenya and Peru; from fair trade stalls from Edinburgh and farther afield, and some local craft and food stalls. The Just Festival creates a space for dialogue and platforms for engagement in local, national and international questions of social justice, equality and identity. In line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it celebrates humanity in all its differences, promoting the exploration of new perspectives with the aim of reducing religious, political and social intolerance.

Kathryn, BAFTS'  Executive Officer, with Picky Saud of Lumina Jewellry

Kathryn, BAFTS’ Executive Officer, with Picky Saud of Lumina Jewellry

It was great to meet BAFTS’ members Lumina Jewellery and One World Shop on their stalls at the fair, as well as the event organiser Tania Pramschufer. I had the opportunity to talk with two stallholders from Kenya – Dorostel International and Sanjo Artists – about their organisations and how they were helping women in small communities; and to other UK-based stallholders about a potential interest in joining BAFTS. There was time to pop in on Hadeel selling crafts and food from Palestine, and meet with Equal Exchange for a catch-up chat. The whole city was abuzz, as both the above events sat alongside the Edinburgh Fringe Festival itself and a book festival too!

I intended to visit some exhibitions on Gaza and Displacement of refugees but these had been damaged by severe winds. I managed to see one small one on refugees which was a bonus. The day was rounded off with attending a beautiful, hopeful, proud and vibrant drama entitled “Beautiful Resistance” by Al Rowwad Cultural and Theatre Society, a group of young Palestinians living in Aida refugee camp and working through the daily challenges and restrictions of Israeli occupation and violence through drama, dance and music. They were supported by the Amos Trust. As the General Director of the Alrowwad Theatre Society, Abdelfattah Abusrour, who introduced them and spoke of some of them being delayed and imprisoned before release, and last minute visa rejections being overturned,  said:

Al Rowwad Beautiful Resistance drama

Al Rowwad Beautiful Resistance drama

“As Palestinian refugees, we do not have the luxury of despair. We choose Beautiful Resistance”.

(The link to Al-Rowwad goes through to images from the event on their Facebook page, as their website is in Arabic. To see all BAFTS’ images from the day, please go to the BAFTS’ Facebook page and see our posted and shared pictures on 17th August.)

Posted in Fair Trade

Rainbow Turtle wins “Outstanding Achievement” for Fairtrade Fortnight Display

Rainbow Turtle Scoops Annual Fairtrade Campaign Award

Rainbow Turtle has received the Outstanding Achievement Award in the annual Fairtrade Campaign Awards as judged by the Fairtrade Foundation. The group was recognised for their commitment to raising awareness about the principles and values of Fairtrade in their local community during Fairtrade Fortnight 2016, a highlighted campaign for the grassroots movement in the UK.

The Outstanding Achievement Award is given to a group that has created a campaign which impressed the judges in all areas, namely, a well-planned campaign that reached lots of people and communicated the Fairtrade message imaginatively. Rainbow Turtle was established in 2002 with a charity that raises awareness about Fair Trade issues and supports producer groups in the developing world; a trading company that promotes the sales of Fair Trade goods through its shop on Gauze Street, Paisley; and its sale or return service throughout Renfrewshire. Josh, the charity’s education officer, works with schools and community groups to help them achieve their Fairtrade goals and has recently made links with several other local community groups under the banner of ‘Common Threads’ linking Paisley’s history in textiles with the clothing industry in the developing world today.

This Fairtrade Fortnight, Rainbow Turtle Charity decided to highlight the Fairtrade Foundation’s theme of Breakfast and their slogan ‘Stand up for Farmers, Sit down for breakfast’ by creating a ‘Living Window Display’ in the Rainbow Turtle shop. People from Renfrewshire schools, churches, community groups, Fairtrade campaigners, politicians and Rainbow Turtle volunteers were asked to sit in the window and eat breakfast while explaining why they believed standing up for farmers and choosing Fair Trade was important. An innovative Fair Trade feast was provided by Ken Clark of Redss Catering. Only Ken can put Fair Trade and breakfast together with delicious selection of haggis, fava beans and muffins!

On receiving the award, Jim Rutherford from Rainbow Turtle Charity, said:  “Rainbow Turtle, here in Paisley, is thrilled have won this prestigious UK award and many thanks are due to all who organised and took part. It was a really positive event and certainly showed how simply using Fair Trade products can enable people in other countries to break free from grinding poverty and unfair trading practices, giving hope and opportunities for their families. Fair Trade is a tangible and positive lifeline which really does make a difference”.

Proudly displaying their award for "Outstanding Achievement", members of Rainbow Turtle Charity

Proudly displaying their award for “Outstanding Achievement”, members of Rainbow Turtle Charity

Martin Rhodes, director of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum said “It is great to see Scotland so well represented in these UK-wide awards including the Outstanding Achievement Award for Rainbow Turtle. Pioneering Fair Trade organisations like Rainbow Turtle have ensured Fair Trade’s successes so far and importantly they are essential to ensuring the future of Fair Trade.”

Adam Gardner, Communities Campaigns Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “Rainbow Turtle has made an exceptional commitment to farmers and workers around the globe who are continuously working hard to bring us the products we love. All too often these communities are not receiving a fair price for their work, but campaigners from Rainbow Turtle have shown their dedication to this cause. It’s so important for communities to get involved and let their voice be heard. “Thanks to the ongoing support of campaigners and businesses around the UK, Fairtrade today reaches millions of vulnerable farmers and workers in over 70 countries. We are constantly inspired and surprised by the overwhelming support the UK public shows Fairtrade. Thank you and congratulations to Rainbow Turtle for making an incredible contribution to the Fairtrade movement.”

Fairtrade has paved the way for sustainable trading by providing a safety net for world’s poorest farmers against volatile market prices, and the Fairtrade Premium to invest in vital community, business and environmental projects. The UK has one of the most powerful networks of Fairtrade campaigners in the world, including over 600 Fairtrade Towns, 1350 Fairtrade Schools and 170 Fairtrade Universities, and 7,500 Fairtrade places of worship.

Posted in Fair Trade

Traidcraft Retailer Day Weds 3rd August Gateshead

Two weeks ago, it was the Traidcraft Retailer day at their premises in Gateshead. Kathryn, our Executive Officer, went along with Hazel Dobson, Gateway World Shop Manager and Board member, and our Chair Joanna Pollard was also there, as was recently co-opted Board Member Dolores Harvey. Although it was a Retailer Day, Kathryn was invited along to speak with Joanna about BAFTS and the benefits of membership to any non-BAFTS’ members, of which there were few. Nonetheless, the day was very informative and a great opportunity to see Traidcraft’s Autumn catalogue goods, their shop, and to look at the expanding Artisans Fair range close-up. Thanks to Alistair Menzies and Suzanne Whittingham for organising.

The day started with product viewing, Fairtrade refreshments and nibbles, then we heard from Alistair about an update on Traidcraft, which showed that they had had quite an encouraging year, with the Artisans Fair range exceeding their expectations and getting a lot of support from fair trade shops. It had been expanded upon at Harrogate Home and Gift Fair to include greetings cards and gift wraps, and more new lines will be added over time. Inevitably, prices had been affected by poorer exchange rates. The Traidcraft AGM (and roadshow) takes place in London on 3rd September, with a Birmingham roadshow on 5th September and York Roadshow on 8th October. They will also be at Autumn Fair 2016 in Hall 4, Stand 4A40 when the new Artisans Fair (Craft) catalogue will be made available so please visit if you can.

We were then given the opportunity to watch some very moving videos on their “Show You Care” theme, which highlights the fact that purchases from Traidcraft or their stockists help to support some of the world’s most underprivileged producers, through in-country partners who run developmental and health care programmes for producers and their families. Here is the link to one such video about Bongi, a skilled candle-maker in Swaziland. The new Traidcraft videos will be unveiled at the AGM and promoted online in September 2016.

Joanna Pollard, BAFTS' Chair, discussing the benefits of membership and our 2017 Annual Conference

Joanna Pollard, BAFTS’ Chair, discussing the benefits of membership and our 2017 Annual Conference

Joanna and I then took to the floor and explained about how BAFTS was set up, its structure and aims, and  plans for our next Annual Conference. After lunch we heard some interesting tips on social media, not least of all why the recent algorithm introduced on Facebook now serves to show predominantly family and friends’ posts over those from publishers, brands, and other pages. In other words to push your sales you need to adopt a small advertising budget to get noticed. The presentation on social media will be made available via this website in due course.

We rounded off the day by placing orders from the Autumn/Winter range, and a browse round the shop, which is open to all and also has some interesting end-of-line stock. There are a good range of images on our social media to represent a very interesting and enjoyable day.


Posted in Fair Trade

Homeless World Cup Glasgow 10-16 July 2016

The Homeless World Cup is currently taking place in George Square, Glasgow, from 10-16 July. It is a pioneering event which started in 2001 and now has involvement from more than 70 countries, with more wanting to join in. It touches 100,000 homeless people a year through football but, as Mel Young, Co-Founder and President of Homeless World Cup states, it barely scratches the surface with over 100,000,000 people homeless globally (see next paragraph). We are delighted to say that BAFTS’ member Bala Sport is providing the Fairtrade-certified footballs for the event, which is co-sponsored by Scotmid Cooperative. The Homeless World Cup works with a network of 73 organisations, representing 73 nations. They all use football to help homeless and socially disadvantaged people around the world.


As a bit of background to the figures quoted above, it was 2005 when the last global survey was attempted by the UN. At that time the figure of homeless people worldwide was estimated at 100,000,000, with as many as 1.6 billion lacking adequate housing as per Habitat 2015. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that there are varying definitions of homelessness from country to country, and census data rarely applies to those residing in slums, squatting or those people who are frequently relocated. In other words, the figures are likely to be a lot higher. For more in-depth information, please visit their website  above (under “About”, our National Partners).

The Homeless World Cup draws players from both developed and underdeveloped countries such as Scotland, Sweden, Australia, Egypt, Mexico, Grenada, Kyrgyzstan, Chile, India and the Ivory Coast. A full list of countries and their national partners is available on the Homeless World Cup website. Many young adults, both male and female, have fought hard to represent their country and for some, it is the first time they have been outside of their homeland. In many cases, the opportunity to play football has been a chance to overcome personal difficulties, with 500 players being selected each year by the global network of street football partners. Unsurprisingly, 94% of participants say that the Games have positively impacted their lives, and 77% say that their lives have changed significantly due to their involvement.


The touching player stories highlight in-country networks making a massive difference – such as the Big Issue Korea, which helped a young man back on his feet after a work accident left him living in homeless shelters and depressed. The homeless shelter put him in contact with Big Issue Korea and thanks to them, he started playing football. Similarly, a homeless single mother of two in Kenya heard about Street soccer and ended up leading her country’s national team to victory in 2011, a story which has inspired many other girls in her community. Not only that, as a result of her footballing successes, she won a scholarship which enabled her to return to education, and she now coaches herself.

Of course, the plight of homelessness is not just a problem in less-developed countries, and there are player stories of illness, difficulties and addiction which have been turned around in European countries too. The Cup is a great opportunity for players to unite in enjoying a common passion whilst highlighting the work which still needs doing on this front.


Bala Sport’s Angus Coull with Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, at the Homeless World Cup in Glasgow July 2016

Posted in Fair Trade
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