Okay, so you may have heard about BAFTS, but what exactly is the BAFTS Fair Trade Network UK?

Put simply, it is a network of independent shops and suppliers dedicated to promoting Fair Trade retail in the UK.
This group of retailers, importers and wholesalers are independent. But unite in a core purpose which is to bring about fundamental changes in the status of working producers through Fair Trade retailing, trading and campaigning.
Furthermore, they contribute towards the building of greater trade justice and equity in the world.

If you were unaware, BAFTS, incidentally, stands for British Association for Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers.

BAFTS Fair Trade Network UK is a company registered in Reading, England and has an elected Board of seven directors.

Another key point is that it is connected to the global Fair Trade Movement through its membership of the WFTO (the World Fair Trade Association)
So it recognises this internationally agreed definition of Fair Trade:-

“Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalised producers and workers – especially in the South.”

All involved in Fair Trade accept that it has to include:-

–  Paying fair prices to producers which indeed reflects the true cost of production.
–  Supporting producer organisations in their social and environmental projects.
–  Promoting gender equality in pay and working conditions.
–  Advising on product development to increase access to markets.
–  Committing to long term relationships to provide stability and security.
–  Campaigning to highlight the unequal system of world trade which places profit above human rights and threatens our environment.

Conserve in Delhi India - workshop close up

Workshop close up, Delhi India

The BAFTS Fair Trade Network UK recognises the following sources as Fair Trade:-

–  Fairtrade marked products.
–  Members of the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO).
–  Recognised and accredited importers and wholesalers.

Zoe Project in Peru

Zoe Project in Peru

Many of the products stocked by The FAIR Trade Store come from BAFTS registered wholesalers and importers.

Indeed, one such source is Zuri Design, who were set up as a family-run business in 2003.
They work hand in hand with small, Fair Trade projects primarily in the slum areas of Nairobi, Kenya. They act as mentor, educator, wholesaler and retailer. Thus helping people in these marginalised communities develop their existing skills to design and therefore make saleable products and also provide them with a long term route to market in the UK.

The FAIR Trade Store has been trading with Zuri Design for several years now and are particularly proud of products such as this “statement piece” Maasai bead choker, made by artisans of the Zakale Creations project in Huruma, part of the Mathare Valley on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya.

“You can buy with confidence, knowing that “together, we are helping to make a difference”.

If you have any questions about BAFTS Fair Trade Network UK, or the issues raised in this Blog post, please leave a comment below and I will get straight back to you” – Paul.