Trade Aid has a unique operating structure. It is quite complex and takes some processing to understand how we work.
Trade Aid is a not for profit organisation. We are made up of several parts which together form the Trade Aid Movement. We are like a large extended family made up from paid staff and volunteers and include the following roles:
Trade Aid NZ Inc (TANZ)
TANZ is a membership-based Incorporated Society. Membership is open to shops and individuals — all our shops are members, and all TA staff automatically become members upon employment. Any interested individual can also choose to become a member. TANZ is the governance body over the entire Trade Aid Movement and ensures that we live up to our Charter. It has Charitable Status and is the owner (i.e. holds the shares) of Trade Aid Importers Ltd. The committee members of the Society are elected at an AGM and are responsible for ensuring the Movement meets the Vision, Aims and Objectives as set out in the Trade Aid Movement Charter. It is not involved in the day-to-day running of TAI.
Trade Aid Importers Ltd
TAI manages a central warehouse based in Christchurch. All imported goods from our trading partners are delivered here for sorting and quality checks. Goods are dispatched throughout the country to our shops and other retailers.
TAI is responsible for forming trading partnerships with our suppliers, producing education and marketing material for the Trade Aid shops and campaigning and advocating for trade justice. Trade Aid Importers is a limited liability company owned by TANZ and also has charitable status.
TAI also has the central function and responsibility to manage the accounting and human resource services for most of the Trade Aid shops.
The relationship between TAI and the shops is set out in a document known as the Trade Aid Contract.
TAI is governed by a Board of Directors, members of which are appointed by, and answerable to, the committee members of TANZ. They are responsible for the commercial business of TAI and give advice and assistance to TAI. This Board appoints a General Manager who manages TAI and employs the staff who work there.
Pictured: Stewart McCallister, a volunteer storeman in the Trade Aid Importers warehouse
Individual charitable trusts are the owners of the shops and legal employers of paid staff. Trustees are elected annually from the shop trust membership and are responsible for effective governance of the shop.They ensure:
- all involved (trust members, paid and unpaid staff) are familiar with and adhere to the principles of the Trade Aid Movement Charter and Trade Aid Contract
- all fiduciary duties and legal requirements are completed, including approval and monitoring of the annual shop budget
- human resources and accounting requirements are fulfilled (the operational aspect of these requirements may be delegated to TAI through the appropriate Agreements but overall responsibility remains with the Trust)
- health and safety requirements are met
- promotion of the Movement and its aims through planning and carrying out a local education programme and involvement in national campaigns
- effective liaison with TAI.
Trade Aid Shops
We operate 30 retail shops throughout NZ and an online shop through the Trade Aid website. Each shop is owned by a charitable trust.
The Development Committee is a sub-committee of the Board of Trade Aid Importers and is responsible for dealings with selecting and monitoring trading partners, allocating NZ government funds for capacity building projects, approving education and advocacy work, drafting policy, approving suppliers of non-fair trade goods (e.g. books and music from non-Trade Aid partners), and has responsibility for producing Trade Aid's Social Accounts. Read more about our development work here.
There are approximately 30 paid staff at TAI and approximately 70 paid staff in shops. Over 800 volunteers are actively involved in all parts of the Movement, working in the shops, on shop trusts and committees, at the warehouse and in education outreach.