What we do

Our focus is, and always has been, firmly on the welfare of our trading partners.

Our organisation exists purely to support the people we trade with - the world's more disadvantaged producers. We believe that trade, if organised and regulated properly, can lift the world’s poor out of poverty.

We purchase craft and food products from over 60 trading partners, which represent hundreds of thousands of small farmers and artisans in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Palestine and the Pacific. We work to change the lives of these producers through an alternative way of doing business - a fairer way.

Using the World Fair Trade Organisation's fair trade principles and our own Charter, which guides our work and decision making, we focus on bringing change through long-term partnerships and sustainable trading relationships using a combination of direct trading, development work, campaigning and education. To us, fair trade doesn't just mean paying a fair price...it is an entirely different way of doing business.


How we do it...

As New Zealand’s oldest and largest fair trade organisation, we have over 40 years' experience in combining development and trade. We are committed to pushing the boundaries of what constitutes the highest standards in fair trade. We put people before profit and are 100% committed to improving the lives of those we work with.

Here are some of the things that we do a little bit differently:

We don’t just buy from our partners...we also aim to support them to increase the production and quality of their products. To do this we help with product design ideas, workshops and trends, and we also channel funds through to many of our partners to provide necessary skills' training or vitally needed infrastructure to strengthen their businesses. Read more about our form of partnership here.

We are committed to our trading partners. We seek to form long-term trading relationships with them to show this commitment. These relationships create security to help producers plan for the future; and sustainable incomes for them to work their own way out of poverty and make improvements to their lives. You can learn more about our trading partners here.

Helping where it’s needed the most
Each group we work with is unique. Our trading partners created their organisations in order to help the most disadvantaged people – some of these include women's groups, indigenous groups, migrants or refugees, or those who are physically challenged. Through fair trade practices, our partners are able to transform people's lives. Read the criteria we use in deciding whom to trade with.

We don’t just report on our finances, we measure and report on everything we do. We ask our partners what they think of us, and we use professional auditors to check our reporting. We make this information available to everyone - from our trading partners to our customers. We value feedback and strive to improve on all aspects of our Charter. You can read about how well we measure up to our Charter expectations in our audited social accounts here.

Paying our way
We pay at least 50% of the total cost of our product orders in advance, interest free. This provides essential finance that artisans and producers need to maintain constant production, and to enable them to continue meeting their needs for their next harvest or craft order.

Producers receive a price that covers the full production cost, and which allows for a living wage and other fair rewards to be earned. This covers basic needs such as food, shelter, education and health care for them and their families. Paying fair wages does not necessarily mean that products cost the consumer more as there are fewer ‘middle man’, who take a large share of profits in conventional trade, between producers and Trade Aid.

Profit sharing
We give any excess trading profits back to our producers (we figure that's only fair!). Read more about our rebates here.

Educating for Justice
We seek to understand the problems our trading partners face. We share this understanding by speaking out and telling New Zealanders their stories and about injustices in international trade rules. .

Read more about: