Kiwis are a great bunch. We know what it’s like to be small on the world stage and it doesn’t stop us. We stand up for what is right and lead the world when it matters.
It was no accident that we were the first country to give women the vote or to introduce the 8-hour working day. We also know what it’s like to be an island alone, so we developed a unique culture and embraced creativity – who else could’ve invented snifters and pineapple lumps!
So when Christchurch couple Vi and Richard Cottrell knew there was a way they could help, they gathered their friends, cleared out their garage in preparation for artisan handcraft shipments from around the world, and started Trade Aid as a social enterprise in 1973, before anyone knew what a social enterprise was! To this day, no-one owns Trade Aid, or maybe everyone owns Trade Aid – that is to say all the kiwis who have mucked in over the years to keep the vision alive – New Zealanders working together to achieve equity for all.
Since 1973, Trade Aid has been wholesaling beautiful craft and organic food products to hundreds of other kiwi businesses, who we’ve welcomed into our fair trade family of businesses. It’s a whānau that puts people over and above all else – Kiwi businesses who know it matters who makes our products, and that they are being treated right.
It’s the ‘can do’ attitude that keeps kiwis pushing forward to create the country we want for ourselves and to leave as a legacy for our kids. We have all felt the power of collective action here in Aotearoa in recent times, so let’s use that strength to support businesses who put people first, and in doing that we’ll come out the other side better than we went in.