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About us

Vi and Richard Cottrell with His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Trade Aid is a social enterprise helping talented people around the world improve their lives through fair trade. Est.1973, New Zealand.

We’re all about change. From small beginnings in Christchurch, New Zealand, where Trade Aid was founded by Vi and Richard Cottrell, to an organisation today with a network of shops throughout the country, it’s fair to say we’ve seen a lot over the years. But some things haven’t changed, we’re still 100% committed to a way of trade which helps improve the lives of the talented producers and artisans we work with.

We source our handmade, fair trade products from more than 65 trading partner organisations, which represent hundreds and thousands of small-scale 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 fair way.


Image: Co-founders Vi and Richard Cottrell, pictured  in the ’70s with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Engaging the public about trade justice, the lives of our producers, and the impact of fair trade is an integral part of what we do. We produce curriculum based resources for schools, and have a great team of staff and volunteers throughout the country who make it their mission to spread the Trade Aid message and speak out for justice in world trade. Discover more about our education programme.

We have a large number of retail shops around New Zealand which sell artisan handcrafts and delicious food products from our partners. We also wholesale our goods to retailers such as supermarkets and specialty retail stores to make it easy for you to access our fair trade products. Find your nearest Trade Aid shop or stockist here.

Trade Aid is New Zealand’s largest fair trade coffee importer and we sell green coffee beans to roasters around New Zealand to be roasted and blended and released under unique roaster brands. You can find out more about our awesome coffee programme here.

We work with manufacturers around New Zealand, providing them with quality fair trade and organic ingredients to be made into delicious end products. Our Sweet Justice chocolate factory, right here in Christchurch, New Zealand, makes Trade Aid’s own organic, fair trade chocolate.

Our work, in partnership with our trading partners, artisans, and growers, illustrates that it is possible to use business to build a better world.