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British Association for Fair Trade

The British Association for Fair Trade Shops & Suppliers (BAFTS) is a membership organisation recognised as the national network of the WFTO (World Fair Trade Organisation). BAFTS works with their members to promote fair trade retailing and improve compliance of the WFTO's 10 Principles of Fair Trade with their supplier members. To find out more about BAFTS go to www.bafts.org.uk. Read the 10 Principles of Fair Trade or visit WFTO's website.

The Overview

The British Association for Fair Trade Shops was set up in 1995, originally providing a membership organisation mainly for handicrafts' shops selling fair trade goods. Now, after a name change, they incorporate organisations which sell fairly traded goods, whether on a wholesale or retail basis. Members work to bring about changes in the status of developing world producers, through Fair Trade retailing and campaigning. They offer advice to, and provide a community for, fair trade shops and suppliers, sharing ideas and best practices.

Their Mission

BAFTS seeks to create a vibrant network of members, so that they are better able to contribute towards the building of greater justice and equity in the world. The association and its members support campaigns that increase awareness and understanding of the needs of producer workers and of their rights. The members work together to create an alternative model to conventional international trade; a model in which human rights are at the top of the agenda.

Membership

BAFTS is a 'not for profit', membership organisation. Organisations wishing to become members apply via a membership consultation process to satisfy their committment, understanding and compliance with the 10 fair trade principles. Membership is neither automatic nor permanent, applications are reviewed annually with the aim of improving compliance year on year. 

Our involvement

Lanka Kade have been recognised as a fair trade supplier by BAFTS since 2001, conforming to the 10 Principles of Fair Trade throughout this period. Our company Director, Diane, is an active member of the association, having previously chaired the board.

As supplier members we have to have direct trading relationships with producers in the developing world. Although there is no requirement for producers to obtain fair trade certification, whenever we bring a new producer on board they are audited to ensure that they at least adhere to the fundamental fair trade principles.

We offer courses to promote fair trade practices and various business skills and assist them financially to ensure that their facilities are efficient. Their progress is monitored regularly to ensure that they sustain and develop the fair trade principles further.

To protect the integrity of Lanka Kade, all of our producers and their employees, this policy cannot be compromised. Very occasionally a producer repeatedly fails to uphold the principles and we are left with no option but to stop working such suppliers. When this happened with one producer the workforce was offered the opportunity of creating their own co-operative, read their amazing story here.

Our aim is always to create independence. Our hope is that one day all of our producers will comply holistically with the fair trade principles, which will be a huge step towards independence for their employees and themselves.

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