CHURCHES have been placing bulk orders of fairtrade goods to try to save the ailing company Traidcraft.
Traidcraft, which pioneered sales of fairtrade projects in the UK, announced last month that it was facing closure after making losses of about £500,000 last year, putting 68 staff at risk of redundancy (News, 28 September).
A spokeswoman for the company said this week that a proposal for the future had gone before its board for discussion, but that no details of it would be released for several weeks. The company’s chief executive, Robin Roth, urged church leaders to show their support for Traidcraft by placing large orders, quickly.
Some supporters have done so, and trading figures for the first two weeks of October show a 13-per-cent increase in the volume of orders from the previous year, and a 14-per-
cent rise in the value of these orders.
One church, St Luke’s, Holloway, in London placed a £1000 order for lavatory paper, kitchen roll, and tissues, to try to boost the company’s order books.
A member of the congregation at St Luke’s, Jonathan Ward, said: “Traidcraft will get this money immediately, which will improve their business outlook. We are asking the lovely people of St Luke’s to stock up on Sunday. With no notice, we sold about £85-worth last Sunday morning.”
To put in the £1000 order, four members of the congregation had to put forward interest-free loans to the church.