Fair Trader is a volunteer run co-operative whose members share a desire to help reduce world poverty by promoting fair and ethical trading.
Here are some of the questions we are often asked:
What sort of organisation is Fair Trader?
A community cooperative. Each member buys one or more £20 share. Each member has one vote – whether s/he has one or many shares.
How many members does Fair Trader have?
Over 600 members.
Are most members local to Holmfirth?
No. Many are from the north of England. Some are from London, and around the UK. We also have members in Australia, St Vincent, France and elsewhere.
What is corporate membership?
Most people join as individuals. Some organisations such as schools, suppliers, churches, companies join as Corporate members.
What is the purpose of Fair Trader?
- To partner small and sustainable suppliers, particularly co-operatives – to help families and communities in developing countries.
- To offer for sale a range of ethical and contemporary products.
- To support the fair trade enterprise and initiatives of other organisations, co-operatives, schools and community groups.
What does Fair Trader do with the profits it makes?
When we make a profit, we use it to invest in our partners in developing countries, support local producers and improve the shop.
What are the advantages of membership?
Belonging to a group of people who are trying hard to do their bit to improve things for children and families in the developing world. Having the chance to volunteer, meet new people, learn new skills, and come to events and workshops. Members also get a small loyalty discount on purchases online and in the shop and on tickets for events.
Can I recommend a really good product I think Fair Trader might sell?
Yes please! We are keen to find exceptional products, especially from co-operatives in developing countries. Send us as much information as you can about any product that fits this bill.
How do I volunteer?
Either email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the shop in Holmfirth. There are many different ways volunteers can help – in the shop, support for education and schools, organising and helping at events, researching information about possible producers and suppliers etc
Are there any ‘volunteer ‘ roles that people can do at home?
Yes definitely. Such as finding out information about new suppliers or products, editing photographs, writing stories for the press, etc. Please do email email@example.com if you’re a member and can offer your time in this way.
Do we have enough volunteers?
No. We have a dedicated, friendly, enthusiastic bunch of volunteers. But, we do need more people to help with events, in the shop, supporting schools, the website and researching product assessments.
What’s the difference between Fairtrade/fair trade/ fairly traded?
Fairtrade (all one word and usually capitalised) is for products that have been accredited to Fairtrade standards and bear the logo eg. QI tea, Thandi wine. Fair trade/fair trade/ fairly traded (always two separate words) are used to describe products that support a similar basic principle (often for product areas where no Fairtrade Standards exist) but are not badged or audited eg Aura Que bags.
What have Fair Trader done with the money they have raised?
We have raised £1000’s for our charity partners including the St Vincent banana farmers, Sandlanders (supporting African football co-operative clubs), Hands of Hope (providing training and healthcare for the poor in Haiti), and most recently Root to Fruit (assisting community groups in northern Malawi plant trees to reverse erosion and provide income).
What is the history of Fair Trader?
A group of Holmfirth based individuals, many of whom were members of ‘The Holme Valley Fair Trade Support Group’ wanted to create a focus for fair trade in the valley. Founder Board members were from local churches, education, health and the business community. They launched a £20 share offer in November 2009, to inspire individuals and organisations to play their part to develop fair trade. The Holmfirth shop was opened in June 2010 and the website www.thefairtraderscooperative.co.uk was launched in November 2010.
In 2012 the sign outside the shop and branding has been changed to ‘Fair Trader’. Is the organisation still a co-operative?
Yes. ‘The Fair Traders Cooperative’ is still our registered company name, but we’re now trading as ‘Fair Trader’.
Does Fair Trader contribute to recycling?
Yes. We have a small recycling centre, where we accept mobile phones, stamps, printer cartridges (SMALL only) etc. We re-use/recycle supplier and product packaging. Volunteers are needed to help further develop this area.
What’s the returned-goods policy?
In the shop, if someone returns a damaged/not fit-for-purpose item ( eg a flower vase that leaks), together with the original receipt, then we give a refund. Otherwise, s/he can choose goods to the equivalent value or we can issue a Gift Voucher.
Does Fair Trader support the local community?
The primary focus of Fair Trader is to support the children and families of producer communities in developing countries. However, we also support our local community by featuring the work of local artists and designer-makers. We also offer events & workshops and host meetings of The Holme Valley Fair Trade Support Group. We have a dedicated community room – where we aim to support the local community and to generate income to invest in our producer communities at the same time.