Traidcraft Annual Report - April 2018

It was with some trepidation that Jackie Natt and I took over from Clare Cooper at the beginning of 2017. She has always been so enthusiastic and committed to the Traidcraft brand and the whole philosophy of Fair Trade. However, with the support of many members of the congregation, and Clare’s advice and experience, we have managed to have a very successful first year.

Fair Trade Fortnight falls at the end of February/beginning of March and we held a tea party in February, followed by a special Fair Trade service on the Sunday following. Many thanks to all those who helped serve teas, sell raffle tickets and make this a successful event. We held another pre-Christmas event in November which sold lots of stock and enabled us to send £500 to Traidcraft as a donation towards their projects. Due to bad weather our next sale was not well supported – so if you want to buy your 2018 Christmas cards early have a word with us
We held twelve Sunday sales during the year and we also supply Amberley who have one on the first Sunday of every month. One innovation is taking orders for some items – particularly Easter Eggs. These come in cartons of 6 so to avoid being left with 5 unwanted eggs we took orders and that worked really well. We do get a discount from Traidcraft which covers us against unsold items which have passed their sell by date and extras like carrier bags.

Summary of income and expenditure in 2017


* Goods purchased from Traidcraft, PLUS goods brought forward from Clare, LESS value of stock at year end.

Buying stock has been a bit of a learning curve. Some things (eg Geobars) fly off the shelf, others, such as sugar, rice and couscous hang around until their expiry date. Others take up a lot of space in my cupboards – like the 5 packs of kitchen roll I ordered by accident – instead of 5 doubles (10 rolls in all) I clicked the wrong item and ended up with 120. You live and learn! The Traidcraft cards go really well, very attractive designs and good value for money, and we would like to sell these every Sunday – ideally leaving a selection in the Porch Room all the time with an ‘Honesty Box’. It’s been a bit chaotic recently (you may have noticed) so that is a plan for the future. If at some point we could have some storage in the church or porch room it would make it possible to have sales more frequently. At the moment it is a case of bringing 6 or 7 big boxes of stock, bags etc from our spare bedroom, and inevitably we can’t bring everything so having a core stock in church would make a huge difference to our ability to provide what people want to buy. We try to have the sale regularly on the 4th Sunday but inevitably events overtake us and we can’t always do this, however we now try to advertise in the pew sheets for a couple of weeks before so our customers are well aware of forthcoming sales.
Many thanks to all our supporters. This is a really worthwhile project and we would like to continue as a Super Trader for many years to come.