In March 2020 Ethical Consumer searched Traidcraft's website for a policy on the use of GMOs. The company's most recent purchasing policy (2012) stated:

"Traidcraft recognises the controversy surrounding the cultivation and use of genetically modified (GM) crops and ingredients. This is in relation to food safety and the possible harm to human health, in relation to the uncertainty about and potential damaging effects on the environment, and in relation to general public unease about the potential ‘unnatural’ status of the technology.

"Traidcraft also recognises the potential benefits of GM technology as a solution to the needs of poor people through, for example, the development of more robust varieties of seed which might address the negative impact of climate change, seeds which are more pest resistant and therefore reduce the costs of agricultural inputs for farmers, or seeds which are higher yielding and therefore generate increased incomes for farmers. However, Traidcraft also acknowledges the fact that GM technology is largely controlled and managed by large multinationals, is expensive, and can lead to exploitation of those who it could really benefit, through dependency and higher costs caused by intellectual property rules and royalty payments.

"In principle Traidcraft will apply a policy of zero GM content for all products purchased but recognises that GM technology is now widely practised throughout the world and includes commodities and geographical regions which mean that it would be impossible to give a 100% guarantee. Only with organic certification could this guarantee be given and this is not always in the best interests of suppliers nor best applies Foundation Principles."

Although the Purchasing Policy was from 2012, there was nothing to lead Ethical Consumer to believe that such a policy had changed. It was therefore still assumed to be the case.

Ethical Consumer considered this to be a positive policy concerning genetic engineering.


Purchasing Policy 2012 (2012)

According to the Traidcraft website,, viewed in February 2015, the company had been involved in lobbying the government to create a supermarkets ombudsman with the power to fine companies that were engaged in unfair behaviour. As a result of this lobbying, parliament passed the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill, with the Act coming into force in June 2013. Ethical Consumer viewed this as positive lobbying which had the intention of correcting abuses identified in other Ethical Consumer categories.

Reference: (31 January 2013)