In November 2019 Ethical Consumer viewed Traidcraft’s 2012 Purchasing Policy - which was the most recent available. The animal welfare section of the policy stated “Traidcraft believes in the desirability of good welfare practices in the production of raw materials of animal origin (e.g. leather, bone, hair, silk, honey). In partnership with suppliers, Traidcraft will seek to use materials from sources that achieve good practice in animal welfare”. Traidcraft only produced Fairtrade certified honey, Fairtrade’s standards provided some provisions for bee welfare. For example, the promotion of integrated pest management, keeping the feeding of bees to an absolute minimum and out of season and the promotion of biodiversity.
However, no further information regarding the specifics of Traidcraft’s bee management practices could be found. Considering the bee welfare issues associated with honey production (bee mutilation, killing of drones, colonies or brood to ensure maximum honey yield...), Ethical Consumer felt it necessary for companies producing honey to have a policy ensuring this was not happening in their supply chain.
As a result Traidcraft lost half a mark under Animal Rights.