In March 2020 Ethical Consumer searched the Traidcraft website for an environmental policy or report.

An environmental policy was deemed necessary to report on a company's environmental performance and set targets for reducing its impacts in the future. A strong policy would include two future, quantified environmental targets, demonstration by the company that it had a reasonable understanding of its main environmental impacts, be dated within two years and have its environmental data independently verified.

The company's Annual Report 2019 stated "Given the overall reduction in sales, and the subsequent reduction in activities, including travel to visit producers, the environmental impact of the company has been substantially reduced. No carbon footprint measurements could be taken this year. The company has been introducing plant-based packaging on as many products as possible and this process will continue as and when manufacturers are able to accommodate our requests. Travel to visit producers was severely curtailed in 2018 and will only take place on a needs must basis in 2019."

Its 2018 report was also viewed. The report mentioned some of the environmental impacts the company had, such as energy, waste, recycling, transport and travel. However, little detail was given. No future dated and quantifiable environmental reduction targets could be found.

Traidcraft was now a small company with a turnover of £8 million. Many of its own-brand food products (chocolate, honey, jam, marmalade, coffee) were organic (but not biscuits, cake and sweets). Many gifts or furnishings were marketed as eco-friendly, using "100% natural or recycled materials; from Bangladeshi jute, cotton, and kaisa grass to recycled sari silk". Traidcraft was overall though not considered to be offering solely an environmental alternative, and therefore could not be given an exemption under Ethical Consumer's Environmental Reporting rating. With a worst rating for Environmental Reporting it lost a whole mark in this category.

Reference:

www.traidcraft.co.uk (26 March 2020)

In March 2020 Ethical Consumer searched the Traidcraft website for a statement on the use of toxic chemicals in relation to its "Clean & Fair" brand. The website stated that Clean & Fair products contained "No artificial ingredients".

Ethical Consumer contacted the company in May 2019 and asked for the company's policy on the use of triclosan, parabens and phthalates which Ethical Consumer expected companies to have removed or have clear targets to remove from their supply chains. The company replied stating that it did not use any of the three chemicals.

As no evidence was found to the contrary this was assumed to still be the case. The Clean & Fair range had also been reduced to just soaps.

Traidcraft therefore received Ethical Consumer's best rating for its toxics chemicals policy.

Reference:

Email Feb 2017 (15 February 2017)

In May 2020, Ethical Consumer was contacted by Traidcraft which said it no longer produced its Clean & Fair range of products, apart from a few soaps, which were labelled on its website as biodegradable and containing no artificial ingredients, containing over 16% Fairtrade coconut oil from India, and 65% fair trade and eco-friendly palm oil (known as FairPalm) from Seredipalm in Ghana.
As such, it no longer was rated for a policy on microplastics and non-biodegradable liquid polymers.

Reference:

www.traidcraft.co.uk/clean-fair (30 March 2020)

In March 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed the Traidcraft website and found that it sold paper products, such as toilet paper and tissue. It also sold a small number of wooden ornaments and games but these were not considered to be a significant part of the business. As all the the toilet paper and tissues were 100% recycled the company was considered to have effective, if not explicit best practice for its timber sourcing policy.

It therefore received Ethical Consumer's best rating for its timber sourcing policy.

Reference:

www.traidcraftshop.co.uk (30 March 2020)

In March 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed the Traidcraft website, which had a page on FairPalm, its own fairly traded palm oil from West Africa. Traidcraft stated "FairPalm is great for the planet and great for the people who grow it. It’s a palm oil revolution. And that’s why we want to use it in as many of our products as possible."

"With FairPalm, we decided that fair trade could only occur in the smallholder farming sector, embracing organic, and leaving no place for monocropping."

It also stated "FairPalm is grown by smallholder farmers in West Africa – where oil palm plants are indigenous, grow naturally alongside other crops, and where the farming community often possess a few palm trees as part of their multi cropping small holder farming."

Several products were listed which contained this palm oil.

The company was considered to have a positive policy on palm oil, and received Ethical Consumer's best rating.

Reference:

www.traidcraft.co.uk (26 March 2020)