In November 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed the Traidcraft UK retail website and saw that the company produced a number of products containing uncertified dairy, including biscuits and sweets. Though the company used organic dairy in its organic products, no further information on the certification of dairy was found on the website.

According to the UK Food Standards Agency web page (April 2020) 'GM in animal feed': "According to the European Feed Manufacturers' Association (FEFAC), at least 85% of the EU's compound feed production is labelled to indicate that it contains GM or GM-derived material."

"FEFAC estimates that the EU feed industry imports more than 70% of its maize, soya and rapeseed requirements each year. Significant quantities of maize, in the form of distillers' dried grains and corn gluten feed, are imported from the USA and much of this will be GM. The USA also supplies the UK with GM sugar beet."

Due to the prevalence of genetically modified (GM) animal feed, and in the absence of a policy stating otherwise, Ethical Consumer considered it highly likely the company's milk would have been sourced from cattle fed GM animal feed.

Therefore the company lost a half mark in the Controversial Technologies category. Furthermore, as the company used uncertified dairy as an ingredient it lost half a mark in the Factory Farming category.

Reference: (9 November 2020)

In November 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)