In September 2021 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 such as chocolate, no information on the certification of other 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 dairy would have been sourced from cattle fed GM animal feed.

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

Reference:

www.traidcraftshop.co.uk/ (9 November 2020)

In September 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed the Traidcraft retail website for details on its cotton sourcing. It did not sell own brand cotton products, but sold various cotton items, all of which were organic and fairtrade.

According to Anti-Slavery International (ASI) website viewed by Ethical Consumer in June 2021, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan were two of the world’s largest exporters of cotton, and every year their governments forcibly mobilised over one million citizens to grow and harvest cotton.

According to the 2020 Sustainable Cotton Ranking published by Pesticide Action Network UK, Solidaridad and WWF, conventional cotton production involved the overuse and misuse of pesticides and synthetic fertilisers, which has significant impacts on ecosystems, and the health of farmers and their communities.

According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA), a non-profit pro biotech organisation, “Biotech cotton was planted to 25.7 million hectares, covering 79% of the global area of cotton in 2019.”

The company was a retailer, rather than manufacturer, of cotton products, and as all of the cotton items sold were either organic and fairtrade it was considered to have a positive policy as a cotton retailer.

Reference:

https://www.traidcraftshop.co.uk/ (28 July 2021)