In November 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed the Traidcraft website. As Traidcraft was a small company with a turnover of less than £10.2 million it was eligible for exemption from Ethical Consumer’s Environmental Reporting rating if it was considered to be providing environmental alternative products. Only 19 food products on sale were organic. It also sold some organic fabric and some vegan items. Many gifts or furnishings were marketed as eco-friendly, using "natural" or "recycled" materials. Ethical Consumer did not consider this a sufficient number of products to be an environmental alternative.
The About Traidcraft page stated: “We advocate the importance of organic farming, sustainability and transparency to the lives of growers and artisans around the world.” The website also contained a link to an Environmental Policy, adopted in 2005 and reviewed in 2008. This outlined the company's approach to environmental impact management which contained mentions of such issues as: deforestation, use of dyes and pesticides, sustainable agriculture, high energy production processes, goods transportation, packaging, water and energy usage and waste.
The company's Annual Report and Financial Statements for y/e 31 March 2021 was also viewed, which 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 not permitted in 2020/21." Ethical Consumer noted that this was a very similar statement, albeit with altered years, to the one which appeared in the previous year's Annual Report.
On the Traidcraft shop website, there was a page on environmental justice which stated: "When it comes to our own-branded food and drink products, we consider the eco-credentials of every single element throughout the supply chain; from the ingredients we use and how they’re grown, to the production method utilised in the product’s making. When it comes to the crafts and fashion we source through third party suppliers, we think long and hard about their ethos, sustainability, stance on the environment, materials used (such as Organic cotton, SeaCell™ and TENCEL™ ), and production methods implemented, as well as things like their impact on people and planet, and whether they’re Organic, recyclable or recycled." The website also outlined steps Traidcraft had taken to change its packaging and reduce carbon in other areas of its business.
Whilst Traidcraft showed awareness of their environmental impact and had taken some steps to reduce their packaging, there was not enough information given about how they ensured that their suppliers minimised their environmental impacts for them to be considered to be providing an environmental alternative. The company therefore received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for Environmental Reporting and lost a whole mark in this category.
https://www.traidcraftshop.co.uk/about-us/environmental-justice (15 October 2021)