Traidcraft Exchange is a charity which operates under the same umbrella organisation as Traidcraft plc. Whenever you tell me to keep the change, it goes into the Traidcraft Exchange charity box.
Traidcraft Exchange works to enable poor producers in the developing world to engage in trade to help work their own way out of poverty.
At a recent Traidcraft Supporter’s Day, I was inspired by Harun Baiya’s description of a project in Kenya which Traidcraft Exchange has supported.
Land in the “high-potential areas” in the centre and west of the country has become more and more expensive. Because of this, people are moving out to the arid and semi-arid areas which make up most of Kenya’s territory.
The arid areas support a nomadic way of life. Until recently, the people only had cash if they sold a cow or a goat. This meant a large sum of money arrived occasionally.
The project we heard about has been training the people to keep bees. Although the land is arid, acacia trees grow there. The people who benefit have coined the slogan “Honey for money”. Selling honey means that have a small amount of cash income frequently. This has changed the household spending habits.
One of the aspects of this project which delighted me was that demand is such that all the honey is currently being sold locally. As an organisation, Traidcraft really believes in doing what is best for the local people. “Fighting poverty through trade” does not always mean through trade with the west.