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Put ‘spending power’ to good use this Christmas

Immediate Release

18 November 2009

Kiwis urged to put their ‘spending power’ to good use this Christmas.

A fair trade campaign is being launched to urge Kiwis to spend their money wisely this Christmas and help disadvantaged food and craft producers who are feeling the effects of the recession world over.

Trade Aid – New Zealand’s only fair trade food and craft organisation - is launching its ‘Give Good Gifts’ campaign to encourage people to consider the sustainable and ethical implications that come with the gifts they buy this Christmas. This is further to reports from its trading partners of a significant reduction in orders since the recession hit, making already impoverished living and working conditions dire.

Vi Cottrell, Trade Aid’s co-founder and Development Manager says: “The recession has hit New Zealand hard, with many people facing redundancy and a significant rise in mortgagee sales. But if we think it’s bad here, imagine the impact it’s having on disadvantaged producers in the developing world. The consequences for them are much more extreme.

Vi continues: “During a visit to village women in India who make Trade Aid’s lace products, my attempt at explaining the reasons for the smaller orders from their customers around the world cut no ice with one lady, whose response was: ‘Yes, yes, but where is the rice for my grandchildren?’”

In a bid to help alleviate the crisis and show kiwis that it is possible to get their hands on great gifts while also being a responsible consumer, Trade Aid has stocked its shops with a wide range of unique, handcrafted fair trade goods. The new stock - ordered directly from disadvantaged producers around the world – ranges from festive decorations with an ethnic twist to gifts and foods to delight all the family. This provides for the ultimate Christmas shopping opportunity for people wanting to show they care.

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Trade Aid exists to help people living in developing communities improve their lives and work themselves out of poverty. Buying a Trade Aid gift puts choice into the producer’s hands, helping them achieve their own objectives and improve their lives in the long term. Through this trading relationship, they earn an income that allows them to feed and educate their children and believe in a better future. Another advantage for both producer and customer is that fair trade actively encourages better environmental practices and the application of responsible methods of production.

Julia Capon, Trade Aid spokesperson, agrees that now is a really important time for customers to consider their gift giving options: “By giving a Trade Aid gift for Christmas, you’re making your money go much further and actually ‘giving’ a great deal – you’re giving quality, ethically, sustainably.” She says: “By doing what we all do anyway at Christmas – give gifts – you could be doing a great thing and help make a real difference in the world.”

To find out more about the work of Trade Aid, or for tips on how to be a responsible consumer this Christmas, go to


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