Traidcraft Shop
Designer Magazine Xmas Shopping Guide 2004

As we type up the Designer Magazine Xmas Shopping Guide 2004 the media is offering its daily news announcements on the Band Aid Single. While it's commendable that musicians are willing to give their time to help the people of Sudan the amount raised is insignificant in comparison to the effects that could happen if the Western World traded fairly with the Developing World and didn't instil sanctions that stilt the growth of these developing countries.

It's with this in mind that we've decided to focus our efforts on Traidcraft, a company which was established in 1979 as a Christian response to poverty. The company deals with craft workers and farmers across Africa, Asia and Latin America and helps them facilitate links between poor producers and international buyers as well as talking to governments and businesses about the need for change.

What's interesting when you look through the Traidcraft catalogue / website is the range of gifts and products they have available. It's perhaps a popular misconception that Fair Trade is a product in itself and limited to areas of wine, coffee and cocoa and indeed for many years this was the case, but fair trade is a way of living and a basic concept we should all live by.

Read on for Designer Magazine selections of the best food and non-food products in this years Winter Catalogue, but please note that this is just a small selection of the full range and to get a better idea you should log on to to browse and order


Celtic Wooden Cross - £10 - Ref: 43048
Strange as it may seem the actual reason we celebrate Xmas is the birth of christ himself and this beautiful hand carved celtic wooden cross would be perfect for someone who wishes to have a traditional religious celebration of Xmas. What we particularly like about this cross is the fact that it's tasteful and understated, yet at the same time the detail in the carving is second to none. The cross is made in India by Archana and by being rewarded fairly for the product this will improve the prospects of future generations

New Internationalist 2005 Diary - £7.95 - Ref: 54028
Far too many times in England we don't look outside our own door and take in other cultures. This New Internationalist 2005 Diary as well as serving as a diary with an A6 page per day also lets us know about certain dates that would otherwise escape us. Did you know for example that Martin Luther King day is January 17th or that Australia day is January 26th? Complete with some photo's of traditional indian culture this would make a perfect present for those with hectic schedules

Elephant Playground Calendar 2005 - £8 - Ref: 47708
Remember a time when calendars used to simply be an easy guide to write notes on those important dates rather than a nifty money making scheme for the latest pop sensation or c-list soap star? The Elephant Playground Calendar features a simple but attractive design and would sit easily in any traditional or modern kitchen.

Zari Frames with Cord - £10 - Ref: 24466
Another product for the more mature relative or perhaps those nearest and dearest to you. These hand embroidered Zari frames offer much more than the usual selection of photo frames in the high street. Like many of the products available from Traidcraft what makes them special is that unique combination of detail and simplicity.


Traditional Christmas Pudding - £5.95 -  Ref: 80727 / Christmas Cake - £9.95 - Ref: 35330
Well, it wouldn't be Christmas without the traditional Christmas Cake and Christmas Pudding. Both suitable for vegetarians it enables the family to keep hold of some of the old traditions. The cake and pudding themselves are the nicest we've actually tasted in recent years and offer superb value for money.

Geobars - 24 * 35g = £8.75 / 72 * 35g = £21.60 (Various Ref: for different flavours)
The Geobars offer the perfect low calorie snack for all year round whether that be at Xmas or in the school lunchbox. Coming in 3 different flavours (Apricot; Chocolate; Cranberry & Raison) with Pineapple & Cashew and Mango & Protein bars set to launch soon they offer a filling alternative to a packet of crisps or chocolate bar. The bars themselves feature roughly the same amount of calories as a 2 Finger Kit Kat, but are much more successful in keeping the hunger away.

Traidcraft Breaktime Cookies
While the Geobars are a suitable snack on their own the cookies are an altogether different matter. Eat one and you'll quite easily find yourself sneaking another couple more from the packet. On the Double Chocolate Chip Cookies we tested we found they were perhaps a little too rich for our tastes but that is down to personal preference. The cookies come in 3 different flavours with Brazil Nut and Stem Ginger sitting alongside the aforementioned Double Chocolate Chip. At 114 calories a cookie they're certainly one for a rare treat than a regular snack.

As we said earlier this is but a small selection of what Traidcraft offer. The full range includes wine, men's and women's clothing, xmas cards, toys, household items as well as similar items to those above. At the same time as buying a wide array of good you can also sit happy that each product you buy will be helping people in the developing nations to prosper.

Alex McCann


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