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    Meeting our suppliers at Trade Fair

    Thursday, 8 February 2018  |  Joanna

    There may still be snow on the ground but February is when retailers start planning next Christmas, so we pulled on our winter coats and headed down to Birmingham's NEC to meet some of our BAFTS member suppliers.

    One of our best selling ranges is the recycled aluminium from Azeti Interiors. We have been working with this supplier for five years so at first we were disappointed when we learned that the company was coming under new management. However that disappointment soon turned to joy when we realised they were being taken under the wing of one of our other BAFTS member suppliers, Tilnar Art

    We are really excited about the new poppy range and have ordered plenty so you'll see these on our website and stalls from spring. We're delighted to continue to stock these gorgeous fair trade products and look forward to bringing you even more lovely designs in the future.

    We also had a chat with our friends at Traidcraft who have launched a new range of chocolates called Eat Your Hat. We were lucky enough to be given a free sample which we can't wait to try. This range is slightly controversial because the Fairtrade mark is on the back of the packet alongside the Soil Association organic mark. We love that Eat Your Hat is Fairtrade sourced as well as organic and designed to appeal to a discerning customer. The Dark chocolate with Tumeric and Black Pepper certainly hits all the latest food trends. 

    Traidcraft have also recently become a Guaranteed member of WFTO which means that all their suppliers and producers are independently monitored so you can be doubly sure that everything they do is to the highest ethical standards. 

    I mentioned that Christmas starts in February and so it proved. On Sunday we ordered the Christmas decorations you'll be able to buy from us at our Christmas markets and fairs. Our supplier Fair to Trade works with a small company in Kashmir and they try to give their suppliers long lead times for orders so that work can be spread throughout the year. In fact Fair To Trade co-owner David told me that they have already placed one order for Christmas decorations and will send another by the end of February. It's vitally important for artisans to be employed all year round but they also need to know that they are making goods they know they can sell. The extremely detailed hand painting on the papier mache baubles, bells and stars is testament to the care taken over them. This is a job that should not be rushed. David visited their Kashmir supplier in October, taking along a range of his mother's favourite Christmas cards and they developed their newest range together. This direct contact with the maker is what makes fair trade stand out from the rest. When you buy from All's Fair you can be sure that you are only two steps away from the person who painted, carved, sewed or knitted your product. We think that connection is very special.