Traidcraft Exchange and its sister business Traidcraft Plc have been developing Fair Trade supply chains for over three decades. As core 'Fairtrade'-certified commodities such as coffee, cocoa, tea and bananas have become mainstream in the UK market since the late 1990s, Traidcraft has focused energies on bringing new innovative supply chains and new small-producer organisations into the wider Fair Trade system. The case study presented here is of palm oil sourced from smallholder farmers in Ghana's Eastern region: a commodity normally synonymous with environmental degradation and an area left behind by the economic development of Greater Accra. The case study seeks to demonstrate how Traidcraft's explicit focus on working with small producers and new innovative product ranges provides a counter-balance to consolidation of certified 'Fairtrade' around core commodities. At the same time, the case study highlights some of the challenges of bringing new products to market in the UK's current retail environment.
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