Terrapin Trading products have been ethically sourced and fairly traded

We are a wee company with a strong ethical policy based on our belief that an effective way to improve peoples lives in the developing world is through trading with them.  We source our items ourselves by visiting the country and meeting the suppliers.  This way we are able to ensure that we know who we are working with and can see first-hand the difference that the ability to sell their goods to a wider market has improved their lives.

We buy from small scale producers in the countries we visit. We are most interested in products where traditional techniques and natural materials have been used to produce unique items.  We believe that meeting these people, and helping them bring their craft to a global market helps to sustain traditional cultural craftmanship and ensures the long-term future of the skills that they have. Since 2007 we have helped over 100 craftspeople grow and get their products to a new audience.

The WFTO have ten principles that Fair Trade organisations must follow. We follow these principles and review our performance against these.

1. Terrapin Trading seeks out disadvantaged producers in the countries we visit and work with them to help them become financially independent. We buy crafts and art that showcases the traditional skills and culture of the region we are in. we hope in some way that this helps to promote and safeguard the skills of the country when similar skills in our own country have now been almost lost.

2. We pay for our goods upfront so that the producer is not financially out of pocket when paying for raw materials to make our products. We never ask for, or take any credit that is offered.

3. Our pricing is fairly priced, with low margins, based on what it actually costs us to buy the product and ship it into the UK. When negotiating purchase prices with a supplier we agree a price ultimately set by the supplier, which is often higher than the wholesale market price for the item. We have done extensive research before we go to buy our goods.

4. We do everything we can to ensure there is no child labour used to make our products. We meet every supplier in person and see where the items are made, meeting those involved. Many items are produced by home workers, which provides useful additional income whilst allowing them to look after their homes and families and to be able to afford to send their children to school.

5. Terrapin Trading’s suppliers commit to non-discrimination, gender equality and freedom of association. Terrapin Trading actively looks to buy from women-led organisations and the majority of those producing items for us are women.

6. We build long-term relationships with our suppliers. We have been working alongside some of them since the very beginning in 2007. We will always look to try out any new innovative lines that they are making and work with them to feed in ideas which we think can increase their sales. Repeat orders, advance payments and never cancelling allow our suppliers to grow.  We have often encountered problems in communication once we come home and have worked with suppliers to build proficiency in IT communications and international export which not only helps them in their dealings with us but which further builds capacity in their own business.

7. Terrapin Trading promotes Fair Trade through our social media activities and literature. We are also engaged in a number of business development programs for small businesses in developing countries.

8. We are improving our use of recycled materials in our products (and packaging) and we take this onboard when assessing a potential product.