2023 AWARD WINNER
Sponsored by New World
Trade Aid has been pioneering sustainability and ethics in the New Zealand food market since 1976 when it imported its first bulk shipment of tea from Sri Lankan fair trade tea producers.
Tea campaigns ran alongside the supply of high-quality fair-trade tea products that educated New Zealanders on the injustices in the tea industry, issues that most were largely unaware of at the time. Today Trade Aid connects New Zealanders to small-scale organic tea production in an industry that remains dominated by tea plantations and characterised by exploitative labour conditions and environmental degradation.
Trade Aid pioneered large-scale distribution of fair trade coffee throughout Aotearoa New Zealand from the early 2000s and its partnerships remain responsible for most of the fair trade and organic coffee supply. This distribution is achieved through the creation of long-term sustainable business relationships with coffee roasters who use their expertise and volume to supply fair trade organic coffee to Kiwis everywhere.
This success in trade has been replicated across numerous other food products including sugar, cocoa, rice, spices, coconut milk and dried fruit.
Trade Aid’s direct trade with small-scale farmer organisations and the building of respectful and equitable global trading relationships enables producers to engage in international trade on their own terms, and to meet the needs of their people and their lands.
These direct effective and efficient trading relationships enable thousands of New Zealand businesses to fair trade their supply chains, meet their sustainability goals, increase their proximity to the origin and makers of their products, and achieve complete transparency in their supply chains.
In 2023, 23 food producer organisations in Aotearoa New Zealand are thriving as a result of long-term fair trade relationships with Trade Aid. In 2022 the extra value that Trade Aid put back to its 16 coffee cooperative partners was more than $3 million.
The judges said: "Trade Aid has been disrupting the food system with significant positive environmental and social impacts for a very long time. They are pioneers in ethical food."