Trade Aid turns 25 with cake and a cel­e­bra­tion

Rotorua Weekender - - News - Shauni James

A spe­cial mile­stone has been cel­e­brated by a lo­cal char­ity.

Trade Aid Ro­torua Trust chair­woman Paddi Hodgkiss says the ac­tual date of Trade Aid’s 25th birth­day was Septem­ber 27, which was cel­e­brated by hav­ing a stall at the Thurs­day night mar­ket.

How­ever, the for­mal cel­e­bra­tion was held at the store ear­lier this month.

She says this was a cel­e­bra­tion in­clud­ing the past and present vol­un­teers, trust mem­bers, loyal cus­tomers and Ro­torua mayor Steve Chad­wick.

Speeches were given by Paddi, the man­ager Meaghan Kelly, the long­est-serv­ing vol­un­teer Heather Doel­man and Steve Chad­wick.

Paddi says 25 years is a mile­stone for any busi­ness.

“The con­tin­ued prof­itabil­ity of any Trade Aid store is a high­light for Trade Aid New Zealand as a char­i­ta­ble move­ment, and dou­bly so for Trade Aid Ro­torua, still in the re­tail busi­ness af­ter 25 years when so many other shops have come and gone.

“It was also im­pres­sive that Meaghan Kelly has been shop man­ager for 20 years and longserv­ing vol­un­teer Heather Doel­man has been with the shop for 23 years.”

She says Enid Brin­kler has also been with Trade Aid for 24 years.

Trade Aid is a New Zealand­based not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion pro­mot­ing fair trade.

She says fair trade has the great­est po­ten­tial to lift the world’s poor out of poverty.

Trade Aid buys craft and or­ganic food prod­ucts from more than 70 trad­ing part­ners, rep­re­sent­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of small farm­ers and ar­ti­sans in Africa, Asia, Latin Amer­ica and the Pa­cific.

Ev­ery­thing in a Trade Aid shop can be traced back to its pro­ducer part­ner, she says.

“In a time when in­ter­na­tional free trade agree­ments seem to be buzz words, and of­ten syn­ony­mous with ex­ploita­tion, fair trade or­gan­i­sa­tions in­clud­ing Trade Aid are qui­etly work­ing away at the other end of the con­tin­uum pro­mot­ing fair price, eth­i­cal trad­ing prin­ci­ples, no child labour, no gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion, sup­port of the dis­abled and en­vi­ron­men­tal re­spon­si­bil­ity.”

Paddi says with­out its vol­un­teers, Trade Aid could not ex­ist.

She says a high­light for the Trade Aid Ro­torua Trust was get­ting a mes­sage from Trade Aid chief ex­ec­u­tive Ge­off Walker that, from the ef­forts of the vol­un­teers over the 25 years, about $1 mil­lion has made its way back to pro­ducer part­ners — giv­ing them se­cu­rity to plan for a sus­tain­able fu­ture and a way out of poverty.

“A con­tin­ued high­light for all of us vol­un­teer­ing at Trade Aid must be the knowl­edge that our small, in­di­vid­ual ac­tions are em­pow­er­ing the dis­ad­van­taged — those peo­ple who need it most, by giv­ing them dig­nity, a liveli­hood, self-suf­fi­ciency and a fu­ture.”

Trade Aid Ro­torua’s long-serv­ing vol­un­teer Heather Doel­man cut­ting the birth­day cake.

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