September has been a whirlwind month of success for fair trade distributor Little Trove.
Based in Newcastle under Lyme, the business accelerated a year of growth when it became an official fair trade supplier under the umbrella of the British Association for Fair Trade Shops & Suppliers (BAFTS) on September 1.
“This certification has really opened up doors for Little Trove,” says Ramona Hirschi, founder and Managing Director. “Earlier this month we exhibited at Autumn Fair at Birmingham NEC and were approached by fair trade shops across the UK. Now, these traders plan to stock Little Trove branded products, meaning that we’re selling nationally, growing brand recognition and winning new customers.
“In a few months, we’ve already gained 25 new retail stockists across the country and this certification can only create more business opportunities.”
As a BAFTS supplier member, Little Trove complies with the 10 principles of fair trade in its business relationships with suppliers and customers. “Little Trove is all about unique products that are ethically produced, “says Ramona. “Our membership in BAFTS recognises our work in creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers, fair trading practices, no child labour and a commitment to non-discrimination and respect for the environment.”
The success does not stop there for Little Trove, who on September 29 will be opening a pop-up shop in Newcastle town centre in collaboration with The Hub. This new community interest initiative, which will be managed by a Ms Salwa Booth, will bring more ethical and handmade products to the high street, stocking Little Trove home furnishings and Christmas gifts as well as locally made handicrafts.
“We’re delighted to be having this pop-up shop to showcase our products,” says Ramona,
“which as well as driving sales will also bring an empty shop lot back to life and hopefully bring more footfall to the town centre.”
With the help of the Newcastle Town Centre Partnership and the property department of Newcastle Borough Council, the shop will running until 24 December, with plans to make it a more permanent feature should the trial run smoothly.
“It’s been a fantastic month of growth,” says Ramona, “and is really putting the business in great stead for the busy Christmas period. We now look forward to the future, where big things are in the pipeline for Little Trove.”
Article in monthly newsletter of Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce.