The Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) was founded in 2005 and is now an internationally renowned and active non-profit organisation for sustainable raw materials. Through its work, it makes a decisive and measurable contribution to improving the living conditions of people and animals and to protecting the environment. It works closely with representatives of the international textile value chain from the raw material to the finished product and works in close cooperation with industry experts, animal welfare and nature conservation specialists.


The Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) is a non-profit organisation and pursues charitable purposes. It is based in Hamburg, Germany. The AbTF was established by the Hamburg entrepreneur and founder Prof Dr Michael Otto with the conviction that the principle of “helping people to help themselves through trade” would help to combat poverty in Africa and create a sustainable alternative in the textile trade. Partners and stakeholders from the very beginning included the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Investment Corporation (DEG) and the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ; then still known as the Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit) as well as the Otto Group.


After completing his schooling, a banking apprenticeship, studies in political economics, and a doctorate, Prof. Dr. Michael Otto entered his father’s business, now the Otto Group, in the early seventies. In 1972, The Limits to Growth, a book published by the Club of Rome, inspired him to become active in environmental protection and social justice. His activism has endured and prospered, spawning a variety of organisations and foundations that pursue diverse charitable objectives, including the Aid by Trade Foundation, founded in 2005.


The aim of the foundation, which operates independently ever since, is to help people to help themselves through trade, thereby improving the living conditions of people in commodity-producing countries, promoting environmental protection as well as animal welfare and securing the livelihoods of future generations. With the support of various partners from industry, government, research, and NGOs, the foundation focuses on aid by trade.


The work of the Aid by Trade Foundation is led by an international body, the Board of Trustees.


The Board of Trustees of the Aid by Trade Foundation is staffed with internationally leading figures from NGOs, the public sector, and trade. Its purpose is to ensure that the foundation’s main objectives are implemented. The board of trustees consists of at least 6 and at most 12 members, chaired by Prof. Dr. Michael Otto. The first members of the panel were appointed by the founder of the Aid by Trade Foundation, Prof. Dr. Michael Otto. New members are nominated by the AbTF Management and elected for a term of two years by the current Board of Trustees. Members may be re-elected for additional terms. The management of the foundation drafts a report about the activities of the foundation to the Board of Trustees twice a year and presents its future plans.

Prof Dr. Michael Otto
Managing Director CURATAX Treuhand GmbH Steuerberatungsgesellschaft
Dr. Wolfgang Jamann
Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees / Executive Director International Civil Society Centre
Olaf Gieseler
Managing Director CURATAX Treuhand GmbH Steuerberatungsgesellschaft
Mathias Mogge
Secretary General and Chairman of the Board Welthungerhilfe
James Shikwati
Director of Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) Kenya
Munir Zaveri
CEO Alliance Ginneries Ltd.
Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven
Member of the Management Board Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Johanna Adotevi
Commercial Director Ivoire Coton SA and Faso Coton SA
Stephanie Silber
Managing Director of Otto Stadtlander GmbH
Torsten Stau
Executive Board Member in Charge of Indirect Spend / Non Food at REWE Group Buying



The task of the Managing Director is the operational and strategic lead of the Aid by Trade Foundation and the achievement of its objectives. This is based on the Foundation’s statutes and the resolutions of the Board of Trustees. Tina Stridde was appointed Managing Director by the Board in 2015.

The Team

The team is agile, dedicated, and well connected: With their diverse expertise, the employees of the Aid by Trade Foundation form a well-rounded team of professionals.

Tina Stridde
Jessica Strachanowski
Assistant to the Managing Director
Sabine Kleinewiese
Finance & Controlling, Management Board ATAKORA
Sonja Taviani
Finance & Controlling
Cendrine Lux
Finance & Controlling
Alexandra Perschau
Standards & Outreach
Nina Schöttle
Standards & Outreach
Gudrun Kersten
Standards & Outreach
Elena Wahrenberg
Standards & Outreach
Britta Deutsch
Standards & Outreach
Vanessa Löwenich
Standards & Outreach
Johanna Kälbert
Standards & Outreach
Inka Sachse
Standards & Outreach
Ai-Jung (Emily) Chiang
Standards & Outreach
Ben Sekamatte
CmiA Consultant
Younoussa Imorou Ali
CmiA Consultant
Christian Barthel
Business Development, Management Board ATAKORA
Gerlind Bäz
Business Development
Maike Brockmann
Business Development
Christina Ben Bella
Marketing & Communication
Isabelle Großkopf
Marketing & Communication
Holger Diedrich


„Cotton made in Africa“, „Cotton made in Africa Organic“, „The Good Cashmere Standard“ and „The Regenerative Cotton Standard“ operate under the umbrella of the Aid by Trade Foundation and enable it to put its goals into practice. Instead of collecting donations, a globally active alliance of textile companies and brands requests the verified raw materials and pays a licence fee to the foundation’s marketing company, ATAKORA Fördergesellschaft GmbH. This authorises the partners to market their goods with the labels of the standards. In view of the increasing challenges facing small-scale farmers and textile companies, the standards are of fundamental importance for their resilience and sustainability.


CmiA: Cotton made in Africa ®. is a standard for sustainable cotton from Africa. Since its inception in 2005, CmiA has been committed to environmental protection and improved living and working conditions of smallholder cotton farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Cotton made in Africa Organic ® (CmiA Organic) is a standard for organic cotton from Africa. CmiA Organic supplements the recognised criteria for organic cotton cultivation according to EU/NOP specifications with the socio-economic sustainability criteria of CmiA.

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The Good Cashmere Standard® (GCS) is an independent standard for sustainable cashmere, developed by the Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) in 2020, that aims to improve the welfare of cashmere goats, the working conditions of farmers and to protect the environment.

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The Regenerative Cotton Standard® (RCS) is a standard for cotton grown by small-scale farmers using regenerative farming methods. RCS aims to improve the overall resilience and productivity of small-scale farming while adding value to farmland, rural communities, the biosphere, and the quality of life of farm animals.

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