The Aid by Trade Foundation was established in 2005. Under the credo to help people help themselves through trade it stands for an innovative approach that focuses on activating market forces instead of relying on charity. Together with various partners from textile industry, governmental and non-governmental organisations, the foundation makes a significant contribution towards combatting poverty and protecting the environmen.
The Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) is a non-profit organization, pursues charitable aims and is based in Hamburg, Germany.
The Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) was founded in 2005 by Prof. Dr. Michael Otto, an entrepreneur from Hamburg, Germany. Originally the foundation was named “Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry in Developing Countries” (FSAF). In 2007, the foundation changed its name to “Aid by Trade Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry”.
The aim of the foundation, which operates independently ever since, is to help people to help themselves through trade, thereby promoting environmental protection 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. Beyond supporting sustainable cultivation of agricultural and forestry products, the long-term aim is to further develop the value chains in those countries where the raw materials are produced in order to generate maximum added value.
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.
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.
With the “Cotton made in Africa” and “Sustainable Cashmere” standards the Aid by Trade Foundation as an umbrella organization puts its foundation goals into practice. Instead of collecting donations, an alliance of textile companies and brands purchases the sustainable raw materials for a licensing fee. Revenues from licenses are reinvested according to the foundation’s goals.
Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) 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.
The AbTF has developed a standard for sustainable Cashmere in Inner Mongolia encompassing animal welfare, social criteria and ecological sustainability. Since September the consultation phase has been completed. Currently the audit of the standard takes place and soon the release.
Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) Organic is a standard for ecological cotton from Africa and part of the Aid by Trade Foundation’s standard family. CmiA Organic complements the existing Eco Standard EC No. 834/2007 as well as the NOP guideline with the social and economic criteria of CmiA.