A community group have made the next step in developing their own currency with an ethical twist. The Cardiff Taffs scheme was set up two years ago to "cut out the middle man" and bring the community spirit back to Cardiff. With over 100 members in south Wales, there is more expansion planned, it seems the trade-for-trade is the way forward for an increasing number of small businesses.
Each month, members of the group meet in the Cathays community centre where Taffs are handed out according to how much work each member has done during the month. Members trade individual skills or products, which have a determined value. Steve Smith, Cardiff Taffs founder, said: “We are all about building a community spirit and making the use of our skills.
“We all work together to help each other and it’s not about money.”
The value of the work is calculated on the number of hours of work carried out and the materials used to create certain products. Mr Smith, said: "The best thing about the Taffs is that there is no interest and absolutely no debt."
When you sign up, you can take five or ten Taff which can be spent whenever, they do not go up or down in value and more Taffs can be earnt by essentially trading anything we make or create." Products and services offered by each individual member can range from a pot of pear and walnut chutney for 1.5 Taffs or painting walls in the Embassy Café in the Cathays community centre for 10 or more Taffs. The latest chapter of the scheme will see the expansion into the city centre, with market stalls in Riverside and Splott markets taking up the Taffs. Deri Reed, green grocer and cafe owner is offering 6oz of porridge for a Taff and Baguette Express on Merthyr Road has a cup of tea for a Taff. For more information, logon to www.cardifftaffs.org.uk.