In 1979 three aid volunteers returned from Africa. They had seen how small-scale farmers were plunging themselves into debt due to the appallingly low prices they received for their products and buyers’ lack of transparency. At the same time, coffee consumption was growing in the UK and yet the people drinking it had no idea that the farmers were not even covering their costs or that they had no other choices. Throwing money at the problem was not the only answer – direct, fairer trading would make a real difference.
The team imported coffee from Tanzania and Nicaragua, launching Campaign Coffee Scotland. In 1990 Campaign Coffee Scotland re branded as Equal Exchange and became a workers’ co-operative, reflecting the values that we still believe in today.
Now Equal Exchange work with a wide range of farming communities to make the world a fairer and more transparent place. Equal Exchange no longer just focuses on coffee; they import a range of products from honey to chocolates. Together with their producer partners, they share a passion for producing the best quality coffees, cocoa, honey, sugar, chocolates and oils that are worth every penny and their products are all fully traceable