Revolver Co-operative, which imports and distributes Fairtrade tea, coffee and cocoa under the Revolver World label, is launching a charity to further support the grower communities it works with.
“Our co-operative sources 97% of all its products under Fairtrade agreements, but we want to go beyond Fairtrade in terms of our outreach into communities,” says Paul Birch, founder and CEO of Revolver Co-operative.
“For this reason, we have created the Revolver World Foundation. In partnership with like‐minded cooperative societies, we are looking to make social change in these remote rural communities, predominantly in Latin America, but also Africa and Indonesia.”
The producer communities Revolver works with are often remote, rural, isolated and impoverished. The world’s finest arabica coffees are grown at altitude in countries close to the tropics. The organisation is initially planning small interventions in public health, in the form of funding (but not administering) vaccines for a range of preventable diseases, such as typhoid, yellow fever and cholera – and Covid-19 when available.
“The most effective means for us to intervene is to fund the vaccines themselves, working with medics on the ground to establish the need, and to fund these medics to administer immunisation programmes for the community,” says Nick Matthews, chair of the Revolver Foundation. “The medics themselves may be established already in the community, or in certain cases attached to an NGO such as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).”
John Boyle, chair of Revolver Co-operative, added: “We have promised members we would reinvest profit back into farming producers. There is no better way than to invest into the health of their families.”
Revolver Co-operative has its origins in its sister company, Revolver Records, an independent indie record label founded by Mr Birch in 1978. Revolver Records will be making a £10,000 donation to get the Foundation off the ground, with future contributions coming from a combination of Revolver Co-operative profits and donations from individuals and other co-op societies.