Shared Interest makes its mark

The Newcastle-based ethical investment co-operative, Shared Interest, says it is making steady and measurable progress towards achieving its social goals and reports that investments rose to over £27.6...

Commenting on the co-op’s sixth annual social audit report, Chair Kate Priestley said: “This investment has led to £7m of producer lending, the highest amount yet, and producer lending looks set to exceed buyer lending during the next financial year. 

“This is important as producer lending has significant social impact. We are currently close to our self-imposed limit on lending to coffee producers in both South and Central America and so we have been attempting to increase our cocoa lending and six new facilities have been approved. 

“In addition, we have been trying to diversify the range of products that we invest in and we approved our first facilities for macadamia nuts and shea butter.”

Ms Priestley said the co-op, which works in 36 countries and has satellite offices in Costa Rica, Kenya and Peru, had recruited 100 new ambassadors in the past year. 

“For the first time, thanks to a new recording system, we are now able to monitor precisely how many interactions are undertaken on our behalf and the amount of share capital that these interactions generate,” she said.

“Our charity, the Shared Interest Foundation, had another very successful year and received a grant from Comic Relief of £502,598 for a three-year project in Swaziland which commenced in January.”

• For further details on Shared Interest and to view the report, visit: www.shared-interest.com.

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