Equal Exchange Trading

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Equal Exchange Trading Ltd
Co-operative, Ltd
FoundedEdinburgh, UK (1990; 30 years ago (1990))
HeadquartersEdinburgh, UK
ProductsCoffee, Tea, Cocoa, Nuts, Edible oils, Chapman's nut butters
RevenueGreen Arrow Up.svg£3.5 million (Draft 2007/08)
Footnotes / references
Founded from the trading activities of Equal Exchange Ltd (formerly Campaign Coffee Scotland) which was founded in 1981. Origins stretch back to 1979.

Equal Exchange Trading is a UK-based alternative trading organization. Equal Exchange is a workers co-operative distributing food and beverage products in the independent natural food sector. The organization's origins stretch back to 1979 "when three voluntary workers returned to Edinburgh after working on aid projects in various parts of Africa."[1]

Over 90% of the company's products are both Organic and Fairtrade.


Equal Exchange Trading insists on having its teas packed at source so that the economic benefits of this 'value-added' activity stay in the country and region of origin.[2]


  • In 1991, together with Oxfam, Traidcraft & Twin Trading they launched Cafédirect, the UK's first mainstream Fairtrade coffee brand.[3]
  • In 1998 they launched the first honey product to carry the Fairtrade Mark.[4]
  • In 2005 their best-selling product, Medium Roast Coffee, becomes top-rated by Ethiscore.[5]
  • In 2006 they became the first company in the United Kingdom to sign a license agreement with Ethiopia's Intellectual Property Office to distribute its trademarked coffees.[6]
  • In 2007 together with Twin Trading they helped to found Liberation Foods CIC, the UK’s first and only 100% Fairtrade Nut company.[7]
  • In 2009 they launched the world's first range Organic Fairtrade-certified Palestinian Extra Virgin Olive Oils.[8][9]
  • In 2012 Equal Exchange won the Co-operatives UK "Small Co-op : Big Achiever" award at the International Co-operative Alliance EXPO


  • 2005, Equal Exchange Amazon Flame Brazil Nut Oil wins Gold Great Taste Award[10]
  • 2008, Equal Exchange nominated for Ethical Business of the Year at the Observer Ethical Awards[11]


  1. ^ "Buyer's Story". Shared Interest Society. Archived from the original on 3 February 2009. Retrieved 24 April 2009.
  2. ^ Blythman, Joanna (29 April 2007). "Darjeeling:The hottest cuppa in the world". London: guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 24 April 2009.
  3. ^ Peck, Helen; Martin Christopher; Adrian Payne; Moira Clark (September 1999). Relationship Marketing: Strategy and Implementation. Butterworth-Heinemann. pp. 196–207. ISBN 978-0-7506-3626-1.
  4. ^ "Fairtrade Foundation: Fairtrade History". Fairtrade Foundation. Archived from the original on 27 April 2009. Retrieved 24 April 2009.
  5. ^ "The Ethical Shopper: Ground coffee". London: guardian.co.uk. 5 October 2005. Retrieved 24 April 2009.
  6. ^ "Ethiopian Coffee Network". Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office (EIPO). Archived from the original on 27 August 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-24.
  7. ^ "Liberation Nuts: Family". Liberation Foods CIC. Archived from the original on 25 September 2008. Retrieved 24 April 2009.
  8. ^ Tran, Mark (24 February 2009). "Palestinian Olive Oil Bucks Uk Recession". London: guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 24 April 2009.
  9. ^ "Fairtrade olive oil will offer an economic lifeline for Palestinian farmers". Fairtrade Foundation. 23 February 2009. Archived from the original on 3 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-24.
  10. ^ "Guild of Fine Food Great Taste Awards 2005". The Guild of Fine Food. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 2009-04-24.
  11. ^ "Observer Ethical Awards shortlist announced". London: guardian.co.uk. 1 May 2008. Retrieved 8 April 2009.

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