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Stronger, more resilient and sustainable businesses

Progress in tailored lending

Seven new proposals were approved, along with 18 increases for existing customers, representing a facility value of £5.2m. All lending to new and existing customers was short-term, with the majority being Export Credit. East Africa saw the highest number of new proposals and increases with a total of seven. The graph below shows the split per country of new business approved during the year.

The majority of new or increased lending was provided to coffee producers (15) of which five were to new organisations (see graph below).

Increase in trading opportunities

Despite the challenges experienced by producer groups during the year, the Customer Social Impact survey found that 62% of respondents have seen an increase in sales in the last 12 months. 

“Shared Interest started a relationship with us since 2018. The financing has helped our organisation in carrying out activities. We are able to pay farmers on time through the export credit. The term loan was beneficial to construct a coffee washing station. When you pay farmers in time, you receive more coffee. We have received support from the Shared Interest Foundation to run projects with farmers. We are very grateful for the grant and the financing of coffee business.” - Tropic Coffee (Rwanda - Coffee)

The main reasons for this included an increase in price, production and orders due to new buyers, improved product quality and enhanced buyer confidence. It is important to note that due to Covid-19 restrictions in 2021, a limited number of employees and workers were allowed in the premises at the same time, which reduced production volumes. Since most activities were resumed, production reached pre-pandemic levels.

During the Producer Committee meetings, we asked the participants to tell us about their organisation’s achievements during the year and the changes made to their business, which, resulted in improved trading opportunities.

“We have been involved in the innovation of processing our coffee, moving away from just selling dry parchment or washed coffee as most organisations. We process our coffee in different varieties such as; natural and aerobic. We have been able to receive good prices. It is something new in the coffee sector.” - Tropic Coffee


Across all Producer Committees, participants were asked which certifications were working well from an economic and impact perspective (social, environmental, etc.).

In Latin America, producers mentioned that Fairtrade certification required them to be organised and have close communication with farmers. They also felt that it protected them against price volatility (Minimum Price guarantee), which has provided significant support to the co-operatives’ stability.

The producers attending the Committees in East and West Africa commented that they had experienced challenges in securing Fairtrade contracts for both cocoa and coffee in recent years. They mentioned that many international buyers were now requesting Rainforest Alliance (RA) or Organic certification rather than Fairtrade due to increased consumer demand.

Fairtrade certified have now also acquired an additional certification to sell their cocoa and/or coffee internationally.

You can read the full Social Accounts document here.

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