Fairtrade at 30: How Fairtrade has Impacted Cafescor

Fairtrade represents the voices of two million small-scale farmers and workers. As we celebrate it's 30th anniversary, discover how Fairtrade has impacted one of our customers in West Africa.

Fairtrade at 30: How Fairtrade has Impacted ECOOKIM

Fairtrade represents the voices of two million small-scale farmers and workers. As we celebrate it's 30th anniversary, discover how Fairtrade has impacted one of our customers in West Africa.

Make the Swap to Fairtrade and Do Something Great Every Day

From the 8th to the 16th of June, the Great Big Green Week celebrates climate action throughout our communities. Find out how you can join the action and take part in The Big Swap challenge by taking inspiration from our Feed Me Fairtrade YouTube series.

Coffee Cupping with Cafédirect for World Fairtrade Day

In the run up to World Fairtrade Day, Shared Interest colleagues met with Arran Stein, Coffee Programme Manager at Cafédirect, for a unique coffee cupping experience at our head office in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Exploring Fair Trade Networks and the Future of Fair Trade

Joanna Abena Fianu, eBay for Change project lead and BAFTS Fair Trade Network representative, joined us in the beautiful setting of Durham’s Town Hall to explore the journey, principles and proponents of Fairtrade with Shared Interest supporters.

Earth Day 2024: Five Ways you can put People and the Planet First

From global corporations to communities of consumers, each of us has a part to play in progressing climate action and sustainability: so, for Earth Day, we have put together a small but mighty list of actions you can take to put the planet first.

Attending RICE and Aceli 2024

From 18th to the 23rd March, our colleagues from West and East Africa attended a series of fair trade events and conferences in Uganda and Ivory Coast to meet producers, share knowledge and raise awareness of Shared Interest.

Visiting our Customers in West Africa: SOCODD and Socak Katana

Our colleague Grace has shared an exciting update from her recent monitoring visits in Ivory Coast, where she met with several cocoa co-operatives we are supporting with fair finance.

International Women's Day: Celebrating the Empowerment of Women through our Projects

This Friday marks #internationalwomensday, and we want to share with you some of the ways our projects are involving and empowering women across the globe.

International Women's Day: Celebrating the Women Producers of the World

From Rwanda to Nicaragua, there are many powerful examples of women leading the way in agricultural and craft sectors which have long been dominated by men. Learn about the women who have overcome barriers to pave the way for a new generation of leaders.

Celebrating 20 Years of Shared Interest Foundation

To celebrate two decades of building a fairer world, Shared Interest Foundation is proud to present a special anniversary film, chronicling the growth and various, vital impacts of its work across the globe.

Attending AFCA 2024

Last week, our Lending Officer for East Africa, Kennedy, was in Ethiopia to attend AFCA (African Fine Coffees Association), Africa’s largest coffee trade platform, where he met with several Shared Interest customers.

12 Days of Christmas: 12 Ways of Having Eco-friendly Festive Fun

For our very own 12 Days of Christmas, from December 1st to December 12th, we want to share with you 12 unique ways of having festive fun in easy and eco-friendly ways.

Bees for Business: Solar Panel end of project report

Over 12 months, this project enabled the Benkadi de Dakoro Women’s Beekeeping Group to connect their honey processing centre to electricity, supporting them to increase their production volume and their income from sales.

Learning with Liberation on National Nut Day

On Sunday 22nd October, we celebrated National Nut Day, which was developed in 2015 by Liberation Foods to celebrate and support nut farmers from disadvantaged communities across the globe.

Chocolate Week: Exploring the Cocoa Supply Chain

For each day of Chocolate Week 2023, we will be sharing an insight into each stage of the cocoa supply chain, shining a light on the people and the process behind our favourite product.

Chocolate Week: Celebrating Cocoa Producers Across the Globe

Join us as we celebrate Chocolate Week, a nationwide event held each October, bringing us together to explore the world of chocolate and the craftsmanship and effort that helps bring the famous cocoa bean from the tree to the tastebuds.

Seed to Stall: Soilless Production Enterprise End of Project Report

From September 2022 to August 2023, Shared Interest Foundation led a transformative farming project in Burkina Faso called 'Seed to Stall: Increasing Self-sustainability through Soilless Vegetable Farming'. Learn more about the impacts of the project.

Visiting our Customers in West and East Africa: CAYAT, ECOOKIM

On the 26th of September, our lending team travelled throughout Ivory Coast to visit CAYAT, ECOOKIM and Socak Katana, cocoa producers and Shared Interest customers whom we continue to support with fair finance.

Visiting Our Customers in South America: COOPBAM, COOPARM and COOPAGRO.

Our lending team for South America, including lending manager Bruno Biaggi Vidal and Customer Representatives Santiago Ramos and Marcelo Cordova, travelled across Peru last week to visit several Shared Interest customers.

Attending the World Coffee Summit 2023

Our Partnerships Manager Sally Seddon arrived at the World Coffee Summit in London’s Queen Elizabeth II Centre on Wednesday the 13th of September for a day of networking, learning and engaging on all things coffee, climate and impact.

Attending the Africa Food Systems Summit 2023

On the 5th of September, our Lending Manager for the East African region was in attendance at the Africa Food Systems Forum (AGRF), Tanzania. This year’s theme was ‘Recover, Regenerate, Act’. Learn more.

Convening for Conversation

During June, our Head of Lending Paul Sablich and Partnership Manager Sally Seddon attended the annual CSAF convening which took place over two days in London. In this article, Sally explains what the event was about and why Shared Interest went along.

Welcoming Supporters from Across the UK

During May and June, we were delighted to welcome 181 supporters to our first in-person events since 2019. Held in Edinburgh, York and London, we hosted some fantastic guest speakers from Just Trading Scotland, Zaytoun CIC and Inka Moss.

Why Fairtrade? Speaking on Certifications

In this blog, we share the value of Fairtrade certifications through the lens of our customers, before exploring our own Fairtrade certification system which aims to support smaller producers who meet ethical standards but have not pursued certification.

Coffee Pricing: Paying a Fair Share to Farmers

In August 2023, Fairtrade will raise its Minimum Price for coffee amid escalating impacts of climate change and growing global economic volatility. We explore what this means for the Fairtrade coffee sector and two of our customers.

Volunteers Week 2023

We are thankful for the skills, expertise, energy, and passion that our volunteer community brings to Shared Interest. Volunteers’ Week gives us a great opportunity to show our appreciation.

Visiting the WFTO Europe AGM

This week, our Business Development Manager France Villeneuve was at the World Fair Trade Organization (Europe) AGM & gathering.

Meet ECOOKIM: The Enterprise Supporting a Coast Dependent on Cocoa

A key player in Ivory Coast's quintessential cocoa value chain is ECOOKIM. Established in 2004, ECOOKIM are currently Shared Interest's largest customer in West Africa, with 30 co-operatives and 32,253 individual producers growing cocoa on family farms.

Find Us within the Heart of COOPARM: And in the Capital of Ecological Coffee

Founded in 1991 by 100 farmers, COOPARM is a coffee co-operative in the heart of the Amazon. In 2010, COOPARM joined us as a customer and today, they have 542 farmer members who put people and the planet at the forefront of high quality coffee production.

A Change of Chairs

At our AGM on the 17th of March, Mary Coyle - our longest serving Chair - bid farewell to Shared Interest. Meanwhile, we welcomed incoming chair Yvonne Gale, a specialist in improving access to finance for small businesses to address economic inequality.

Remembering Roger: The Shared Interest Supporter Who Steered a Fairtrade Movement

Aged 95, Roger Sawtell was a member of the Traidcraft steering group, a longterm supporter of Shared Interest and one of our founder members, serving on our Council from 1990 to 1997.


We are looking forward to returning to SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) conference - North America’s largest specialty coffee trade show.


It was great to be part of AFCA, Africa’s largest coffee trade conference. We packed a lot into three days - including a bit of coffee tasting. Here's what we got up to...


From 15 – 17 February, Shared Interest will be join in Africa’s largest coffee trade event.


From 14 -17 February, Shared Interest will join in the largest international fair of organic food and agriculture in BioFach in Nuremberg, Germany.

Inspiring Action through SDGs

Colleagues and volunteers recently came together to learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during a ‘Coffee + Learn’ session led by Jenny Foster of the Global Goals Centre.

Wake Up – We are going to Greenbelt

Our application to return to Greenbelt Festival was successful. We will be setting up our stall in the Takeaway area from 26-29 August. We cannot wait to join in the beautifully welcoming atmosphere we experienced a few years ago.

Being Vocal about Volunteering

Volunteers’ Week (1st - 7th June) is a great opportunity for us to get vocal about volunteering at Shared Interest.


This April, North America’s largest gathering of specialty coffee professionals, the Specialty Coffee Expo (SCAA) took place in Boston, Massachusetts.

Reflecting on Climate Justice this World Fair Trade Day

World Fair Trade Day falls on Saturday 14th May 2022 and focuses on the theme of climate justice. An annual campaign founded by the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), this year’s message is ‘let's do it fair'.

Invest in our Planet this Earth Day

Friday 22nd April is Earth Day and this year the theme is ‘Invest in our Planet’. We are being urged 'to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably).' One co-operative in the Amazonas region of Peru is fulfilling all three of these goals.

Image of Greenbelt from the official festival website

Help us 'Get to Greenbelt'

As we begin our return to outdoor events, we hope that Greenbelt Festival will be the first, following a successful visit in August 2019. Here, Volunteer Engagement Manager Sally Seddon explains how we can make this possible.

Lemberona CoFounder Elmira Bertagnoli In a field of organic Fairtrade blackcurrants with Rustam Rahimov and Ergashov Bozorboy from smallholder farming group Turob Bobo


This year, Good Money Week (2nd - 8th October) focuses on how we can ‘build back better’ as we continue to navigate the pandemic. Managing Director Patricia Alexander explains how we can make consumer choices to build back fairer.

Taking on a challenge for Shared Interest Foundation

One of our lovely supporters, Anne, is taking on the 874 mile John O’Groats to Land’s End cycle challenge with her daughter raising funds for Shared Interest Foundation and two other charities; Peer Talk and Carers Worldwide.

Shared Interest member talking to staff at our AGM in 2015

Connection through Shared Purpose

As a membership organisation, a feeling of shared purpose has always been at our heart. Head of Member Engagement Kerrey Baker explains how we have kept connected with our members when we have had varying degrees of contact with the outside world.


We celebrate the contribution of our fantastic volunteers this Volunteers' Week.


Saturday 8th May is World Fair Trade Day, with the theme ‘Build Back Fairer’. We are taking the opportunity to encourage families to pause - and consider the role that fair trade plays in building a better world.

Mrs. Josinta Kabugho is the General Manager of Bukonzo Organic Farmers Cooperative Union Ltd, a fair trade coffee producer financed by Shared Interest and headquartered in the town of Kasese, Uganda.

Women of the world deserve an equal future

The theme for IWD 2021 is ‘achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world. MD Patricia Alexander shares with us the challenges facing communities, and how women across the world have been impacted.


This Fairtrade Fortnight takes place in a very different world. Managing Director, Patricia Alexander shares how the organisation is making positive change in a time of disruption as Shared Interest prepares for its very first online AGM.

What is an Ethical Investment? Transform Lives with your Money

Last year, we made payments totalling £49.2m to 173 organisations in 45 countries. This wouldn't be possible without our dedicated members, volunteers and staff. Explore how we reach customers with our finance using ethical investments of our members.

WISE Ways to Lead a Social Enterprise

Our MD, Patricia Alexander, has been recognised for exceptional leadership. The NatWest WISE100 Awards were replaced this year with a search for women leaders in social enterprise and impact investing, ‘who have been showing Covid-19 who's boss.’

Shared Interest customer, Ucasa, Fairtrade honey producers based in Nicaragua.


By continuing to buy Fairtrade honey, ethically driven consumers can be sure that their product proves to be as sweet as it tastes.


As co-operatives use our finance to pay their farmers as promised and the Fairtrade Premium helps them support their communities.

We want to be part of the people supporting those in need

In direct response to the pandemic, our charity, Shared Interest Foundation, has relaunched its Livelihood Security Fund. Here, Programme Manager, Kodzo Korkortsi, based in Ghana, shares with us his thoughts on announcing the first beneficiary.


Shared Interest Managing Director, Patricia Alexander, shares her thoughts on Nestlé’s announcement that as of October, KitKat bars in the UK and Ireland will no longer be certified Fairtrade.

Why our Livelihood Security Fund is now more relevant than ever

As the global impact of Covid-19 continues to unfold, it remains unclear how developing world communities will cope with the health, economic, and social hardship caused. Our Livelihood Security Fund can help.

How do we help supply chains survive Covid-19?

Cristina Talens joined the Shared Interest Board of Directors earlier this year, and has provided the following insight into the challenges faced by producers and buyers in light of the current pandemic.

How much difference can be made by supporting communities

This Volunteers' Week gives us further opportunity to thank our volunteers for all that they do. Here, we hear from Gosia, who tells us about her motivations for getting involved.

Saying thank you to our Volunteers

Our Volunteer Engagement Manager, Sally Seddon, explains why we appreciate what our volunteers do every single day, and how we say an extra special thank you during Volunteer’s Week (1-7 June) each year.

What it means to be a NatWest Impact Management Champion

We have been discussing with the NatWest SE100 team about what it means to be chosen as a 2020 Impact Management Champion, especially in light of current circumstances.


We were delighted with the responses received from our recent knolling project. Our UK-wide network of volunteers were invited to create a photographic display of items that have inspired them. Here, Kathryn explains her own personal selection.


As the world faces disruption due to Covid-19, we have been keeping in touch with our customers. We are hearing so many inspiring stories about how they are working through these times of hardship.


This is the second in a series of blog posts about our volunteer knolling project. Knolling is a photographic method, sometimes referred to as a 'flat lay'. It is basically a birds-eye view of items grouped together to tell a story.


This year, we invited our volunteers to mark our 30th anniversary photographing items that represent what Shared Interest means to them. See some of the results here.


Internationally, we have a team on the ground in Costa Rica, Kenya, Ghana, and Peru. With the first overseas office opened in Kenya in 2006 and the latest in Ghana in 2012. This means that our Africa offices have each experienced winning a Queen’s Award.

Award confirms the need to continue our solidarity efforts

Shared Interest’s Regional Manager for Latin America has been helping customers in his region for over a decade, and so has seen the organisation recognised in the Sustainable Development category twice before.


We are delighted to share the news that Shared Interest has been awarded The Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development.


Gender equality is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed by the United Nations in 2015 as ways of building a better world by 2030.


As Shared Interest Society reaches 10,000 Share Accounts, our organisation’s growth can be a source of pride in work well done. It ensures that our reach is greater as we increase our assets and so our potential to influence events around the world.


Before the term ‘fair trade’ even came into existence, there was a woman called Ursula Brunner who was a true pioneer for workers’ rights in the developing world. Read more about her story here.


If you bite into a bar of chocolate today, it is highly likely that the cocoa beans used to make it were grown in West Africa. This is because two thirds of chocolate consumed worldwide include beans from this region.

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