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For the love of coffee

From the record industry to Fairtrade Co-operative: the past, present and future story of Revolver World

Revolver World is proud to be one of the few 100 Percenters: everything we produce and manufacture is certified 100% Fairtrade, including ingredients. In addition, we strive to obtain dual or triple certification for our products, including Soil Association certified Organic status, whenever possible.

Our ethical story in a nutshell

Born in 2008, Revolver World is the sister company of Revolver Records, a long-indie label based in the Midlands Black Country the spiritual home of British Heavy Metal. Having released albums through the Revolver & Heavy Metal Records labels since the 1970s, weve seen and done just about everything and also borne witness to seismic change in the music industry. Our move to Fairtrade is certainly not a boring everyday business story... Revolver World has always been a little company with big ideas, exemplified by our four decades worth of business expertise and our ability to rapidly respond to changing market conditions. In 2008, after deciding to develop our Fairtrade business, we established our core tenet - we will always go a step further than what we have called CSR greenwashing; paying lip service to the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility but not placing that ethos at the core of what we do. Our work benefits developing nations and charities, both at home and overseas. We also provide additional support to charitable and non-profit organisations who share our broader aims and objectives. At a time when the only Fairtrade cotton T-shirts available were 20 each, we pioneered our dual-certified, Organic Fairtrade Cotton T-shirts with Midcounties Co-operative: a dual-certified, organic Fairtrade cotton T-shirt, supplied in a 100% recyclable cardboard presentation box for 5. Whilst a great concept and unique product, overwhelming increases in cotton prices and problems (resulting from large retailers entries into the sector) conspired against the cotton industry in ways only now becoming obvious. Prices have soared. The cotton story isnt over but we decided to complement it with something close to our our hearts: quality, Fairtrade coffee! Today, Revolver World has a range of delicious 100% Fairtrade coffees for retail and foodservice - available in-store today at Midcounties and Penrith Cooperatives and also direct from the online shop.

Bean to cup, 100% Fairtrade

One of the things which differentiates us from other Fairtrade organisations is that were one of the few Fairtrade one hundred percenters in the UK! Each pack of our coffee is 100% Fairtrade from hand-picked red coffee cherry to freshly roasted bean. Revolver Co-operative is also an Independent & Provident Society Mutual, one of the oldest forms of workers cooperative; we only source coffees from Fairtrade certified farmers co-operatives and we are proud to say that our roasters are also a Fairtrade co-operative. At each stage of our coffees production everybody involved shares the same ideals; alongside the premium for the highest quality raw product, we also pay the additional Fairtrade premium to help those in developing countries... Trade, not Aid in its truest form.
Premiums arent the only way to sustain ethical trade; we support all organisations and charities who work to establish lasting co-operative, equitable working conditions going beyond Fairtrade.

The problem with pesticides

After petroleum, coffee is the most well documented. In 1989, the the last traded commodity in the world. Over year for which the ICO documented in800,000 hectares of land in South Amer- tervention, 19,000 tons of pesticides were ica alone are dedicated to its cultivation. used in the cultivation of coffee crops in Coffee is fundamental to the lives and the the Parana district alone. That number livelihood of those farming communities has increased exponentially in the fol- it is therefore vital that they are given lowing years, however there has been no the full protection needed to nurture their recorded data on usage by Government communities. Sadly, there remains a large agencies. Systemic herbicidical chemicals such gulf between those who farm sustainably and the many countries still encouraging as Picloram (sold under the brand name toxic and environmentally unsustainable Tordon by DowElanco, formally Dow Chemical Company, a principle supplier methods of cultivation. First, the statistics: coffee is grown to Brazil) are prevalent throughout the in 50 countries worldwide - as many as coffee industry. High concentrations of 20 million farmers are involved with the this chemical are being now found in growing and harvesting of the crop. By drinking water and fish. The acutely toxic far, the worlds largest supplier of Arabica organophosophate Methyl Parathion, manufactured by several companies incoffee is a single country - Brazil. cluding Bayer, is another From 1962 until agrochemical highly re1989, coffee producstricted and/or banned tion was regulated by in the USA and other the International Coffee developed countries due Organisation. However, to widespread epidimiothe USA subsequently logical and environmenwithdrew from the tal effects. Nevertheless, organisation and the it is still used in many bilateral agreements countries (including the protecting the cultivaUSA) where it is applied tion of the crops lapsed. to various crops includIt has since been argued Is Brazil in danger of poisoning the that the US withdrew very heart of their coffee industry? ing cotton, rice and fruit trees. Brazil uses this in order that giant US agrochemical companies could move in highly toxic pesticide in coffee production - it is also authorised for use by the Brazilwithout regulation. Things have not improved since the ian authorities not only on coffee but also 1990s; a process of deforestation has cereal grains, fruits, beans, sugar cane and systematically been implemented across various other crops. Brazil is not only one of the largest usBrazils rainforests facilitating the growing of even more coffee. But Brazil is not alone ers of pesticides in the world, it has lamin doing this: deforestation has also taken entable health and safety rules protecting workers. Labourers are often illiterate and place in Peru, Guatemala and Ecuador. Apart from negative affects on cli- unfamiliar with the health hazards caused mate change, deforestation has brought by the pesticides they work with. There with it its own set of problems. The best are even reports of pesticide containers coffee requires shade in order to grow being reused for storing drinking water. properly, therefore to cultivate the crop Workers seldom are equipped with esin full sunlight requires the intervention of sential health and safety equipments such crop modifications and these are enabled as goggles, protective masks, overalls and by the use of agrochemicals. This takes gloves - many farm labourers do not comthe form of a cocktail of chemicals; com- plain for the fear of losing their jobs, often plex fertilisers, pesticides and fungicides they are fired for joining unions, meaning to offset the constant threat from infesta- there is no one to advocate on their behalf on working conditions and enforcement of tion and fungul spores. Parana is a main agricultural region in health and safety regulations. Brazil - pesticide use in the area has been Pesticide manufacturers whose products are banned by the US Environmental Protection Agency (and most G8 countries) target countries such as Brazil as they represent substantial business opportunities. In 2006, Brazil is reported to have spent as much as $29B on agrochemicals. The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has estimated that as much as 10% of food, including coffee, is contaminated with illegal, banned pesticide residue. The chemical has been found in at least 16 of the EPAs 1,585 National Priorities List sites. Multinational companies defend their right to trade in banned chemicals with developing countries. They claim that these countries have a right to determine their own import/export trade policies; they claim they are competent and responsible trade partners. Methyl Parathion is reported to cause poisoning to humans yet it remains in common everyday use in Brazil. Whilst pesticides continue to be used on large coffee plantations, the residual effects continue to cause severe environmental damage. Amongst the effects in humans, they cause central nervous system diseases, impaired memory and concentration, liver disease sterility and non-heritable birth defects in the farmer communities. Rivers and streams are contaminated with coffee pulp containing pesticide residue. Habitat destruction due to deforestation - to enable coffee cultivation - is also wreaking havoc on the songbird population as well as butterflies, important pollinators. Soil degradation due to the lack of crop rotations and pesticide residue is creating a need for more fertilisers, which in turn leach into the water table causing further environmental damage. It is only firms trading in these commodities that can have any affect on the environment of the supplier communities. We at Revolver call upon competitors, brands and supermarkets to condemn the wholesale destruction of the environment before the consequences become catastrophically irreversible.

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Great co-operation takes great coffee

Since 2008, Revolver World has been a Fairtrade licensee - our journey brought us to coffee in late 2009. As we were always approaching the product from a cooperative perspective, we resolved to produce the finest range of coffees using only Fairtrade certified coffee grown by co-operatives from across the world. This means at every step Revolver World coffee is not only co-operatively sourced but also produced and retailed by co-ops. We feel incredibly strongly about the benefits co-operatives provide, not only to businesses but to their surrounding communities. The need for ethical, two-way business is illustrated by the actions of the worlds largest corporations, as they continue to amalgamate their worldwide businesses into behemoth organisations, eliminating their competitors and driving down margins for smaller producers. For the rest of the world, irrespective of market sector, only the most practical business practices will survive - co-operatives are not only ethical but one of the most sustainable forms of trading. The framework of co-operative organisations provides a benefit not just for the owners - who are usually the farmers and producers - but also their families and children. As a result, the whole community benefits, fostering a nurture cycle: Producers care more about their product - with the additional benefit of a higher quality product. These producers can also command a fair and competitive price for these goods, bringing in turn increased profits, for reinvestment into the business to meet increased demand. Wages can also be increased! We are proud to have made the commitment to 100% Fairtrade, co-operatively produced coffees. We are inviting farmers from all co-operatives around the world to become members of Revolver Coop - everyone is welcome! To learn more and join our co-op, email or telephone +44 1902 345 345.

Our new ad!

Were getting straight to the point in our latest advert: Revolver World coffee is like the best coffee youve ever tasted... but better. Why not taste it yourself and see just how good it really is - visit our stand at Co-op Congress and enjoy some free taste testing, on us!

Revolver Co-operative is an IPS Mutual Community Co-operative. We accept membership applications from any interested person, organisation or fellow co-operative. By joining as a member you can help spread the word about Revolver World coffee and also make a real difference to the welfare of thousands of farmers and their families. Become a member: email

Roasted whole bean Fairtrade certified coffee Suitable for all grinders GM Free


A truly classic coffee, shade grown by the Risaralda Co-operative; fruity, very aromatic and full-bodied.
100% Fairtrade Arabica beans. Strength: 4.

Net Weight

Membership enquiries: +44 1902 345 345 or Revolver World, Goldthorn House, 152 Goldthorn Hill, Penn, Wolverhampton WV2 3JA, United Kingdom. Revolver Co-operative Limited is an Industrial and Provident Society Mutual co-operative registered in England & Wales. FSA IPS Mutual Registration Number: 31024 R. 2011 Revolver World Limited. All rights reserved.

Contents may settle in transit. SKU 5225.