In 1997, four families came together with the idea of improving the lives of disadvantaged producers through trade. We were inspired by the work of Ten Thousand Villages and were keen to see the principles of Fair Trade applied to foods we consume every day.
Level Ground’s first Fair Trade initiative was buying coffee from a cooperative in Colombia. Fair Trade premiums are directed to educational scholarships in the coffee growing region and the project has grown to support 200 scholarships /year! We’ve loved watching amazing students grow up to become incredible professionals including doctors, agronomists & social workers.
From there… lots happened!
- Trade relationships were formed in Bolivia, Peru, Ethiopia, Tanzania & D.R. Congo.
- A Colombian company was formed to produce dried fruit and cane sugar and to provide positive employment for displaced women.
- Trade relationships were started with; small-scale tea growers in India, heirloom rice farmers and coconut oil producers in the Philippines and finally with spice farmers in Sri Lanka & vanilla growers in Uganda.