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Revolver Launches Charitable Foundation

Child receiving Revolver World vaccine

Revolver launches Revolver World Foundation

Child receiving Revolver World vaccine

Revolver World have announced the launch of a new charitable organisation, the Revolver World Foundation. Our cooperative is proud to have over a decade of contributions to helping communities all around the world through Fairtrade premiums, but this move will see more help going to the people who need it most.

In the areas of the world where we draw upon natural resources such as coffee and tea, producer communities are often remote, rural and impoverished. The world’s finest arabica coffees are grown at altitude in countries close to the tropics, with the farming communities themselves largely organised as cooperatives.

Paul Birch, CEO said: “Our cooperative sources 97% of all its products under Fairtrade agreements, but we want to go beyond Fairtrade in terms of our outreach to communities. For this reason, we have created the Revolver World Foundation. In partnership with like-minded cooperative societies we are looking to make social change in these rural communities, predominantly in Latin America, but also Africa and Indonesia.

We have identified that one way our giving can bring significant rewards is with small interventions in public health. This will be done in the form of funding vaccines which will be for a range of disease prevention across the spectrum of known pathogens.

Nick Mathews, Revolver Foundation Chair added: “the most effective means for us to intervene is to fund the vaccines themselves. To work with medics on the ground to establish the need, and to fund these medics to administer immunisation programmes for the community. The medics themselves may be established already in the community, or in certain cases an NGO such as MSF.”

The vaccines can be for a range of disease prevention, such as Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Cholera, Pneumonia, Hepatitis B, Rabies, Polio, MMR, Meningococcal, Tetanus, Seasonal Flu and Covid-19 (when available).

John Boyle, Chair of Revolver Cooperative said: “We have promised members we would reinvest profit back into farming producers. There is no better way to do this than to invest into the health of their families.”

Revolver World Foundation is organised as a CIO – Charitable Incorporated Organisation (pending) registration with the Charity Commission. For more information, please contact enquires@revolver.coop or phone 01902 345345.

Except where stated, this site and it’s contents are © Copyright 2020 Revolver Co-operative Limited
All Rights Reserved.
 © Revolver World 2020.                    

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Revolver Launches With Central England Coop

Central England Boley Park when Revolver visited

Revolver Launches with Central England Coop

Central England Boley Park when Revolver visited

Revolver are proud to have teamed up with Central England Cooperative to offer a range of coffee at their re-fitted Boley Park store. The flagship store in Lichfield relaunched this morning with a fresh feel and an emphasis on cooperation, with Coop Coffee on the shelves, a membership and community investment map and a cooperatively supplier Zero Waste Station.

Three of Revolver’s best selling products found their way to the shelves. Honduras Ground, Copacabana Beans and Famous Blue Mountain Coffee Bags have been on offer in a number of cooperative supermarkets for a long time, but this will be the first opportunity for customers to be able to pick up Revolver’s offering in Lichfield, and the first time Copacabana is available on the shelf.

Hannah Birch, Head of Operations at Revolver, said:

“It’s fantastic that we have been able to partner with Central England Coop and offer our coffee at their new Boley Park store. Our two cooperatives have been close for a number of years, so it means a lot to us to formalise our relationship with the launch of some fantastic products.

“In particular, this is a further opportunity to make good on our promise of being cooperative from field to store. As many people are aware, we have over 300 producer members in Honduras who grow and pick the coffee for our cooperative. That means every time we are able to put another bag of coffee on the shelf, our members see the benefit

Spreading further afield.
As well as working with Central England, Revolver are also launching a large range of tea and coffee with cooperative wholesalers Green City. Amongst other products, Green City are taking on Revolver’s Fairtrade, Organic and biodegradable tea bags, a range of Fairtrade and Organic coffees as well as Famous Blue Mountain coffee bags. Director Steve Gill said:

It’s wonderful that we have been able to partner with Green City to expand our range of tea and coffee into Scotland and the North East. Cooperation is at the heart of what we do, so it’s important to us that we are able to work with organisations like Green City who share our values and ethics.

“This is an excellent opportunity for Revolver to showcase some of the best Fairtrade, Organic and Cooperative products our movement has to offer. It’s a testament to the work done by all the members of our cooperative, and another step in the right direction.”

The recent expansion comes in light of the Queen’s Honour received by Revolver’s CEO, Paul Birch, for his commitment to and work in Fairtrade. Paul has dedicated the last ten years to the Fairtrade® movement by sitting on numerous boards and by developing Fair Trade commodities under the Revolver World Cooperative brand for sale in Co Op stores.

If you’re interested in joining our cooperative, you can do so here, or contact our office on 01902 345345. For commercial enquiries, please email enquiries@revolver.coop

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Except where stated, this site and it’s contents are © Copyright 2020 Revolver Co-operative Limited
All Rights Reserved.
 © Revolver World 2020.                    

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Women and Cooperatives

Women and Cooperatives

If I had £1 for every time someone said to me “I can remember my Nans/mothers divi number!” I would be a quite bit richer! However, when that person has been asked “Why do you think it was such an important part of their lives that you had to remember it?”, no-one has been able to give an answer. 

The importance of co-operatives to the lives of women has somehow been lost. Most things historical are written by men! Over time, women’s rights have improved, and whilst the battle for equality goes on, many other issues have been addressed.

As far as I am aware, no-one has written anything from the perspective of the wives of the Rochdale Pioneers, or The Fenwick Weavers before that. In the 18th Century, violence against the mills led to the development of a specialist insurance – The Fenwick Weavers signed their documentation in a church so if they were caught, they could seek sanctuary. Given the draconian measures of those times, the “lessons” meted out to men daring to form associations and unions – the deportations of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, the floggings and imprisonments, the impact of Peterloo. All these must have preyed on the minds of the Rochdale Pioneers wives. Yet we know little of them, what their lives were like, especially as the men scraped together the £1 each to start the society-changing co-operative. 

It poses the question: ‘Would the Pioneers have been able to achieve what they did had their wives not been supportive?’. With energy suppliers refusing to provide for the shop, as well as the acrimony of other shop keepers, there must have been a high level of fear and anxiety within households. The Co-operative ideal was challenging societal norms; challenging the nouveau riche and the elite. It was a movement to change the world, so you can only imagine the repercussions on family life. Working out the dividend pay-outs to members on Christmas Day was possibly the least of their worries.

Eliza Brierley was the first woman to pay her £1 in full in 1846. Virtually nothing is known about her, apart from the fact she was a spinster, a weaver and where she lived. Her payment challenged the Principle of Equality and Equity. A decision had to be made whether the distribution for the dividend went to Eliza Brierley, the member, or to her husband. Of course, this was a time when women were chattels, and not allowed money of their own. They were owned by men, and all the women’s possessions became the husbands on marriage. 

Payment of the dividend to a woman was a revolutionary development in the cooperative movement, and most co-operatives protected the woman’s right to that payment. Anecdotally, I have heard of women getting the £1 membership as a wedding present – ensuring that the bride did have some money of her own. Co-operatives were ahead of their time when recognising the equality of women.

Invariably, women would be a part of the circular economy within the co-operative stores. They did the family shopping, so remembering the co-operative number ensured that their spend was allotted and used to calculate their dividend. Once this was paid out, this would go back into the co-operative in the form of purchases. 

The breadth of goods provided by the co-operative retail movement was huge. Shoes, clothing, furniture – the big co-operative department stores full of co-operative goods were so much more than just a shop. Stanley Matthews Co-operative football boots used to be on display in the Peoples History Museum in Manchester – “There was a new boot designed for him by the Co-op, much lighter, without the big toe-cap. He thought it made him quicker, but he would have to change them every few weeks because they were so easily damaged.”

Nowadays, of course, women are financially independent, while the implementation of computers and the 16-digit numbers have meant that Divi number no longer needs to be remembered. However, the importance of co-operatives to the lives of women remains just as important as it was in 1846, when Eliza Brierley challenged the status quo to live up to the Principle of Equality and Equity. To paraphrase Hilda Smith, not only did women need co-operatives – but co-operatives needed women. 

Except where stated, this site and it’s contents are © Copyright 2020 Revolver Co-operative Limited
All Rights Reserved.
 © Revolver World 2020.                    

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La Cimbali Donation to Italian Health Service

Cimbali S30 Machine stocking Revolver coffee beans

La Cimbali Donation to Italian Health Service

At Revolver, we’re incredibly proud of the relationships that we have built over the last 10 years. As a company who recognises the importance of high ethical standards and positive environmental practices, it is a pleasure to work alongside organisations who share similar values.  

In many ways, the current COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the best in people, and we wanted to take this opportunity to share the story of how our Italian friends at La Cimbali have contributed to the fight against the virus.  

La Cimbali is an Italian manufacturer of professional espresso and cappuccino equipment, and a company who we’ve been fortunate to work alongside in recent times as we develop our café and bean-to-cup solutions offering. With their headquarters in Milan, many of the Cimbali team have seen the brunt of the coronavirus epicentre, which until recently was focused in Italy.  

This week, Cimbali Group donated 10 lung ventilators to the Italian National Health Service facility, a total value of around €200,000. The following quote is taken from Maurizo Cimbali, as shared by the Cimbali website: 

“Our Country is going through a dramatic time, without a doubt nothing like this has ever been experienced in the past few decades. – Declared Maurizio Cimbali, President of the Group. – As an Italian company, strongly rooted in Lombardy, we feel compelled by a need, a duty and a moral commitment to support the healthcare and hospital system which is coping remarkably in the face of this emergency, with a donation of 200 thousand euros for the purchase of lung respirators for intensive care”. 

We’d like to extend our warmest regards to everyone at Cimbali during this period, both in Italy and further afield. This is a very trying time, so it’s fantastic to see acts of generosity in our industry going a long way to make a tangible difference.  

You can read more about our work with La Cimbali here

Except where stated, this site and it’s contents are © Copyright 2020 Revolver Co-operative Limited
All Rights Reserved.
 © Revolver World 2020.                    

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Coffee At Home Part 1: Coffee Bags

Coop Fairtrade Coffee Bags

Coffee At Home Part 1: Coffee Bags

It’s no secret that coffee is a vital part of the working day for a lot of people. With recent social distancing measures due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most of us are working from the comfort of our own homes. While for many people this is a welcome change from office life, there is one thing missing. Good quality coffee.  

Unfortunately, many of our friends in the café and hospitality industry have had to temporarily close their doors to do their part in preventing the spread of coronavirus. We’re no longer able to pop into a coffee shop and pick up a drink, but that’s no reason to have to settle for an instant coffee while working from home.  

Coffee Bags remain relatively unknown to the majority of people outside the industry, but the concept is simple. Imagine a teabag, but with fresh coffee inside. All you need to do is brew, stir, squeeze and serve! It’s an incredibly simple solution for those of us who don’t have all the gear at home to make a great tasting, fresh coffee.  

Famous Blue Mountain 

This coffee is our premium blend of four single origin coffees, sourced from cooperatives working hard to make a difference in their communities. A premium blend of greens, blended together by our roasters to bring you the world in a cup.  

Cuba  

Frequent rain enriches the mountain soil’s mica and quartz crystal deposits, giving this excellent coffee its unique quality. At harvest, the ripest cherries are handpicked and brought to the Cimanayagua mill for wet processing. Naturally sun-dried, this arabica coffee has a highly intense aroma with an elegant and delicate sweetness. Since the 1950s, coffee production in Cuba has fallen by more than 80%, but now Cuba is rebuilding its economy through cooperatives. We bring together producers and customers – our members produce and drink our coffee.  

 

There are plenty of ways to brew fantastic coffee at home, but coffee bags are one of my favourites. As this blog and video series will demonstrate, there are all sorts of fancy home brewing techniques available, but nothing is easier than a coffee bag. In these, let’s be honest, pretty difficult times, it’s nice to be able to still access café quality coffee from the comfort of your own home – whether you’re working there or not!  

Except where stated, this site and it’s contents are © Copyright 2020 Revolver Co-operative Limited
All Rights Reserved.
 © Revolver World 2020.                    

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Working From Home: Day 1

Revolver Work From Home set up

Working From Home: Day 1

Today is the first day our coffee team has started working from home. Following government advice following the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve set up a desk in my lounge rather than heading up the road to the Revolver offices.  

It’s quite a strange feeling – almost like being back at university, but during normal working hours. The week started like any other week – getting up at a normal time, getting dressed and ready just like a typical day.  

Personally, I think that treating everything as if it was a normal working day is critical to making sure you remain productive while you work from your lounge. By that, I mean dressing properly, taking breaks as you would in the office, and checking in regularly with the rest of the team. For us, we’ve made use of Microsoft Teams – a shared platform which enables all of us to collaborate on documents, share our screens, and hold video conference calls. 

So, just like a normal working week, we held a meeting this morning to discuss our plans for the day. As you can imagine, the café and hospitality industry has been hit quite hard by the social distancing measures, so we’ve had to change our work accordingly. Without giving too much away, we’re focusing now on product development, engaging more with our members and customers over the coming weeks, and making our office and warehouse more efficient.  

I think regularly keeping in touch with colleagues is essential during this period of self-isolation. At Revolver, we all work quite closely on a day to day business and have the fortune of cooperating in a small team who understand every aspect of the business, so it is important that we don’t shut down our lines of communication.  

Something I have found really important is holding yourself to account. With nobody else to do it for you, you have to take it upon yourself to make sure your work isn’t impacted by distractions at home, whether it’s getting slightly too comfortable working on the sofa, or your dog pulling you away to play fetch…  

Despite the disadvantage of not having top of the range coffee available here, it is quiet. I have found that my focus has increased, and I’ve been able to complete tasks quickly that require a lot of concentration.  

Having said that, I am missing the office already. We’re lucky at Revolver to work day-today with our friends on projects we really enjoy – and there really is no substitution for the atmosphere in the office. That’s going to be the thing I really miss over the coming weeks and months.  

As we mentioned in a press release last week, we are doing our absolute best to keep things running smoothly for our members and customers. Orders are still being processed through our website, and long term projects and plans are still being worked on and developed collectively.  We are very fortunate to be able to communicate and continue to operate, even if it is remotely. 

 

Except where stated, this site and it’s contents are © Copyright 2020 Revolver Co-operative Limited
All Rights Reserved.
 © Revolver World 2020.                    

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Coronavirus Statement for Members

Coronavirus Statement for Members

Given recent developments as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, we wanted to write a short piece to update our members as to how our industry has been impacted, and the precautions we are taking to do our part in helping the effort.

Firstly, some of our friends in the hospitality industry have borne the brunt of the outbreak, with reduced footfall in cafes and bars. Charity and awareness campaigns such as UK Coffee Week have been postponed until the autumn, and trade events like the London Coffee Festival and the Great Taste Awards have been put on hold. 

At the other end of the spectrum, retailers have seen a surge in demand through panic buying and increased customer demand, meaning they are working around the clock to make sure people have enough in order to get by as the pandemic develops. 

Here at Revolver, we’ve offered the team opportunities to work from home, drastically cutting the number of people in the offices, as well as maintaining exceptionally high levels of hygiene and disease precautions. Rest assured we will continue to be able to process orders and keep up with customer demand for our coffee, chocolate, and other products. 

This is a difficult time for a lot of people, and now, perhaps more than ever, it is important that we’re able to look out for each other and cooperate, even if it is remotely. Please continue to look out for people who have found themselves in vulnerable and difficult situations, and stay safe.

Except where stated, this site and it’s contents are © Copyright 2020 Revolver Co-operative Limited
All Rights Reserved.
 © Revolver World 2020.                    

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An Empty Netherlands – Coronavirus

An Empty Netherlands - Coronavirus

 

Cancelled Amsterdam Coffee Festival

This weekend, a few members of our team flew out to the Netherlands to attend the Amsterdam Coffee Festival – only for it to be cancelled a few hours before we stepped on the plane. 

We still flew out to the Netherlands, and tried to salvage the trip with some European market research – travelling around Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Rotterdam to scout out their coffee scenes. Despite a notably quiet country, we were still able to speak to a few locals and professionals to get a sense of what European cafe culture is like.

Fairtrade in Europe

It’s all about Fairtrade now, it’s the way we are moving’, explained a barista in one of Eindhoven’s independent roasteries. ‘Coffee is appealing to young professionals in Europe who are much more conscious about how their food and drink are produced. In the Netherlands, we’ve seen a rise in independent, small coffee brands who put ethics and environment at the forefront of their brand.’ 

The trend that the barista was describing is often referred to as a ‘coffee-like-wine’ attitude – consumers are seeking a high quality coffee that focuses on particular taste attributes, as well as transparency in the supply chain right down to farm level. 

This ‘3rd wave of coffee’ follows two earlier cycles: the first wave marked the popularisation of coffee consumption in Europe from the 1960s through to the 1990s, where a second wave saw a shift to higher quality coffees served through chains such as Starbucks and Costa Coffee. 

It has also been marked by ranges of speciality coffees, reflected by the increasing number of independent roasters and cafes, like the ones which populate Eindhoven’s Bergen district. Although the majority of European’s still favour cheap, mainstream coffee (instant, standard blends, robusta etc). 

The story was quite similar in Rotterdam – we stopped in at a few coffee shops and roasters to see what we could learn from them, but the only issue on everyone’s mind was how the coronavirus was going to impact their job and industry. We visited Rotterdam port, which is the first stop for a lot of our coffee being transported from South America. Just like the rest of the country, the port was like a ghost town. 

Unfortunately, the cafe and hospitality industry is going to be one of the hardest hit in the Netherlands due to the coronavirus pandemic. At 6pm on Sunday evening, just as we were checking in at Schipol to return home, an announcement from the Dutch government closed all cafes, bars and restaurants with immediate effect. We need to make sure we remain safe, and look out for each other in this difficult time

Except where stated, this site and it’s contents are © Copyright 2020 Revolver Co-operative Limited
All Rights Reserved.
 © Revolver World 2020.