Table of Contents

Our Story

We are a small family company with big ideas

We’re committed to sourcing high quality speciality coffee, making a difference in coffee producing countries, and serving our customers with excellence.

And we’re enjoying the journey!

What do we do that makes us different?

We have a lot to say about this and you’ll find a lot of it around this site, but anything you don’t find but want to know – just ask! 

We don’t hide behind labels and slogans but invite you to be a part of what we’re doing. Engage in the process, join our journey, but also ask us hard questions to hold us accountable to what we say we’re doing. 

What do we do different? In short, we buy direct from the farm returning a much larger proportion of the price to the people who do the work to produce our great coffee. It fulfills two key beliefs we hold that ethical business does not have to compromise on quality, and doesn’t have to be significantly more expensive for the consumer. It does however mean harder work for us and sticking to our principles.

Orera Village is located on Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The villagers have been selling their coffee to Ethical Addictions since 2010. In these short interviews the villagers explain the difference that working with EA has made to their lives.

Direct Trade

Head bean Ian (centre) with Isaltino and Athos from the Gerezim Farm in Brazil

What it means and why we're different

Our passion is coffee and the farms we work with at different origins. We set up in 2006 and in relationship with farms and villages soon realised the poorest and most vulnerable were the ones most easily slipping through the system. We work directly, and buy directly from these farms and villages. We offer complete transparency of the whole process, not just traceability. It is easy to trace a source but information on how much producers are paid and what conditions they have is elusive. We know the names of the producers we work with, and can tell you exactly how much they are paid. Unfortunately this is not possible through the Fairtrade certified system.

It really depends on whether the heart of fair trade or the brand is most important. Not to say the Fairtrade Foundation don’t do good work, far from it, but often there are better options if consumers will discern for themselves and hold other companies accountable. We started off convinced by Fairtrade ourselves until we got on the ground and had to make a decision to either appear to be making a difference, or really making a difference to people who need it.

Some of the producers we work with, Fairtrade will not work with (they are too small, and too poor to pay fees – so they’re the very people who need help the most, ironic!) If you really want to help the poorest producers and transform lives of families then direct trade* is the best approach.

* Direct trade is a popular phrase and for some would simply mean getting a cheaper price and then covering it with good language about traceability. For others it may mean they have visited the farm once before. Therefore we would caveat our advice not just to believe text on a website or the back of a coffee bag, but to ask hard questions, and seek firm evidence of claims made.

In Summary

This is a complex and passionate topic for us so we could write a lot but here are the bullet points:

Environment

As you may have already gathered Ethical Addictions is not just about high quality coffee sourced direct, taking care to ensure producers are paid well and cared for, we are also concerned about the care shown to the environment, to preserve our great planet, natural habitats, and a future for us all.

You can find out more about how each farm is helping the environment by going to their farm pages. Below is a brief list of what we are doing as a business in the UK to support our planet.

GOAL: As a business we want to ensure we operate with affordable and practical solutions to environmental challenges such as becoming as minimum waste and plastic-free as possible, whilst reducing the carbon impact of our business transport and energy usage.

Happerley Transparent

We are proud to be the first coffee roaster certified by Happerley Transparent.  

Happerley was established by two farmers wanting to break down the disconnect between producer and consumer, and restore honesty and credibility to food provenance by turning food chain data transparent and to the consumer. Its solution is engineered on two fundamental truths. Firstly, by turning food supply chains from consumer to producer transparent and visible, every participating business will benefit from reduced food fraud and misrepresentation. Secondly, it recognises that the truth of provenance of any produce begins at the beginning of the food chain – at birth or seed. By empowering the producer to apply a Passport, and enabling the upward food chain to validate that provenance at each stage, the consumer will be then be empowered to validate premiums.   

“Happerley is passionate about provenance and many people think that this means ‘local’ but this is not the case – it is simply about knowing where your food and drink has come from – locally or from the other side of the world – truth and transparency! We are therefore delighted that Ethical Addictions Coffee have become the first coffee company to be Gold Standard and their story is one to inspire others.” 
                                               – Matthew Rymer (Happerley Founder and CEO)

What does Gold Standard actually mean?

Achieving Happerley Gold Standard means that consumers are now able to see the farm or grower from which your core ingredients come from.  Most suppliers will struggle to achieve Happerley Gold Standard as they may not care for where their ingredients come from. So, achieving Happerley Gold Standard is certainly something to be proud of as lack of ingredient provenance is at the forefront of consumer concerns.

Want to know more?

There’s loads more to read all over this website including more about us, farm stories, news & research, as well as information about the environment. But if there’s something you want to ask please contact us.

You can be a part of all this and more. Buying coffee from these producers is obviously a huge help, but opportunities exist to contribute to projects too.

Anyone wanting to know more, to contribute, or to learn about coffee and sustainable practices should contact Ian on 01452 280026