Farmer board directors

Having two farmers on our board of directors allows us to better understand the needs and challenges of the farmers we work with, and this helps to guide our business.  Producers Direct, our non-profit partner, also has farmer board members and leaders who know how best to support their peers.


Gold Standard

Our Gold Standard is a framework we use to make sure we grow responsibly and stay true to our founding purpose.  An independent committee monitors whether our business decisions are in line with this framework – the Cafédirect Guardian Share Company.

Partially owned by farmers

5% of the business is owned by the farming cooperatives that supply us. That means they get a share of any dividends paid.

Cafédirect Guardian Share Company

Our business purpose in locked into the governance of our company so we will always remain true to our mission and values.  The Guardian Share Company is a tool that allows to do this.

The Guardian Share Company is a group of people that oversee the delivery of the Gold Standard (our framework for sustainable development) and approves any changes to it. They also hold the golden share, which means they have shareholder veto power to protect the company mission from outside interests that might seek to dilute our impact.

The purpose of the Guardian Share Company is to:
  • promote fair trade with small farmer organisations in developing countries
  • to promote justice in international trade through Cafedirect, and
  • to hold and exercise rights attached to the Guardian’s Share.
Members of the Guardian Share Company:
  • Monica Middleton as Chair and who also sits on the Cafédirect Board as Consumer Non Exec Director
  • Lebi Hudson represents our farmer partners who have shares in Cafédirect
  • Som Toohey from Oikocredit who represents our largest individual shareholder
  • Alex Maitland from Oxfam International represents our second largest shareholder, and one of the four original founding organisations.

Articles of Association

Another way we lock in our business purpose into our company is through our Articles of Association.  Within this legally binding document, we promise that all stakeholder interests are formally considered by the business, and not just short-term shareholder interest.