Find out more about who we are and what we do…
We are member owned – Join us
Revolver Co-operative Ltd is member-owned. We describe ourselves as a multi-stakeholder Co-operative society, meaning anyone can join. Other examples of Co-operatives are Essential Co-operative and Unicorn Co-operative, both of whom are worker co-ops, meaning they are owned by their employees, both firms sell our coffee and we are delighted to work with them in common goals of spreading the co-operative ethos. Other examples of worker co-ops are Suma, or Equal Exchange or the best example of all would be The John Lewis partnership. Other co-operatives are based around a retail focus such as The co-operative Group where membership is made up of customers, this is a retail consumer co-operative, other examples are Central England Co-operative (formerly known as Midland) and The Midcounties co-operative, both of whom we work with to retail our coffee.
So anyone can join, and anyone can become a director. Directors are chosen by nomination and vote at each AGM which for the past four years has been in Birmingham. Individual members are asked to make a minimum deposit of £10.00 and corporate members are asked to make a deposit of £50.00. If members want to leave membership, or withdraw capital they can do so with 90 days’ notice to our society. Because we can take deposits of withdrawable share capital we are registered with Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under their mutual’s register.
We’re a Social Enterprise
When our type of society operated in commodities (such as coffee) we are described as “Co-operatives”, if we were to operate in the financial sector such as a Building Society or Insurances, then we would be described as a “Mutual”. Mutual’s have been around in Britain for a long time. What makes a business mutual is the connection between capital invested and voting rights. In normal stock companies, the more money you have invested, the more say you have in terms of votes. In a mutual, irrespective of the amount of investment, each person only has one vote each. For this reason, businesses such as ours are seen as being “Democratic companies”. Another way of thinking about us, is as a social enterprise. The reason we are considered a social enterprise, is because we are concerned with the “Triple bottom-line”, that is to say we are interested in people, the planet and profit, and not profit alone. Each are equally important in terms of output.
Fairtrade is important and different from Rainforest Alliance or any other Kite mark, here is why; Commodity prices for Arabica coffee are set on the NY commodities market. As you would expect prices go up and down, sometimes down to unsustainable levels meaning farmers can’t afford to feed their families. Brands displaying the Fairtrade mark through Fairtrade Labelling Organisation, guarantee farmers that even if prices fall below sustainable levels, we will pay a sum greater than the floor price, in order to make a sustainable return to farming co-operatives. That’s why sustainability isn’t just a catch phrase, Fairtrade puts sustainability into process. In addition to the Fairtrade minimum, brands displaying the mark pay a community premium paid to co-operatives in the developing world. The premium helps them build schools, health centres and pay for young people to go to university. This is why we support Fairtrade and why we are active not just as a brand working with producers, but also given our location we contribute to Fairtrade town and city groups in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Telford & Wrekin.
Fairtrade is important to CoopeTarrazu because not only do they rely upon the de minimus pricing, guaranteeing farmers do not have to rely upon merely subsisting, but because of the 1% of turnover community investment from fairtrade brands, meaning funds are flowing into developing world co-operatives, allowing them to reinvest in their communities, in education, housing, health and fertilisers.
We say there is nothing wrong with making a profit, its what you do with It that counts. If you have a community cause you would like us to help you with, please let us know because Revolver World want to do our part to make this a better world.
Here at Revolver, we are proud to be part of the Fairtrade foundation – reinvesting 25% of profits back into our farmers and their communities. We are a coffee co-operative, meaning profit goes to members – not shareholders. We don’t have shareholders, just members and like producers you can take part by joining our society & have your say. Our members include CoopTarrazu in Costa Rica, one of Costa Rica’s oldest Coffee Cooperatives.
Revolver Co-operative is committed to paying our fair-share of tax. We make a commitment not to abuse the tax system by utilising tax havens through transfer-pricing, or undertake tax avoidance schemes.
We are committed to paying all the taxes that we owe in accordance with the spirit of all tax laws that apply to our operations. We believe that paying our taxes in this way is the clearest indication we can give of being responsible participants in society.
We will fulfil our commitment to paying that appropriate taxes that we owe by seeking to pay the right amount of tax (but no more), at the right rate, in the right place and at the right time. We aim to do this by ensuing that we report our tax affairs in ways that reflect the economic reality of the transactions we actually undertake in the course of our trade.
What we will not ever do is seek to use those options made available in tax law or the allowances and reliefs that it provides in ways that are contrary to the spirit of the law. Nor will we undertake specific transactions with the sole or main aim of securing tax advantages that would otherwise not be available to us based on the reality of the trade that we undertake. As a result the company will never undertake transactions that would require notification to HM Revenue & Customs under the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes Regulations or participate in any arrangement to which it might be reasonable anticipated that the UK’s General Anti-Abuse Rule might apply.
We believe tax havens undermine the UK’s tax system. As a result whilst we will trade with customers and suppliers genuinely located in places considered to be tax havens we will not make use of those places to secure a tax advantage, and nor will we take advantage of the secrecy that many such jurisdictions provide for transactions recorded within them. Our accounts will be prepared in compliance with this policy and will seek to provide all that information that users, including HM Revenue & Customs, might need to properly appraise our tax position. We will review this policy with our accountants annually to ensure that it is complied with.
Living Wage Policy
We are delighted to be a Living Wage Foundation Organisation, not to be confused with the National Living Wage which is paid at a substantially lower-sum. In Costa Rica for instance, where minimum wage is in operation, our member CoopeTarrazu ensures that itinerant workers (used to bring in the coffee harvest and who come in from Nicaragua and Ecuador) are also paid Costa Rica’s minimum wage and many pickers earn substantially above the minimum threshold.
Currently no directors are paid within Revolver Co-operative. It is completely voluntarily run, with directors paying their own expenses. There are no bonus schemes or commissions paid, and the reason behind this is as a social enterprise, we come together to make a difference to the market we are engaging in, and we feel the best way to demonstrate that is by our own commitment. If there are changes to directors pay, it will be under this heading that any changes will be announced on the website.