Fair Trade Investment Fund

 

Contact Sylvia Difford 542-7474 x244 or sylvia@justuscoffee.com for more information

 

 

Investing in local community assets and global trade ethics

Nova Scotia has a great program to raise capital for small busineses called the Equity Tax Program.  Investors receive a provinicial tax credit of 35% and investments are also eligible for RRSPs.  Existing RRSPs can be transferred into businesses under this program and that is how we raised much of our initial capital, with friends and family investing too.

Soon our investors, who were by law required to be voting members of the co-op, began to outnumber our workers.  Hence the development of a sister co-op for investors that was called the Just Us! Fair Trade Investors Co-operative.  This is what they look like today:

 

JUCR

JUFTIC

Purpose or Objectives

To be a viable business that promotes fair trade commerce

To secure capital to invest in common shares of JUCR and to provide a return to the members on their investments

Members

Worker owners

Investment owners (until 2006 only)

Community investors

Worker/owner investors

Shares

$500.00 (minimum of four)

$1000.00 (no minimum)

Directors of the Board

* currently all worker owners are on the board plus one elected representative from JUFTIC

* elected by members

* no less than 6, no more than 9

* policy

A Tale of Two Co-operatives

There were many people who believed in what Just Us! was doing and wanted to help us grow the Fair Trade Market. So we decided to set up a separate co-op for “investor owners”, now known as the Just Us! Fair Trade Investment Co-op [JUFTIC]. This was done in 2002 under the provincial Community Economic Development Investment Fund Program. It allowed the Equity Tax Credit program to be used by independent Investment Funds, which could also promote the investments publicly.

So now there are two co-operatives, JUCR and JUFTIC, each with its own Board of Directors elected by and from among their members. To facilitate co-operation and communication between the two Boards, a JUFTIC director also sits on the JUCR Board. The two co-operatives are intended to work closely together to promote Just Us! as a Nova Scotia business, and Fair Trade as a model for doing business.

Without Nova Scotia's Community Economic Development Investment Fund, Just Us Coffee wouldn't be the success story it is today. Read more.