The Beginnings

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

We called ourselves Just Us! because we were just a small group of friends who had very little in the way of business experience or resources, but really believed we could do our bit for social "justice".  (see Our Story)

And it wasn't just talk.  We wanted to be true to our convictions and consistent with the standards set out for Fair Trade co-ops in the Third World.

  • Democratic
  • Work for the common good
  • Environmentally responsible
  • Transparent
  • Accountable to members

This is very unusual, even for businesses involved in Fair Trade.  If you look at our organization, our mission and our values, our reporting and distribution of profits (see Worker Ownership), you will see these standards reflected.

And we didn't just dip our toe in the water.  We jumped in with both feet and went well over our heads.  Those were exciting times, but not easy.  It might have been better if we had known what we were getting into - but then again, if we had known, we probably wouldn't have done it.

Once we got going, it was nuts.  We just had to run to keep up.  We grew phenomenally and faced new opportunities and risks at every turn.  Early on, we were made aware that "Fair Trade" was also badly needed by local family farmers and became involved in the local and organic food movement.

Basically, our mission is:

People and the Planet before Profits