About Us




A community shop for African
foodstuffs, arts & crafts.

AFRICO-OPERATIVE vision is to make people have better LIVES because they UNDERSTAND and APPRECIATE African Culture.

Our mission is to promote the values and diversity of African Culture because we believe that:

  • African culture can add to the diversity of peoples' live
  • Integration of African culture can improve quality of community life
  • UK and African communities can benefit from closer understanding and relationships
  • Low Income people can take control, solve their own problems, and rely on themselves – with the right support.
  • Boost economic development of the local community
  • Justice and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full potential.

    Africo-operative is a business that is jointly owned and democratically controlled by its members. It is a trading enterprise, providing goods and services and generating profits, but these profits are not taken by outside shareholders as with many investor owned business – it is under the control of the members, who decide democratically how the profits should be used. Africo-operative will use its profits for re-investing in the business, in social purposes, in the education of members, in the sustainable development of the community or the environment, or for the welfare of the wider community.

    Africo-operative principles are based on the values of self-help, self‑responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. Our members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.


    Africo-operative is a vehicle for people collectively 'doing it for themselves' - whether that's responding to a market opportunity, or meeting an identified need that neither the market nor the public purse provides. We engage people in their own solutions and enable members to share the risks and development costs of the business. We also draw from the knowledge, skills and expertise that diverse members bring. Africo-operative provides their members with mutual support. We link members together so that they can help one another - perhaps by sharing ideas, costs, resources and equipment. Africo-operative is democratically owned and run, giving members real control over the direction of the enterprise and enabling all stakeholders to contribute to the success of the business. Our members are able to define the business that meets our needs and bring their skills and commitment to its success.

    Africo-perative main objective is to work with businesses, community groups and individuals to improve the trading position of producer organisations in Africa and to deliver sustainable livelihoods for farmers, workers and their communities by –

  • Being a passionate and ambitious development organisation committed to tackling poverty and injustice through trade
  • bringing together producers and consumers in a citizens' movement for change
  • being recognised as the UK's leading authority on Fairtrade
  • Consumers can buy good quality and organic organic food products and understand the need for pricing that will guarantee sustainable livelihoods for producers.
  • Fair and ethical trade practices that provide market access and a sound financial return for small scale farmers.
  • Helping people strengthen their means of making a living
  • Livelihoods

    Our current approach to livelihood security is through a markets approach, which means realising the power of markets in terms of access, influencing product prices, and negotiating on quality.

    We believe that poor people have the potential, once empowered, to be part of the solution. In this respect, we have decided to work through local partners to develop entrepreneurships among poor farmers in Africa, allowing them to be self-reliant and help themselves.

    Agreements are signed between local farmers, partner organisations and Africo-operative to establish how best to work with the groups benefiting from Africo-operative funds and also to ensure the funds continue to reach the intended target groups. This will be monitored by Africo-operative staff, partners, local leaders and representatives from the target groups.

    To achieve our objectives we work with others including NGOs (Non-Government Organisations), CSOs (Civil Society Organisations), local authorities, government institutions and private sector workers using alliances, lobbying and advocacy. We work closely with other stakeholders to ensure we have a strong and effective civil society in Africa that can easily support poor communities to actively engage in economic activities.

    Land related issues, access to services, means of production, the role and place of civil society and private sector in pro-poor development, gender equality, HIV and AIDS work, disaster and risk reduction work, and climate change adaptation are the current focus of our policy and advocacy work.

    Africo-operative's focus is on sustainable livelihoods, good governance, gender equality and HIV and AIDS.

    Why fight poverty?

    It's a basic question, but a good one. Why does AfriCo-operative bother? Why put so much energy into saving lives, campaigning for change, and developing projects to give people

    more control over their future?

    The answer is basic too. Belief – belief that in a wealthy world poverty is unjustifiable, and can be prevented. Belief that injustice must be challenged. And belief that with the right help, poor people themselves can change their lives for the better, for good. Believe it – then achieve itEveryone has the right to a life worth living – and to the basic things that make one possible.

    This belief shapes everything we do.