We’re a local roastery based in the heart of the Ottawa Valley. Since 1998, we’ve been roasting and delivering fresh coffee each and every week. We have a passion for good coffee and a deep respect for the people who grow it. Our coffee comes from small-scale farming communities - our trade is direct and transparent. We keep our values simple and honest and our coffee fresh and delicious. Our coffee is 100% organic specialty coffee. We source through our own roaster-member co-op, Cooperative Coffees. Co-op Coffees is a green coffee importing co-op made up of 23 like-minded roasters throughout North America. Through the co-op, we are privileged to have direct, transparent, and sustainable relationships with our trading partners.
Where it all began...
In the late 1990s, Craig had just completed a degree in International Development from Trent University where he learned all about the exploitation of small-scale farmers in the coffee industry. The Fair Trade Certification movement was just getting started and he wanted to take part in it. Craig realized that by providing high quality fair trade and organic coffee, we, the privileged North, could begin to help our neighbours in the South, thus “Equate”ing the benefit for all - inspiration for our name! Craig, Amber, and the Equator team continue to work directly with farmers and have visited cooperatives in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, The Dominican Republic, Peru, Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda.
How we've grown
Equator fired up its first roaster in a small house in Arnprior with a room for roasting, one for sales, and one for seating. Once the wholesale business started to grow, we moved our roasting operations to a small commercial location a couple of years later. In 2005, Equator relocated to Almonte and reopened the café part of the business with a production area in the back. Almonte has been very supportive of our business and with steady growth, we were able to move into a larger space on the "main drag" in 2011. Our new home has a large production and office area and with the café, we've included an area for art displays and a boardroom and quality control area we call the 'Cupping Lab'. It's always open for visits so come on by!
Fair Trade Proof
In a time when so much marketing around green and fair gets blasted at us, consumers are often left feeling confused, skeptical or both - and understandably so. As niche markets grow larger and larger, companies - including (and especially) many large corporations - who rarely considered the environment or social justice in their practices, suddenly want a slice of the pie. While Equator and other companies who were founded on the principles of preserving the environment and fostering greater social justice are happy to see this mainstream "awakening" take place, we also know that building consumer trust and educating people about how to discern a company's true and earnest effort from a mere marketing scheme are as important to our company as ever!
chiapasTransparency is at the heart of our model of fair trade. We don’t expect our customers to blindly trust us. That’s why our coffee-buying cooperative goes to great lengths to publish all of the pertinent documents associated with every coffee transaction. Customers can follow the path of our coffees back to the farm and the farmer at fairtradeproof.org.
True Fair Trade
At Equator Coffee Roasters, “fair trade” is much more than just a certification or label. For us, fair trade is about open and respectful dialogue: dialogue with our producer partners, dialogue with other like-minded roasters, and dialogue with our customers about where the coffee comes from and who grew it. Using the coffee industry as our conduit, we build relationships with producer partners all over the developing world. These relationships, in turn, are the base of a more constructive, realistic, and sustainable way of doing commerce. This way of doing business connects the Global North with the Global South which is the first and most important step towards poverty alleviation.
The consumer deserves to know and the producer deserves to be known.