Ordinary people making a difference
For over thirty years Tradewinds has been connecting consumers to the land and the people who grow, pick, process and pack our tea and coffee.
Tradewinds Tea and Coffee Pty Ltd began as the World Development Tea Cooperative (WDTC) in 1977. The cooperative was the successor of earlier groups of people from 1975 onwards. A group of ordinary people wanted to show that international trade could provide decent work, adequate pay and quality of life for producer communities.
They began by selling tea from Sri Lanka that was processed and packed there to inform Australians about inequities in international trading and the conditions of tea workers and provide an alternative to the multinational produced teas. Tradewinds partnered with a small Sri Lankan company Stassen and in 1978 began importing Stassen’s tea packaged in hand woven baskets from the Dambadeniya
region of Sri Lanka.
In 1991, Tradewinds Tea and Coffee was incorporated and became the trading arm of WDTC which continued its educational role. In the same year, Tradewinds began importing Arabicas coffee produced by smallholders from PNG. The following year, Tradewinds began bringing in Garaina organic tea, again from smallholders from PNG, and a few years later certified organic and fairtade tea from first organic tea estate in Sri Lanka at Idulgashinna. In 1999, Tradewinds took over the WDTC’s functions in a streamlining of the organisation. The following year, Tradewinds began selling coffee from the newly independent East Timor.
Supported by a web of volunteers, likeminded people, organisations and businesses, Tradewinds has continued selling tea from Sri Lanka, and coffee from PNG, East Timor - developing long lasting relationships with our producer partners
along the way. Since its beginnings as a company Tradewinds has applied surplus profits to supporting the social development project at Idulgashinna
and to support many other projects
in Sri Lanka
, East Timor
and the Pacific
Tradewinds has led the development of certified and organic tea and coffee in Australia:
- We were the first Australian importer of certified fairtrade and certified organic tea and coffee
- We are the first importer of fair trade, organic coffee grown, roasted and packed in East Timor. Tradewinds has assisted the establishment of coffee roasting and packing for export in East Timor. Roasting and packing in Dili means more jobs, increased income and new skills for the East Timorese.