In Pursuit of Justice

Just Us! Coffee Roasters Co-op and the Fair Trade Movement

By Stacey Byrne and Errol Sharpe  

Paperback $19.95

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This is the story of Just Us! Coffee Roasters Co-op, Canada’s first fair trade coffee roaster. This book describes its successes and its failures and details how a small group of people — “just us” — worked against adversity and defied many of the norms associated with building a business. In this fascinating tale, general readers, business owners and community activists will find hope and the courage to forge new paths, build new organizations and shape a new society. This story is also about the fair trade movement, providing a snapshot of the struggle of the small coffee producers in the South to control their own production, find a fair market for their coffee and get a fair hearing for their concerns. Just Us! Coffee Roasters Co-op is an experiment in a radical business model — one rooted in cooperation, social justice and meaningful social change.

“Wonderfully written and engaging, as well as thoughtful and persuasive. It is one of a very few detailed assessments of a Northern fair trade organization that I can think of and should be widely read by specialists.”

— Gavin Fridell, author of Fair Trade Coffee: The Prospects and Pitfalls of Market-Driven Social Justice

“Byrne and Sharpe have done an admirable job of tracing the promise and pitfalls of Canada’s most ambitious venture in fair trade. Far from a puff piece, In Pursuit of Justice uses context and clarity to show the obstacles facing those who would build an economy based on solidarity rather than business-as-usual.”

— Richard Swift, author of SOS: Alternatives to Capitalism

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  • Have you had a cup of coffee today? If it was “fair trade” do you know if your purchase directly improved a poor farmer’s livelihood?

    — Amy Wood is a master of arts candidate at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and a research assistant and the CCPA. (full review)


  • Introduction
  • Just Us!: The Beginnings
  • From Coffee to Chocolate and Beyond
  • Understanding Fair Trade
  • Organizing for Self-Reliance
  • Building a Business, Building a Worker Co-Operative
  • Just Us! and The Fair Trade Movement
  • Conclusion


  • Errol Sharpe

    Errol Sharpe is a publisher at Fernwood Publishing. He holds an MA in Atlantic Canadian Studies from Saint Mary’s University and is co-author of In Pursuit of Justice: Just Us! Coffee Roasters Co-op and the Fair Trade Movement.

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