London-based coffee merchant Equatorial Traders is expanding its reach and sustainability credentials with the support of a multimillion trade finance package from Lloyds Bank.

Lloyds Banking Group
28 April 2022
2 min read

Privately-owned family business Equatorial Traders, which also has an office in Ethiopia, sources beans from all major coffee-producing regions including Brazil, Ethiopia, Central America, Tanzania and Kenya.

The company ships worldwide, importing and delivering coffee beans to Europe, Asia and North America. The business, which mainly trades green coffee – raw, unroasted coffee beans – also has a specialist importing arm, Kamba Coffee, which sources and distributes the finest coffees to independent, speciality and artisan roasters and retailers.

Support from Lloyds Bank

Lloyds Bank, as one of Equatorial Traders’ banking partners, has provided a $10.6 million trade finance package for the business, which primarily buys and sells in dollars.

The funding will provide Equatorial Traders with additional working capital to support its growth strategy and commitment to sustainable development. More than 15% of the coffee the business trades is certified through one or more sustainable coffee programmes, with the majority certified by the Rainforest Alliance, which works to drive positive change across global supply chains.

In addition to the purchase of sustainably certified coffees, Equatorial Traders is putting in place a thorough sustainability commitment through various channels. 

Not just about coffee

Equatorial Traders has also been a long-term supporter of the Buna Qela Charity Association in Ethiopia. The non-profit organisation improves the livelihoods of coffee farming communities in the country through improving incomes, productivity, local infrastructure and coffee quality. 

The company also helps London-based social enterprise Well Grounded, which provides barista training and job support to Londoners facing barriers to employment by connecting it with their network of coffee shops across the capital and the wider coffee community.

Equatorial Traders, which was founded in 1991 and now employs 14 staff at its London office and a team of 10 in Ethiopia, has been a customer of Lloyds Bank since 2020. It has a current annual turnover of around £60 million.  

Will Lenton-Brook, Head of Operations at Equatorial Traders, said: “We are delighted to have Lloyds Bank participate in our banking pool. This partnership will add further support to our strategy, enabling us to continue adding value and driving sustainability across the coffee value chain from the farmer to the consumer.”

Eleanor Cox, London Sector Head of Manufacturing, Wholesale and Industrials at Lloyds Bank, added: “Equatorial Traders’ work really spans the global coffee market. From production to wholesale and with a tangible focus on sustainability and job creation, it’s a uniquely collaborative enterprise. We feel proud to be by the side of the business and to help enable the next stage of its growth journey.”


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