Our history

Fullwell Mill started in 1990 as a bakery making speciality breads such as organic, rye and sourdough.  Tropical Wholefoods started in the early 1990s to help Ugandan farmers sell their fruits at good prices in European Markets.  In 2001 Fullwell Mill and Tropical Wholefoods merged and became the leading independent manufacturer of Fairtrade snacks in the UK.

Fullwell Mill is a business that has strong social and environmental aims in the manner it carries out its operations.  The buying of products on Fairtrade terms forms a cornerstone of its aims, but it goes way beyond this.  Fullwell Mill co-created dried fruit and nut supplier businesses Fruits of the Nile in Uganda and Mountain Fruits in Pakistan, which Fullwell Mill still buys from to this day.  It has also been buying dried mango from Gebana Afrique in Burkina Faso since 1995, and later cashew.

One of Mountain Fruits’ factories in Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan
One of Mountain Fruits’ factories in Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan
Fruits of the Nile’s factory in Jinja, Uganda
Fruits of the Nile’s factory in Jinja, Uganda

Fullwell Mill has additionally invested significant amounts of its time and expertise over this time to help these three businesses and the small drying businesses and farmers that supply them to develop and grow.  This includes the raising of funding and facilitation of financing where possible and appropriate to enable research and innovation and step changes in their development.

Richard Friend, Co-founder & Director of Fullwell Mill, providing technical support to Mountain Fruits’ staff in Pakistan
Richard Friend, Co-founder & Director of Fullwell Mill, providing technical support to Mountain Fruits’ staff in Pakistan
Adam Brett, Co-founder & Director of Fullwell Mill, providing database training to Internal Control System (ICS) Officers of Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana
Adam Brett, Co-founder & Director of Fullwell Mill, providing database training to Internal Control System (ICS) Officers of Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana

This approach of buying products on Fairtrade terms and supporting the growth and development of businesses and their farmer and dried product suppliers on a long-term partnership basis has helped thousands of farmers and hundreds more people who are now either drying products for supplying to or working at Fruits of the Nile, Gebana Afrique and Mountain Fruits.  Fullwell Mill also provides pre-finance to farmers for the product it buys, which is not required under Fairtrade terms, but which Fullwell Mill sees as integral to trading fairly in the contexts in which it buys from.

Increasingly over the years, Fullwell Mill has also shared its expertise with numerous others outside of its own supply chains, often in the ethical trade and Organic sector.  This includes ethical business such as Divine/Kuapa Kokoo/TWIN, Traidcraft, Liberation, Zaytoun, Ndali and Dr Bronner’s, larger corporates such as Bayer and BNP Paribas, as well as development organisations such as DFID, DANIDA, Mercy Corps, Agha Khan Network, USAID, ACDI/VOCA and GIZ.

In 2017 Fullwell Mill decided the best way to increase its impact in this area was to set-up a separate entity under a more suitable legal structure, under the brand Fullwell Transform.