product: fair-trade hot drinks
distribution: UK, and - through the Oxfam shops and the Internet - worldwide
who: Cafédirect is a British fair-trade hot drinks company that works with 33 producer organisations in 11 countries (Caribbean, Central America, Latin America, Africa and the Indian Sub-Continent). The company guarantees fair prices for the growers’ crops according to the Gold Standard Fairtrade policy- for more than 250,000 growers around the world - and a percentage of the gross profit is put back into the producer organisations to support the development of their business. According to a list developed by the Medinge Group of the top brands with an ethical orientation , Cafédirect is one of the most ethical brands worldwide.
what: its brands are Cafédirect, Teadirect and Cocodirect, ensuring a product range for hot drinks including coffee, tea and chocolate. Regarding tea, Cafédirect has been working with the Kayonza Growers Tea Factory in southwest Uganda, 100% owned by local tea farmers, since 1998. Kayonza receives the Cafédirect minimum price for its tea and it’s up to the growers to decide through their Fairtrade Premium Committee how to spend the additional money they earn according to market prices.
So far, thanks to fair-trade premiums, one of the district’s few health units has been provided with lighting, six beds and bedding, chairs, table and cupboards to store medical supplies. Prior to this patients slept on the floor and women had to travel for days in order to give birth in a hospital setting. Similarly, all 12 primary schools in the district have benefited from the Fairtrade premiums and local roads have been repaired to save hours for commuting farmers.
the brands: Cafédirect Roast & Ground Range (7 varieties);
the Gold Standard: Cafédirect operates its own unique Gold Standard trading policy which goes beyond the basic principles laid out by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation. It is the first and only fair-trade company to run such a scheme. Like other fair-traders, it currently pays on-average three times the world price to its growers. For coffee, if market prices go above the minimum standard fair-trade price of US$1.26 per pound for arabica coffee and US$1.06 per pound for robusta coffee, Cafédirect pays an extra 10% social premium on top of the market value which goes directly to the co-operative, to be spent as per members' requirements. For tea, a premium is paid on top of the auction price and Cafédirect pays a higher premium than the standard fair-trade one.
- Cafédirect 5065 Premium instant coffee & 5065 Decaffeinated Organic Premium instant coffee (coffee beans of the highest quality are grown in the rich soils of Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean, at altitudes of up to 6,000 ft.);
- Teadirect (its blend has recently been enhanced by tea from their newest producer partner, Kiegoi in Kenya);
- Cocodirect (the only drinking chocolate in the UK that is 100% fair-trade. Cocodirect contains cocoa beans and cane sugar sourced from grower co-operatives in the Caribbean and Africa).
The Gold Standard also incorporates business partnership programmes - called Producer Support and Development (PS&D) - that are tailor made to suit each organisation. For coffee it is closely managed with a partner, Twin-Trading, through a strong network of contacts with every single one of the 22 coffee co-operatives supplying Cafédirect. The programme provides advice, market information, management training and support as well as any other element they require to expand their businesses.
Cafédirect and other fair-trade companies offer pre-finance of up to 60% of the value of the coffee or tea crop, giving stability to producers while providing them with working capital at an affordable price. In the past year the company has offered pre-finance of nearly $1.6 million to coffee producers.
where to buy: Cafédirect's full range of coffee and tea products are available from major supermarkets, independent retailers, Oxfam and Traidcraft mail order, One World Shops and independent health and wholefood stores. A Cafédirect espresso and Teadirect tea is also available in Costa coffee shops. Products are also sold in food services (e.g. university canteens, business canteens and The Eden Project cafes).