CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF FAIRTRADE
Jill Wotherspoon, Head of Marketing
Matthew Algie introduced the UK's first Fairtrade espresso 25 years ago. In that time our Fairtrade premiums have amounted to almost £7million.
Our support for Fairtrade is part of a tried-and-tested sourcing approach that combines long-term relationship-building with investment in certifications.
This approach not only helps secure ever-better quality coffees, it also ensures that farmers receive stability and a fair price for their crop; that farms are supported in operating more sustainably; and that farming communities can flourish.
Why does this matter? Because the choices we make on behalf of over 3000 cafe customers directly affect the lives of hundreds of smallholder farmers, and the health of our planet. You should know the true value of the coffee you serve - and be proud about it!
This article highlights just some of the key issues facing producers today, and explores how we are working with Fairtrade to address them.
1. Empowering Women in Coffee
According to Fairtrade International, "around 60-80 percent of the world’s food is grown by women. Yet women often don’t own the land and see little of the profit made from it".
Fairtrade is helping to challenge the gender gap, with Standards that are designed to "prevent gender inequality, increase female participation and empower more women and girls to access the benefits of Fairtrade".
It's not just the right thing to do. Evidence shows that empowering women farmers also increases yields. Moreover, in our recent webinar on the subject, our panelists agreed that the quality of coffee often increases too.
Eduarda Cristovam, our Director of Coffee, Quality & Sustainability shared her own experiences in a recent article in the Perfect Daily Grind: "In coffee production, women often have to stay in the background, and some of them are happy to not be at the forefront. This is largely because of very traditional social and cultural attitudes in certain origin countries, and they can be difficult to change. If we want coffee production to be truly sustainable then we must prioritise gender equity.
By way of example, Eduarda explains that "women invest a great deal into their childrens’ education. In turn, children may see more of a future in coffee production for themselves. When you invest in women, you don’t just invest in them – you can have a significant influence on how a community or society develops.”
But don't take our word for it. In the two videos that follow, you will hear from our Fairtrade partners and farmers directly.
Five minute watch: How Fairtrade is helping Female Coffee Farmers in one of our Brazilian supplier cooperatives, Ascarive.
The Full webinar: Empowering Women in Coffee
Chair | Kerrina Thorogood - Commercial Partnerships Director, Fairtrade Foundation
Kerrina has over 15 years’ experience of securing and stewarding award-winning strategic partnerships in the charity sector.
As a creative and strategic thinker, she challenges businesses to think about where they are uniquely placed to have an impact in partnership.
Luzmila Loayza Feliú - Export and Logistics Manager at Frontera San Ignacio cooperative in Peru
Luzmila Loayza Feliú is a mother and a wife who has worked as Exports & Logistics Manager at Cooperativa Agraria Frontera San Ignacio since 2010. Located in the Cajamarca region of Peru, she has supported several small groups of growers, helping them to export their quality coffees themselves and in reaching new markets.
Her main interest, however, has been in supporting women growers in their efforts to gain an important role in the coffee chain.
Justine Namayanja - Senior Programme Officer at Fairtrade Africa
Justine Namayanja is an experienced community and business development practitioner. She is employed at Fairtrade Africa as a Senior Programme Officer, based in Uganda where she supports 15 Coffee Small Producer organisations. She is also the Gender Focal point for the East and Central Africa Fairtrade Network.
She has supported cooperatives with compliance to the Fairtrade Standards through trainings, guidance and communicating opportunities that enable them to grow in market access, transformation, and policy development.
Deborah Johnson, Responsible Sourcing Manager at M&S Foods
Deborah leads on human rights within the M&S ambient cluster, which includes coffee and partnership with Fairtrade. Before joining M&S in 2021, Deborah worked for a fresh produce supplier to UK retailers, working closely with growers and cooperatives to drive human rights standards within the supply chain. Prior to this, she worked for the ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative) where she led training programmes in Kenya and South Africa, and for the development policy think tank, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).
Eduarda Cristovam - Director of Coffee, Quality & Sustainability at Matthew Algie
Dr Eduarda Cristovam, Director of Coffee, Quality & Sustainability at Matthew Algie, has worked for the Glasgow-based Coffee Roaster for over 20 years. She oversees a variety of the business’ key processes, including, quality assurance, green coffee supply chain, blend development and R&D.
With has over fifteen years' experience in Sensory Analysis, and a PhD in Quality drivers in Port Wine and Espresso Coffee from the Department of Bioscience & Biotechnology at the University of Strathclyde, Eduarda is a leader in her field.
2. The Future of Coffee
In our own producer survey earlier this year we identified the top concerns of coffee producers around the world as economic and climate-related. Firstly, although coffee prices continue to trend well above the Fairtrade Minimum Price, the rising cost of production is squeezing the profitability of farms. Secondly, climate change is reducing productivity on farms and there is a growing requirement for access to more resilient varieties.
In our discussions with producers, we have also heard about the knock-on effect this all has on younger generations, who are increasingly more likely to seek out alternative career paths, putting the long term future of coffee at risk.
In our second webinar, we discuss these issues with one of out Brazilian producers and our representative form the Fairtrade network in Latin America.
Watch the full webinar: The Future of Coffee
Chair: Amy Oroko - Sustainability Manager at Matthew Algie
As Sustainability Manager, Amy is responsible for coordinating the company’s approach to sustainability in relation to sustainable sourcing, reducing the company’s environmental impact, engaging its employees, and investing in its community.
Over the last few years, she has launched Matthew Algie’s inaugural Sustainability 5 Year Plan, implemented several supply chain collaborations with coffee cooperatives and embedded a new approach to carbon footprinting.
Paulo Ferreira Junior, Coffee Expert at CLAC
Paulo Ferreira Junior is Coffee Manager at CLAC, the FAIRTRADE network in Latin America and the Caribbean, and producer of specialty coffees. Passionate about specialty coffees, Paulo works helping producers to tell their stories to the world and contribute to the development of their processes, quality and consequently their lives.
Marina Lotti - Sales Supervisor at COOPFAM
Marina works as a sales supervisor for COOPFAM in Brazil and has been at the co-operative for 4 years. COOPFAM focus on supporting women leadership and were the first co-op in Brazil to have a women president. COOPFAM were also the first co-op in Brazil to have a coffee produced by women and have a department dedicated to this.