Nescafe release fair trade coffee
Nestlé is today launching NESCAFE Partners’ Blend, a new coffee carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark, the independent consumer label operated by the Fairtrade Foundation. This is the first Nestlé product to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark - which means the coffee has been bought from democratic smallholder organisations certified to supply the international Fairtrade market, and traded according to agreed Fairtrade standards including payment of the Fairtrade price.
The coffee in the blend comes from five cooperatives of small farmers in El Salvador and Ethiopia who, like many smallholders supplying the world coffee market, have experienced real hardship because of price volatility and the severe slump of recent years.
“This is a turning point for us and for the coffee growers,” says Harriet Lamb, Director of the Fairtrade Foundation. “It’s also a turning point for the many people who support Fairtrade and have been pressing the major companies to offer Fairtrade coffees. This just shows what we, the public, can achieve. Here is a major multinational listening to people and giving them what they want – a Fairtrade product.”
Consumer confidence in the FAIRTRADE Mark grows and grows. The most recent MORI poll shows one in two adults say they recognize the green, blue and black Fairtrade logo with the accompanying text ‘Guarantees a better deal for Third World producers’. And four out of five of them say that the independent guarantee of a fair deal for growers in developing countries is important to them.
“This new instant coffee is another breakthrough to add to the long line of achievements which have taken Fairtrade from strength to strength, and throws the challenge to other major coffee companies not yet doing Fairtrade, ” continues Harriet Lamb.
The first three Fairtrade products reached shop shelves in 1994 and by 2003 there were around 150 products. Now there are over 1,000 catering and retail products from 150 companies in a growing range of products which include coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa, sugar, bananas and other fresh fruit, juices, honey, cakes and snacks, preserves, nuts and nut oil, wine, roses and footballs. Interest in Fairtrade has spread primarily through word-of-mouth with consumer campaigns lobbying shops, businesses and companies to engage with Fairtrade.
“With this product Nestlé are recognising the value of the unique Fairtrade system with standards including the guaranteed minimum price for marginalized, small-scale coffee farmers, and the importance of independent verification of these standards so that consumers know what they are buying,” says Harriet Lamb, Director of the Fairtrade Foundation. “Only by looking for the FAIRTRADE Mark on products can consumers be sure that they genuinely offer a better deal for producers”.
Fairtrade is based upon a clear set of rules to ensure trade creates the basis for sustainable development. This includes affirmative action in favour of marginalised small farmers and workers of the developing world; democratic organisation of the producers; paying the guaranteed minimum price as well as an additional premium which the community can use for business or social development projects, or to diversify into other crops and animal husbandry.
“We have been working hard to obtain good prices for our coffee, so that we can support our families and have a basic, decent quality of life,” says Jose Lisandro Reyes of Siglo XXI Cooperative in El Salvador. “With the Fairtrade Certification we can finally do that”.
Initiatives like MakePovertyHistory and Live8 have made an increasing number of people in the UK conscious of the huge imbalances in the world and they have demonstrated their concern by attending concerts and rallies this summer. When asked, many see buying products with the FAIRTRADE Mark as one of the easiest things they can do to bring about positive change. They like the idea that some of the world’s poorest people can make poverty history for themselves and their families by trading their way out of poverty.
But there is a need to develop new Fairtrade products so that increasing numbers of farmers can benefit from the Fairtrade system. The public have expressed their preference for Fairtrade, and companies should respond by providing them with a greater range of Fairtrade goods so that their purchasing choices can match their preference.
The Fairtrade Foundation expects NESCAFE Partners’ Blend to appeal to a new wave of people who may not have bought Fairtrade products before.
Photographs and profiles of producers available on request.
For further information or to arrange an interview with Harriet Lamb, Director of the Fairtrade Foundation, please phone 020 7440 7686/020 7440 7695 or mobile 07770 957451 or email firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
For information from Nestlé UK Ltd, please phone Jayne Bassham, Chief Press Officer, telephone 020 8667 5893
25 million coffee producers around the world depend on coffee for their livelihood.
The MORI poll conducted in April 2005 showed the highest recognition of the FAIRTRADE Mark in the UK is among the 25-34 age group.
UK sales of products with the FAIRTRADE Mark reached £140m in 2004, and have been growing rapidly for the past five years by around 40% year-on-year.
4% of UK instant coffee and 18% of roast and ground coffee is Fairtrade.
The member organizations of the Fairtrade Foundation are Banana Link, CAFOD, Christian Aid, the Methodist Relief & Development Fund, the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, the Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign, Oxfam, People & Planet, SCIAF, Shared Interest Foundation, Traidcraft Exchange, the United Reform Church and the World Development Movement. Elected representatives of these organisations sit on the Fairtrade Foundation’s Board of Trustees, and were consulted as part of the planning for the launch of this product.
Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO) has members, and therefore markets for Fairtrade products, in 20 countries including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. Overall international sales of Fairtrade products increased by 40 percent between 2003 and 2004.
Globally, Fairtrade is now benefiting nearly 5 million people - farmers, workers and their families – in 58 developing countries.
The Fairtrade Foundation is a member of the MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY campaign which brings together a wide cross section of over 500 organisations - charities, campaigns, trade unions, faith groups and celebrities - set up to press the government for global change on trade, aid and debt.
For latest news, events and product information visit http://www.fairtrade.org.uk
The Fairtrade Foundation
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Switchboard: +44 (0)20 7405 5942
Fax: +44 (0)20 7405 5943
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