Cafés, retailers and brands join two-week, educational Fairtrade coffee campaign



Coffee brands, retailers, out-of-home outlets and contract caterers are signing up to take part in the Fairtrade Foundation’s two-week consumer coffee campaign this autumn called Finding Hannah – and there’s still time to get involved.

Confirmed campaign partners so far include Cafedirect, Starbucks, Greggs and The Co-operative, for the promotion which will run from 30 September to 13 October 2013. It will take consumers on a ‘bean to cup’ Fairtrade journey, with a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a Fairtrade coffee origin country up for grabs.

Designed to both educate and connect coffee lovers to the farming communities who grow their favourite beans, the campaign ‘journey’ will be fronted by a celebrity whose name will be revealed when the campaign goes live. The celebrity will present a series of filmed clues, accessed by a special promotional code, that will slowly reveal the country they are visiting. At the end of the two-week promotion, one lucky consumer will win the ultimate holiday prize to the exotic location. The campaign will be widely publicized and advertised in prominent public places as well as via social networks such as Facebook and twitter.

While primarily aimed at consumers, the Fairtrade Foundation is also using the campaign to encourage businesses along the whole supply chain to better understand and communicate the impact of Fairtrade to their trade customers.

The Fairtrade Foundation has produced four short business-to-business films, in which farmers themselves talk about the benefits of Fairtrade. The films are themed around the role that businesses play in choosing Fairtrade and what that means for farmers in terms of environmental, economic and social impact. Topics discussed include: investment in climate change resilience programmes; direct trading relationships with coffee buyers; access to pre-financing; environmental value of organic production; women’s empowerment projects; quality improvement and capacity building of farmer organisations. The interviews were recorded at harvest time earlier this year with five Fairtrade certified coffee co-operative’s in Central America.

The campaign will also be the first outing for The Power of You message to consumers, encouraging them to use their purchasing power to bring about positive change in the world. Fairtrade has produced generic campaign marketing materials such as posters for commercial partners with this messaging. To find out more go to

“This is an exciting campaign for consumers and businesses alike and the first time we are running a promotion just focusing on coffee,’” said Kate Lewis, the Fairtrade Foundation’s product manager for coffee.

“Last year retail sales of Fairtrade coffee were just over £192m with an estimated 14m cups of Fairtrade coffee drunk every day. Fairtrade is very much a consumer drink of choice and our aim in 2013 is to support more Fairtrade farmers and their communities than ever before by increasing sales and availability.”

Fairtrade works with more than 580,000 smallholder coffee farmers globally who grow their coffee on farms of two hectares or less. Last year, Fairtrade Premiums of approximately €28.9m (£23m) were paid to coffee farmers around the world for investment in their businesses or community development projects like clean water or education.

Coffee farmer Fatima Ismael from Soppexcca in Nicargua said without the Fairtrade minimum price and premium, small producers like her would have lost their land. She said: “For us, the most important element of Fairtrade is that it allows us to keep the possession of our land so they stay in the hands of the families of producers. At the moment we are really suffering the effects of ‘La Roya’(coffee disease), so the premium, is being invested in restoring coffee plants and productivity improvement programmes.”

Ismael also says that one of the best things about the business relationships is that Fairtrade enables producers to build with their supply chain. “Fairtrade supports the relationships between the industry and producers, so that there is communication, exchanges, and visits. This is not just for the short-term but they are long-term relationships which in our day-to-day lives make us feel like we are not alone, but instead are considered as partners, colleagues, or even brothers.”

Coffee was one of the first Fairtrade products to be launched in the UK in 1994 and next year is the Fairtrade Foundation’s and the category’s 20th birthday. Recent research by Globescan showed that it had the highest consumer recall of any Fairtrade product at 70%.