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Cafédirect PLC
Type Public
Founded 1991
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Key people Anne MacCaig, CEO
Geoff Tudhope, Chairman
Industry Fairtrade Beverage
Products Coffee, Tea, Cocoa
Revenue Green Arrow Up.svg£22.3 million (2007/08)

Cafédirect is a UK-based alternative trading organization. It is currently one of the largest Fairtrade hot drinks companies in the world. As well as coffee, Cafédirect has a hot beverage range that includes 100% Fairtrade tea and hot chocolate. Cafédirect works with over 260,000 coffee, tea, and cocoa growers in 40 registered Fairtrade producer organisations across 14 countries, affecting the lives of over 1.2 million people in developing countries.

Cafédirect's mission is to "change lives and build communities through inspirational, sustainable business. We focus our social and economic impact in the developing world."

Cafédirect was founded in 1991 by Oxfam, Traidcraft, Equal Exchange Trading and Twin Trading as a response to a global collapse in coffee prices. Cafédirect revolutionized the Fairtrade world by launching the movement's very first mainstream coffee brand. It was also the first Fairtrade coffee brand to carry the Fairtrade Mark in the UK and the first Fairtrade product to be sold in supermarkets such as Co-op and Safeway.

In 2007, the company's market share for hot drinks equated to 34%, 32%, and 14% respectively of the UK's Fairtrade coffee, tea, and drinking chocolate markets. In the overall market, Cafedirect is the 5th largest coffee brand and 7th largest tea brand in the UK.[1]


Producer support programmes

Cafédirect established the Gold Standard, a guarantee to pay above the world market price for coffee, and to support the development of producers. Between 2004 and 2009, Cafédirect paid more than £7.5 million above the market price to growers (including Fairtrade premiums), invested over £3 million in tailor-made programmes to strengthen growers’ businesses and which represents more than 50% of the company's profits and in total, paid more than £10.5 million towards the businesses and communities of our grower partners.[1]

In addition to paying a fair price to growers in developing countries, the company donates a percentage of its profits to producers for activities such as market information and management training. In 2007, the company invested a £600,000 in its Producer Partnership Programmes (PPP) and these investments attracted, without additional cost to the company, matched funds of £700,000, meaning growers benefited from a total investment of £1.3 million.[1]

In 2007, the organization launched amongst other things:

  • Initiated a three year public private partnership with the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) to support small farmers in analysing the threats of climate change to their specific environments and identifying viable adaptation strategies
  • Supported its 162,007 African grower partners in developing community-led and cooperative-specific environmental initiatives to increase energy efficiency and reduce deforestation
  • Worked directly with tea growers to introduce an improved pricing structure to provide additional support when market prices drop. As a result, the company increased its minimum price by 8%, and, including the Fairtrade premium, paid on average 47% over and above market prices


Cafedirect coffee shop on Regent Street, in central London
  • In 2008 and 2009 Cafédirect's products won 10 Gold Great Taste Awards from the Guild of Fine Foods.
  • Teadirect, Cafedirect's tea brand, is nominated for Best Hot Beverage in the 2008 Branded Excellence Awards
  • In a survey of 2,000 global brands Cafedirect ranks No. 1 as the most recommended brand (Source: Millward Brown, March 2007).
  • Cafedirect's Machu Picchu gourmet coffee beans were awarded a Gold Star in the 2007 Great Taste awards.
  • Cafédirect's Machu Picchu ground and wholebean coffees both won Soil Association Awards in 2008.
  • Combining taste, price, ethics, and availability, Teadirect tops the Fairtrade Tea category: New Consumer Magazine, February 2008.
  • June 2009 Anne MacCaig, Chief Executive of Cafedirect won the Triodos Bank Women in Ethical Business Awards, Ethical Business of the Year.


See also

External links



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