SA's largest hotel group opts for Fair Trade Coffee

2013-06-25 09:18
Cape Town - The estimated 6 million cups of coffee served per year at Protea hotels across South Africa will now create employment, support small-scale farmers, uplift communities and be ecologically responsible.

The Protea Hospitality Group released a statement confirming its switch to serving Fairtrade Certified Espresso Coffee, Lavazza Tierra Rain Forest Alliance Espresso Coffee and Relationship Filter Coffee in its respective African Pride Hotels and Protea Hotels in South Africa.

"The move to building sustainable national and international coffee communities as a coffee strategy by investing in STAFF development through trained baristas and using the different certified coffees is a natural progression after the company’s decision last year to switch from supplying plastic bottled water to filtered water in reusable glass containers in its conferencing venues," Said company CEO Arthur Gillis.

“Fairtrade is an initiative that dovetails very well with the objectives of Protea Hotels and African Pride Hotels.

”It not only supports high-quality African beans that deliver a phenomenal in-cup taste experience, but also supports the ideals that everyone deserves a fair wage and the ability to support their families and communities,” says Gillis.

Coffee is one of the fastest growing Fairtrade products in South Africa and the market is worth an estimated R30 million, or 120 tons of coffee annually. The Protea Hospitality Group is the first hotel company in South Africa to be switching to Triple-Certified Coffee.  Fairtrade actively tackles poverty and empowers small-scale farmers and workers by ensuring better trading, working and living conditions. It also provides an additional income for community development projects and supports sustainable production and protection of the environment.

“Fairtrade certifies a wide variety of agricultural commodities; yet coffee is our flagship product with over 580 thousand small-scale coffee farmers certified across 28 countries  60% of them live in Africa, 30% in Latin America and 10% in Asia,” says Arianna Baldo, Business Manager at Fairtrade Label South Africa.

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