Protea Hotels going fair on coffee

Cape Town - Fairtrade coffee is fast becoming a trend in South Africa and last year shoppers bought over 120 tons of it.

This is equal to about 17m cups with an estimated value of R30m and a 167% increase from 2011.

The latest coup for Fairtrade in South Africa is the Protea Hospitality Group's switched to serving Fairtrade certified espresso coffee in its African Pride Hotels and Protea Hotels throughout South Africa.

The group serves over six million cups of coffee every year, making the switch excellent news for African coffee communities from where the group’s coffee is sourced.

“The 100% Arabica Fairtrade coffee in the special Protea Hotels blend originates in Ethiopia, Malawi and Tanzania. It supports almost 83 000 small-scale coffee growers,” said Charmaine Hardwick, Protea Hospitality Group’s group sales director.

The announcement was made on Thursday as part of Fairtrade Coffee Week, a campaign that promotes the growing availability of Fairtrade coffee in South Africa.

"Fairtrade coffee touches the lives of over 580 000 small-scale coffee farmers certified across 28 countries, 60% of whom live in Africa,” said Arianna Baldo, business manager at Fairtrade Label South Africa.

“In South Africa we enjoy high quality Fairtrade coffee, 85% of which is organic and 87% is sourced in Africa."

In 2012 68 000 tons of Fairtrade coffee was sold in the world. Germany, Canada, the UK, Sweden and The Netherlands are the main consumer markets for Fairtrade coffee.

Small-scale coffee producers receive $0,20 as a Fairtrade development premium for every pound (approximatly 0.45kg) of coffee they sell on Fairtrade terms.

A quarter of this money must be spent in improving the quality of the coffee beans, while 75% is spent in business development and community investments such as education, housing and health.

- Fin24

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