We’re halfway through Fairtrade Week 2013, an annual campaign that hopes to inspire consumers, businesses, institutions, and organisations to recognise Africa‘s potential to be more equal and sustainable through Fairtrade.
Fairtrade is generally recognised as a food and beverage trend, for example coffee and chocolate – two extremely popular products primarily farmed in third-world countries that have difficulty to compete with developed nations, despite often producing superior products. When companies choose to invest in Fairtrade practices, both the farmers and the consumer benefit.
Motherland Coffee Company is a local business that advocates Fairtrade through their phenomenal coffees, and they’ve recently opened a second branch in Dunkeld West, Johannesburg. While the second store is smaller than the Rosebank branch, the vibe is still electric (despite City Power’s decision to turn the power off during the launch event).
“We don’t only believe in Africa’s coffee, but more importantly, we believe in its people and their potential. So from the farmers growing and washing beans on our growers’ plantations, to our baristas in-store, we know it’s people that make Africa and its coffee great. When you enjoy a Motherland Coffee, you become part of an African coffee revolution with a collective heart and soul. See how your Motherland Fairtrade Coffee helps change Africa at www.youaretherevolution.org”
And it is not just the coffee that is Fairtrade (in addition to the single-origin Arabica coffees, a selection of tea is also available); ingredients for the food is sourced from the continent, using Fairtrade practices.
Aside from great coffee and delicious coffee-shop fare, you can also get some fantastic branded merchandise, including t-shirts, The Mother Cuppa, coffee, and jewellery. And as if Cape Town doesn’t have enough of their own niche coffee shops, Motherland Coffee Company will open a MotherCity branch mid-March. I hope they think of fairly trading in Pretoria soon.
** Update: Fairtrade has become such a large aspect of the coffee industry that South Africa even has its own Fairtrade Coffee Week, which will be celebrated in July this year.