Why big South African businesses are switching to Fairtrade

In 2014, over 170 000kg or a staggering 24.1 million cups of Fairtrade coffee was sold in South Africa – about 45% of which was sold through hotels, restaurants and coffee shops, while 15% was bought by South African businesses to use in their offices. Fairtrade coffee is not only chosen for its social and environmental advantages, customers like the Protea Hotel Group laud its quality too. “Fairtrade not only delivers high-quality African beans that offer 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 Danny Bryer, sales, marketing and revenue management director at Protea Hotels.

The benefits of offering Fairtrade certified products are easy to implement and ensure an ethical supply chain with social, environmental and economic benefit as acknowledged by retail giant Pick n Pay. Since 2013, Pick n Pay exclusively uses Bean There Fairtrade coffee in their head office canteen. “Pick n Pay was the first retailer in South Africa to partner with Fairtrade South Africa. Our stores stock the widest range of Fairtrade products and we are proud to be a Fairtrade at work partner, with Fairtrade coffee being used at our head office canteens,” said Andre Nel, general manager for sustainability at Pick n Pay.  

Triple Bottom Line Sustainability reporting made easy

In addition to a premium offering, Fairtrade also offers commercial value through Triple Bottom Line and sustainability reporting. Using Fairtrade certified products within a business, by serving it to your customers or within business canteens, can be cited across multiple sustainability and Triple Bottom Line frameworks and add value to the businesses over and above the traditional bottom line of profit alone. This tackles the complexity of measuring the ‘People’ and ‘Planet’ categories in a Triple Bottom Line report as it brings both a social and environmental impact to producers in developing countries and ensures an ethical supply chain.

How Fairtrade can change the smell of your business

Sustainable procurement can positively improve your company culture by showing employees that the organisation is committed to the company’s core values and ethical practices. In research conducted by the Nielsen Company in 2014, 49% of the so-called millennials, the young workforce that is entering the job market now, have expressed a preference for working for companies that invest, and support sustainability.  At the same time, CEB, a best practice insight and technology company, represented in the US, Europe, Asia, and South Africa, claims that employees who are the most committed to their jobs put in 57% more effort and are 87% less likely to resign.

Ways to engage with Fairtrade South Africa:

With the possibility of tailor-made packages for catering companies and high volume buyers, Fairtrade certified coffee suppliers cater to the needs of small to large businesses. Whether a retailer, hotel, restaurant, or any business who serves coffee in your office canteen, Fairtrade adds value to your business by helping you:

  • Achieve your own sustainability / Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) goals;
  • Gain better access to local and international markets;
  • Build a more sustainable brand image;
  • Gain a valuable partner for research and development;
  • Invest in a more sustainable future for South Africa and the region.

Get you first 1kg free

Any new wholesale customers (orders of more than 5kg) who order during the Fairtrade Coffee & Choc Week from 3-9 August 2015 will get their first kilogram free.

For more information about Fairtrade, visit www.fairtrade.org.za or contact the local office on 021 44 88 911