The Fairtrade Foundation has welcomed Percol’s ‘Coffee on a Mission’ rebrand and hails its efforts to lead the industry in becoming more sustainable following renewed commitment to Fairtrade and a pioneering investment in plastic-free packaging.
In an interview with London Live on 26 November 2018, Anna Pierides – Fairtrade Foundation’s Coffee Supply Chain manager says: “Percol – one of the earliest Fairtrade champions – is committed to helping bring security to farmers and workers who have seen the global coffee price crash to unsustainable levels.
“Coffee farmers are the most vulnerable to poverty because when market prices crash their crops are worth so little they can barely survive – that’s why it is so important to choose Fairtrade and we’re delighted Percol has now increased its range of coffees that look after people and planet from the inside out.”
Fairtrade protects farmers from market crashes, by assuring a minimum price for their coffee, which is a guaranteed ‘safety net’ price to cover costs of sustainable production. On top of this, they receive an additional sum, the Fairtrade Premium to invest in whatever they need most such as schools, healthcare or protecting their farms against damage caused by climate change and plant disease.
Pierides’ London Live interview follows on from the recent news that Percol’s new range of Fairtrade and organic coffees are now packaged in plastic-free, home-compostable packaging, made from renewable resources such as plant fibres and eucalyptus wood pulp. This world first is Percol’s response to the 100 million non-recyclable coffee packs produced and used in the UK each year. The six new flavours of Fairtrade ground coffees and beans were launched exclusively in Waitrose this November.
David Brooks, Managing Director, Percol, says: “For most of us, a decent cup of coffee is a daily must. And while the modern consumer is always looking for great taste, they’re also caring more and more about the sustainability of each cup.”
According to Percol, an added benefit is that consumers can throw the packaging away with their food scraps, and – once broken down – use it as a soil improver. When put in local council food waste bins, the certified home-compostable packs break down within 12 weeks through industrial composting, or within 26 weeks when home composted.
David Brooks adds: ‘Coffee on a Mission is the biggest rebrand in our 30 year history, returning to our pioneering roots to lead the sustainable coffee conversation once again. We want to drive the business forward, and to do that we had to re-establish our core values and bring them to life in a way consumers would engage with.”
Anna Pierides added: “We should all be able to enjoy a nice cup of coffee without feeling bad, but coffee has a dark side; exploitation is rife meaning that farmers still live in poverty, unable to make ends meet and coffee production and consumption has taken a terrible toll on the environment. When we choose Fairtrade, farmers do their bit, by investing back into the land, into sustainable farming, but it is time companies stepped up their responsibilities and we congratulate Percol for driving up standards on sustainability.”
On the ground, farmers in Fairtrade communities are working hard to improve the quality of their coffee, with so many opting for organic farming (Fairtrade International’s latest annual report shows 57% of Fairtrade coffee is organic). By means of greater investment from the Fairtrade Premium – which they receive on top of sales -and relationships with more businesses, they can go further still.