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Cafédirect, the pioneering Fairtrade company, has outshone the competition in an independent coffee taste test conducted by Which? magazine (March 2008).

To get an idea of how Fairtrade products measure up against some of the big brands, Which? asked a panel of experts to sample both and compare them for taste and value for money. The report’s results suggested consumers who avoided Fairtrade products because of concerns about quality might want to try them again.

Giles Hilton, chief taster for Whittard and a member of the Speciality Coffee Association rated Cafédirect’s Medium Roast fresh ground coffee higher than the non Fairtrade coffee for both taste and value for money.

Zachary Dominitz, Head of Corporate Affairs for Cafédirect, says, “We are delighted, but not surprised, that our coffee has beaten off the competition on taste. Growers are the heart of Cafédirect, and our direct relationships with them – and their pride in their work – guarantees we get the best possible beans, and that’s reflected in the quality of our coffee.

“In the last three years alone we've reinvested 60% of our profits directly into growers' organisations and communities, which has enabled them to build sustainable businesses and continually improve the quality of their crops. And it shows!"

The report – “How fair is Fairtrade” – has been released in time for Fairtrade Fortnight (25th Feb – 9th March).

Cafédirect’s Medium Roast fresh ground coffee is available from most major supermarkets. Expect to pay £2.49 for a 227g bag.

For further information, images or samples please contact:

Rosie Watson/Katie Coakes
FML Public Relations
Tel: 01273 834716 or E-mail rosie@fml-pr.co.uk

“Through their Producer Partnership Programme, Cafédirect has gone out of the box to show there is a lot more that can be done than just Fairtrade. The extra effort made in building farmer and management capacity in a bid to sustain supplies of tea has been received by us farmers and factory staff with appreciation. It has placed Cafédirect in a class of its own which is worthy of my respect.”
Julius Ethang'atha, Tea Grower, Michimikuru, Kenya

“When our cooperative first began working with Cafédirect over five years ago I didn’t believe there would be any change in our lives. Now I am sitting here today feeling very happy. The growers are paid better prices and receive training. Cafédirect is not like the others. I did not believe anything would change but now it is changing.” Emiliana Aligaesha, Coffee Grower, KDCU, Tanzania.

Awards

•Teadirect, Cafédirect’s tea brand, is nominated for Best Hot Beverage in the 2008 Branded Excellence Awards

•In a survey of 2,000 global brands Cafédirect ranks No. 1 as the most recommended brand (Source: Millward Brown, March 2007).

•Cafédirect’s Machu Picchu gourmet coffee beans were awarded a Gold Star in this year’s Great Taste awards.

•Combining taste, price, ethics, and availability, Teadirect tops the Fairtrade Tea category: New Consumer Magazine, February 2008

Notes on Cafédirect plc:

•Growers play a key role in every aspect of Cafédirect, from governance to product design. They own shares in the company and have 2 directors on the Board.

•Together with our grower partners, we share a passion for producing the best quality teas, coffees and drinking chocolate. Our latest is the premium Teadirect Gold, now available at Waitrose.

•Cafédirect was founded in 1991, predating Fairtrade in the UK by three years and was the first coffee brand to carry the mark. With a turnover of £22.3 million (2006/07), we are the UK’s largest 100% Fairtrade hot drinks company, the 5th largest coffee brand and 7th largest tea brand.

•Cafédirect’s work has directly improved the lives of 1.4 million people in developing countries by partnering with nearly 300,000 smallholder growers through 39 grower organisations across 13 developing countries.

•Over the last 3 years the company has invested on average 60% of profits in the businesses and communities of its grower partners.

•Supporting sustainable development, Cafédirect pioneered a minimum price for tea growers, and reward growers for quality and organic produce.

•Our range of delicious 100% Fairtrade coffees, teas, and hot chocolate is available in major supermarkets, independent retailers, Oxfam shops, Traidcraft mail order, and the Cafédirect online store, as well as thousands of food service venues, such as hospitals, universities, schools and hotels. They are also available in Ireland, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

•To learn more about Cafédirect visit www.cafedirect.co.uk.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of FML Public Relations in the following categories: Men's Interest, Women's Interest & Beauty, Environment & Nature, Food & Drink, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.