The end of February sees the return of Fairtrade Fortnight, a worldwide campaign which focuses on protecting and securing the future of some of our most-loved food and drink – such as coffee, chocolate, bananas – as well as looking after the planet.
It’s a campaign which allows companies like Ivybridge-based roastery, Owens Coffee, to invite its community to get involved.
With its entire range certified organic by the Soil Association – and Fairtrade by the Fairtrade Foundation – Owens Coffee believes in the benefits these two organisations bring to the coffee producer and the environment.
With direct relationships with farmers, the team love working with producers they admire and respect.
During Fairtrade Fortnight on March 8th, Thérèse Nyrangwabije and Vincent Nsengiyumva of the Twongerekawa Coko Cooperative will be visiting the Owens Coffee roastery on a trip organised by Fairtrade Devon and Fairtrade South West.
This cooperative in Northern Rwanda – the source of Jabulani Coffee – is made up of a small group of mostly women. These women are celebrated community leaders: supporting them supports their communities, so it’s appropriate that their visit also coincides with International Womens’ Day.
“We are delighted to be welcoming Thérèse and Vincent to Ivybridge’s Fairtrade Celebration. The event will see discussions about re-energising the Fairtrade Ivybridge Town Group and regaining its Fairtrade status,” says Lorraine Bridden. “We are very excited about the prospect, as we too would be delighted to see it become a Fairtrade town once again.”
Locals are also encouraged to visit the Owens Coffee roastery during Fairtrade Fortnight to discover Jabulani Coffee and the rest of the incredible range. Just off the A38, the roastery features a shop and outdoor seating where customers can buy Owens Coffee to take home, and enjoy a takeaway coffee and cakes from local producers.
“By choosing Fair Trade products, you will make a huge difference not just to the taste of your morning cuppa but to the growers and the planet” says Managing Director of Owens Coffee, Lorraine Bridden.
Jabulani Coffee is sourced from the Twongereka Coko Cooperative and produced in partnership between Owens Coffee and Jabo Butera, resulting from a Diversity Business Incubator (DBI) project, which is a Business Hub for Minority Ethnicity entrepreneurs.
Owens and Jabo have a direct relationship with this cooperative, with sales of the beans supporting an initiative which connects ambassadors from the UK and Rwanda to exchange knowledge, nurture leadership and encourage positive global change.
In summer 2022, Jabo and Liz Orgill of Owens Coffee visited Rwanda and were involved in the creation of a film about how a remarkable spirit of togetherness inspires a nation and binds this coffee with a purpose.
International Women’s Day (8 March) falls during Fairtrade Fortnight, giving yet more reason to celebrate the incredible women of the Twongerekawa Coko Cooperative and their brilliant coffee beans, which are in the top 10% of quality in the world and classed as ‘speciality grade’.
To shop the full range of Fairtrade and organic coffees or for further information about Owens Coffee, please visit owenscoffee.com or call 01752 897124. Like and follow Owens Coffee on Instagram @owenscoffee_, Facebook @OwensCoffee and Twitter @OwensCoffee.