You don’t need me to tell you that coffee is big business in the UK. Whilst the British may be known the world over as tea drinkers, coffee is where the real money is. In the UK we drink upwards of 70 million cups of coffee a day, spending an estimated £6 billion a year to satisfy our caffeine cravings.
But often, only a tiny percentage of the cost of a cup of coffee finds its way to the country where the beans were grown – more than 90% stays with retailers in rich countries. So whilst coffee may be big business for big companies, the profits rarely trickle down to the local farmers in the two-thirds world.
The Fairtrade Foundation was set up to help put a stop to this imbalance and several years ago ChristChurch made the decision to make sure that all of the coffee, tea and sugar we use during our Sunday services are Fairtrade, so that we know the people who grow the things we consume have been justly treated.
This year we have gone one step further by switching our coffee supplier to Old Spike Roastery, a coffee shop with a difference.
Old Spike have a direct relationship with the people who grow their beans (this month’s coffee comes from the family farm of Jesus Maria Guluma in Colombia), meaning that we can be sure of their working conditions.
They also grind and roast their beans to order in their shop in Peckham, meaning that the coffee we use is as fresh as possible.
And the thing that really makes them stand out is that Old Spike is a not-for-profit social enterprise; set up exclusively to tackle homelessness by providing local homeless people with expert training and then a job that pays the London Living Wage. Added to that, Old Spike provides their employees with accommodation, a bank account and clinical psychological support – what they like to call ‘full-life intervention’.
So the next time you pour yourself a hot cup of coffee at one of our Sunday services, you can be sure that the coffee you are drinking not only tastes good, but does good too.
To order your own freshly ground coffee or to find out more about Old Spike, click here. For more information about Change Please, Old Spike’s daughter company, click here. To learn more about how to support Fairtrade, click here.