Leading businesses become 'Workplaces of Worldchangers'
With Responsible Business Week taking place later this month (20 – 26 April), Fairtrade is encouraging businesses across the UK to follow in the footsteps of Virgin Money Store & Lounges and AXA PPP Healthcare, who have shown their commitment to Fairtrade by signing up to the new ‘Workplace of World Changers’ scheme.
Thousands of workplaces across the UK already offer Fairtrade produce to their staff and visitors, which they either purchase directly from workplace suppliers and wholesalers, or source through a wide range of catering firms such as Aramark, Baxter Storey, CH & Co, Compass Group UK and Ireland, Eden Foodservice, Elior and Sodexo. Businesses can find a comprehensive list of suppliers in the National Fairtrade Purchasing Guide, which is available on the Fairtrade Foundation website.
Fairtrade ensures that more than 1.5 million farmers and workers in developing countries, who grow produce such as tea, coffee and sugar, get a fair price and the Fairtrade Premium, an extra amount that they can invest in their farms and their communities, for example to build health clinics, provide access to clean water, or send their children to school.
Now, by signing up to the new ‘Workplace of Worldchangers’ scheme, businesses can access a range of Fairtrade resources to celebrate and promote their commitment to staff, customers and visitors, including posters and a certificate that they can display on their premises. An impact calculator on the Fairtrade Foundation’s website enables workplaces to see how their commitment to Fairtrade tea, coffee and sugar makes a difference, based on their number of employees.
James Bennett, Head of Brand and Out of Home Accounts at Fairtrade Foundation, said: “It’s no secret that many of us rely on tea and coffee to get us through the working day, but when you offer Fairtrade in your workplace you’re not just helping your staff to load up on caffeine, you’re also helping to change lives. We want to celebrate those commitments, and help businesses to engage and motivate their staff, by showing the difference they can make when they choose Fairtrade.”
Stuart Miller, Virgin Money’s Director of Stores and Lounges said: “Virgin Money takes its social responsibilities very seriously and all of our Stores and Lounges use Fairtrade products. By doing so the benefits are clear – we are investing in businesses and communities around the world. It’s a great fit with our ‘everyone’s better off’ ethos. Every time a customer pops into a Virgin Money Lounge and enjoys a cup of tea, they are also helping to make a difference to people’s lives around the world.”
Describing why her company offers Fairtrade in the workplace, Katie Randall, Environmental Manager at AXA PPP Healthcare, said: "We are very proud of not only our environmental commitment but our ethical commitment too. By supporting Fairtrade and stocking the products in all our drinks machines, we know we are having a positive impact on the farmers and workers and that feels good!"
For more information or images please contact Nicola Frame, Media & PR Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7440 8597/ 07766 504947.
Notes to Editors
The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent certification body which licenses the use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products which meet international Fairtrade standards. This independent consumer label appears on products to show that disadvantaged producers are getting a better deal from trade. Today, more than 1.5 million people – farmers and workers – across more than 74 developing countries benefit from the international Fairtrade system.
Over 5,000 products have been licensed to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark in the UK including coffee, tea, herbal teas, chocolate, cocoa, sugar, bananas, grapes, pineapples, mangoes, avocados, apples, pears, plums, grapefruit, lemons, oranges, satsumas, clementines, mandarins, lychees, dried fruit, juices, smoothies, biscuits, cakes & snacks, honey, jams & preserves, chutney, rice, quinoa, herbs & spices, seeds, nuts, wines, ales, rum, confectionery, muesli, cereal bars, ice-cream, flowers, sports balls, sugar body scrub and cotton products including clothing, homeware, cotton wool, olive oil, gold, silver and platinum.
Awareness of the FAIRTRADE Mark continued to be high in 2014, at a level of 78%.