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Fairtrade body sells itself

CAFEDIRECT, the fairtrade hot-drinks company, is launching a public share issue in the hope of raising £5 million for business growth. It will also offer producers and customers the opportunity to buy a stake in the company.

The share issue is being managed by Triodos Bank, an independent social bank that finances only enterprises designed to create social, environmental or cultural added value.

Cafédirect is one of the great successes in the fairtrade movement. Launched in 1991, the company offers a range of ground and instant coffees, tea and cocoa, which are available in most large supermarket chains in the UK. Figures from November 2003 show that retail sales have now reached £18.4 million.

The minimum number of shares that can be bought is 300, at £1 each. For details on how to invest in Cafédirect, phone 0845 600 9662 or visit www.cafedirect.co.uk.

Coffee breakthrough
A fair-trade coffee campaigner from Wales who has persuaded Westminster Abbey to revise its coffee policy is now ambitious that Wales should become the first fairtrade province in the Anglican Communion.

The campaigner, Lis Perkins, who comes from Anglesey, wrote to the Dean of Westminster, Dr Wesley Carr, to express her disappointment that there was no fairly traded coffee or tea for sale when she visited the cloister café. The Abbey has agreed to look into the possibility of stocking fairly traded tea and coffee.

Mrs Perkins says she is “very pleased”. Many people were involved in the campaign to ensure that churches used only fairtrade goods, she said. “We have passed a resolution in Bangor Synod to make Bangor a fairtrade diocese. We have contacted all the churches with a pledge form. We hope other dioceses will also aim for the fairtrade status. We could become the first fairtrade province in the Anglican Communion.”
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