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Compass goes bananas for Fairtrade Fortnight

Compass Group UK & Ireland has a raft of activity planned in support of Fairtrade Fortnight (24 February to 9 March 2014).

News
Compass Group news team
Thursday 27 February 2014

Fairtrade Fortnight logo

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The first foodservice company to switch to 100% Fairtrade bananas in 2008, Compass is backing the Fairtrade Fortnight campaign to make banana production fair for farmers and workers across the globe.

Customers are being offered an easy and delicious opportunity to support fair trade by indulging in treats such as banana and coffee muffins and home baked banana bread. These sit alongside the many Fairtrade retail products available through the EATFAIR range, creating additional impact and awareness among customers. Compass has also teamed up with Colombian banana farmer and the face of Fairtrade Fortnight, Foncho1, to organise a special visit to Goldsmiths College in London while he tours the UK. Foncho will be raising awareness of how buying Fairtrade products benefit farmers and will also take part in a question and answer session for students.

To mark Fairtrade Fortnight last year, Compass launched EATFAIR – its own brand Fairtrade retail range of snacks and treats2. One year on, the UK’s leading foodservice provider is well on track to donate £250,000 to EATFAIR projects within three years of launching the initiative.
Its central team recently undertook a second visit to Uganda to see how EATFAIR funds are changing lives of farmers and producers3. There they met Beatrice, a member of the Gumutindo Fairtrade coffee co-operative, which EATFAIR has been helping. One EATFAIR project, ‘Send a Cow’, has benefitted Beatrice’s family – as a result she is now the event treasurer of her co-operative and is able to fund her children’s education. To raise awareness of the impact EATFAIR is having on communities around Uganda, Compass is running a “Smile and Beatrice smiles with you” campaign during Fairtrade Fortnight to encourage customers to opt for EATFAIR products and help fund more cows for the co-operative in the process. Educational materials about this initiative are available in every EATFAIR site across the UK.

Compass has also started a digital campaign to raise awareness of EATFAIR’s work with a wider audience. As well as a new website – www.eatfair.co.uk – social media activity on Twitter and Instagram aims to further engage and inform Compass’ teams, customers and clients.

Andrew Pickup, Corporate Affairs Director for Compass Group UK & Ireland, commented; “We’re long-term supporters of farmers and communities in developing countries and since launching EATFAIR we have seen first-hand how the purchase of Fairtrade products here can transform lives. We are now more determined than ever to continue developing our support for the Fairtrade Foundation by making it simple for our clients and customers to buy ethically sourced, sustainable products all year round.”

Compass Group UK & Ireland has been recognised for its industry-leading support for Fairtrade with the MIDAS Innovation in Fairtrade Award in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and 2013.

-Ends-

For more information contact:
Tara Carroll, Compass Group UK & Ireland
T: 01895 554210 / 07798566405
E: tara.carroll@compass-group.co.uk

Notes to editors:
1. Albeiro Alfonso “Foncho” Cantillo is a 44-year-old banana farmer from Colombia. His livelihood depends on his bananas and this Fairtrade Fortnight he is visiting the UK, campaigning to make banana production fair for farmers and workers across the globe.
2. Compass Group UK & Ireland launched EATFAIR in February 2013 and has introduced the range to over 1,200 outlets so far. Five pence from the sale of every EATFAIR retail product goes to dedicated EATFAIR projects, which Compass carefully selects. The first EATFAIR project focused on coffee farmers at the Semliki co-operative in Uganda. By improving the quality of their coffee, the co-operative will be able to command a price premium, which will create more sustainable incomes for the farmers and their families in the future.
3. The EATFAIR team recently visited Gumutindo, another Fairtrade coffee co-operative in Eastern Uganda where it has initiated a ‘Send a Cow’ project. This provides families with livestock and training in natural organic farming practices. The cows help the community in a number of different ways: as well as providing families with a nourishing drink, they can make additional income by selling milk and the cows’ manure is an organic fertiliser, which will improve the flavour and quality of their coffee plants.