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What they do

Cafédirect is the UK’s largest 100% Fairtrade hot drinks company, selling a wide range of products that are sourced directly from growers.

It champions the work and passion of smallholder growers, delivering high quality hot drinks to improve livelihoods, whilst pioneering new better ways of doing business.

Cafédirect's vision is of a rebalanced world which celebrates business as a force for good and measures success in the shared wellbeing of the communities it touches.


Cafédirect received recognition of its work with suppliers across Latin America, Asia and Africa at the 2018 Social Enterprise awards where it won both the International Impact Award and the UK Social Enterprise of the Year Award.

The judges were impressed by the continuing impact of the business, which has handed over more than £6 million so far into farming communities abroad through its farmer-led charity Producers Direct, as well as receiving recognition for its recent rebrand and improved financial performance in 2018.


Back in 1989 there was an international coffee crisis. Prices were plummeting, and the livelihoods of smallholder growers and their communities were at risk.

In 1991 Cafédirect came about as the innovative result of four pioneering organisations (including Oxfam) and three entrepreneurial grower cooperatives, all with a desire to bypass the conventional coffee market and find a better, more personal, direct way to trade.

With little to lose, the cooperatives (from Peru, Costa Rica and Mexico) each sent a container of coffee on trust over to the UK, where it was sold through community groups and churches. The profits and the empty containers were then sent back to the growers.

Having started its business through trust and respect for its farmers, Cafédirect enjoys strong, long-term relationships with the co-operatives it buys from. Cafédirect works directly with 40 producer organisations in 14 countries across Latin America, Asia and Africa.

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