Saturday 11th May is World Fair Trade Day 2019 and as a supplier of fresh coffee yourself – whether that’s via the espresso machine in your coffee shop or from a bean-to-cup machine in your office or leisure centre – it’s a day you should be publicly celebrating. Because, apart from anything else, it’s easy for the public to become complacent about the coffee they drink and where it comes from. The only way that positive movements maintain their momentum is by continuously reiterating the message. If we want to live in a more ethical world, it’s our joint responsibility to highlight the situation. Plus, when you tell your customers that they’re drinking coffee sourced ethically, which helps support families in deprived areas, your customers get to feel good about their choices.
Yet we see very few workplaces, gyms or petrol stations with bean-to-cup coffee machines boldly stating the ethical origins of the coffee available. Why not? And, we’re sad to say, the big chains are far better at proclaiming their Fair Trade credentials than the vast majority of independent coffee shops.
Which is where the World Fair Trade Day posters will come in handy. Print them and put them up in your shop, break room or even on the side of your coffee vending machine. Of course, no marketing or awareness campaign is complete without social media activity, so use the World Fair Trade Day social media toolkit to populate your Facebook and other social feeds.
As we said earlier, it’s about more than just coffee. This year, the focus is on innovation – from empowering women to setting up businesses which create sustainable incomes, to sustainable products and foods. The hashtag being promoted is #FairTradeInnovates. To that, we’d recommend adding #WorldFairTradeDay and #Fairtrade, of course.
If you’ve kept an eye on the coffee shop marketing calendar, you may have been prepping to make a splash for the day, always held on the second Saturday in May. Some towns have organised Fair Trade fairs and fashion shows in town squares, bringing together local businesses which supply Fair Trade goods, from clothing to chocolate. Coffee shop owners have held World Café discussions, bringing together like-minded people to discuss sustainability challenges. Others have planned promotions or discounts for the day, street tastings and competitions.
Yet even proclaiming that the coffee your customers and colleagues drink from your machine is ethically sourced is a powerful message on its own. If you aren’t already, download those toolkit items and start raising customers’ expectations.