Your work cuppa

Have you tried your hardest to stack your home shelves as ethically as possible only to walk into the kitchen at work to find your cuppa choice ranges from bad to worse?

Here are a few tips (from Clint’s personal experience) on how you might help your work place make the transition to fair-trade coffee and tea.

First research

  • Who supplies your work place with coffee and tea?
  • How much does it cost?
  • How much do they buy and how often?
  • Who does the ordering, what is the process?
  • What alternatives are available?
  • Does your current supplier also sell fair trade alternatives?
  • How much extra will switching to fair-trade cost?

Clint found his company’s supplier carried 66 lines of fair-trade products and had won a sustainability award so all he had to do was get his workplace to order different brands of coffee and tea.

Getting it implemented

  • Write a proposal for your immediate boss that outlines the research you’ve done and a timetable for implementation (you can download our template from 2009 here)
  • Find a senior manager (preferably the CEO) who is passionate about these issues and can make an executive decision

Clint tried the first approach but found it was too slow so decided to give the second a go. In one conversation the CEO agreed and it was fair-trade from then on.

Get your colleagues involved

Clint organised a Fair Trade Coffee Break and had great success. He found even colleagues who were initially resistant coming on board.

Give it a try — you might find your colleagues are more open to a change than you thought.