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Owens Coffee welcomes The Fairtrade Foundation to The Roastery

Tuesday, 12 December, 2023

Devon-based coffee roastery, Owens Coffee was delighted to recently welcome members of the Fairtrade Foundation, Fairtrade Devon and the community of Ivybridge to The Roastery, a visit which coincides with the opening of their new Perfect Waves Café. 

Lorraine Bridden, Managing Director of Owens Coffee, welcomed Michael Gidney, CEO of Fairtrade Foundation, Sue Errington and Alison Derrick of Fairtrade Devon, Cllr Alan Spencer, Mayor of Ivybridge, Cllr Matt Steele, Town Councillor, District Councillor and Chair of Ivybridge Chamber of Commerce and Eleanor Hoggett, a Geography teacher at Ivybridge Community College to the roastery.

Lorraine Bridden commented on the visit: “We were thrilled to recently welcome The Fairtrade Foundation’s CEO Michael Gidney and the Fairtrade Devon team to the Roastery, along with our other special guests. We are proud to say that our coffee range has been certified by the Fairtrade Foundation since 2010.
“We support Fairtrade so that we can help promote ethical and sustainable business practices, improve the quality of life for farmers and their families and contribute to the development of communities worldwide.” 

Michael Gidney’s visit was part of an exploratory two-day trip to the county to find out how the Fairtrade organisation's team and hard-working volunteers in the region have created such a success in Devon as a Fairtrade county in the UK. Michael Gidney commented on his visit to Owens Coffee: “Congratulations to everyone at Owens Coffee - you’ve created something really special and impactful. A fantastic opportunity for people to come and learn about the people behind the products - and you made a wonderful cup of Fairtrade coffee!”

Currently, there are 17 Fairtrade Communities (either confirmed or going through the application to become a Fairtrade Community) within Devon. All are supported by volunteers who are actively working with schools, colleges, councils and businesses in their areas. Ivybridge is in the process of regaining its own Fairtrade Town status, and this visit emphasised why sourcing Fairtrade coffee really matters at so many important levels. The group saw first-hand how Owens’ Fairtrade-certified coffee beans make their way from growers around the world to the cups of their customers. Over breakfast, they discussed ethical sourcing practices and Fairtrade's commitment to empowering farming communities facing pressing climate change challenges.

They talked about how Owens Coffee has collaborated with Fairtrade Devon to support the educational work they do in the county, giving them a local example to connect back to, in the form of the relationships Owens has established with their partners, coffee growers and the coffee they produce. While sampling Owens Coffee, the group spoke on the importance of conscious consumer choices and watched the highlights reel from the Jabulani documentary telling the story of this Rwandan single origin, which is roasted by Owens in collaboration with Plymouth's Diversity Business Incubator.

Michael concluded that The Roastery is an excellent facility to showcase Fairtrade efforts in Devon, and by sharing coffee farmers’ stories with customers visually, through the conversations Owens is having, and at a face-to-face level, it’s helping to meaningfully connect people to the value of Fairtrade.
Owens Coffee is proud that its dedication to transparency, quality and ethics helps to bring the power of the Fairtrade mission to life. 

The Roastery - a purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility designed to have a low environmental impact - has been home to Owens Coffee since 2018. This is where they clean-roast, package and distribute their organic and Fairtrade coffee across the UK, both to consumers and businesses. As well as the new coffee shop, The Roastery also houses a shop, contemporary training facility and events space where visitors are welcomed, with tours and tastings for wholesale customers, and professional barista training. A range of coffee experiences and masterclasses can be enjoyed by coffee enthusiasts, including their Latte Art Essentials Workshop.

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