As you may have seen on our social media channels, Owens’ Luke has been out and about over the last few weeks. He has been working with Devon Development Educationduring Fairtrade Fortnight, presenting to a range of audiences to help spread the word about the benefits of Fairtrade and to raise awareness around this year’s theme, climate change action.
The presentations took audiences on the journey of the coffee beans used in our Jabulani single origin, which we import via a direct connection with the mainly female Twongerekawa Coko Cooperative in Rwanda to the Roastery here in Ivybridge. Luke demonstrated the advantages of Fairtrade by talking about this real-world example as well as exploring the associated issues of climate change and sustainability.
Proud to represent Owens Coffee at the events, Luke explained the steps that the business is taking to operate sustainably. He talked about a range of climate-friendly actions, including the use of bioplastics in our cups, the low emission Loring roaster we use, and organic coffee and why organic beans are more sustainable than regular coffee beans.
Luke, who joined Owens as a graduate in October last year, has a Chemistry degree from the University of Bath and a passion for all things coffee, both of which were put to excellent use in these presentations!
The presentations received lots of positive feedback and were well received by audiences of all ages: from residents and businesses of Totnes who joined us at the Big Brew Coffee Morning to the 300+ primary and secondary school pupils attending Fairtrade Schools Conferences in Totnes, Ivybridge and Chudleigh. Luke wanted to make his talks as interactive as possible and the audiences were given the opportunity to handle the Rwandan coffee beans as well as the hessian sacks (which are reused by Dartmoor Zoo for animal enrichment) and the Vegware cups made from plant material. There was plenty of opportunity for everyone to participate, ask questions and to go away feeling that they had an enhanced understanding about the Fairtrade, climate change and Owens Coffee.
Any apprehension Luke may have had about presenting to large audiences quickly disappeared when he saw how genuinely interested, engaged and responsive people were. This is a topic that people in Devon clearly care about. Being part of the Fairtrade conversation can only be good news for Fairtrade retailers and companies who go out of their way to look after their producers, communities, and the environment.
We’d like to say a big thank you to the team at Devon Development Education for inviting us to take part in these Fairtrade Fortnight events, and a huge ‘well done’ to Luke for all of his efforts!