Costa Coffee Hosts National 'Foundation Day' To Encourage Ethical Coffee Consumption

June 12, 2008 // // Recent YouGov research commissioned by Costa Coffee, the UK's largest and fastest growing coffee chain, has revealed that 80 per cent of people in the UK now want the option of purchasing ethical coffee from their regular high street outlets. And surprisingly, Brits are also willing to pay an average of 14p more per cup to ensure their coffee is ethical. But despite consumers' willingness to pay more, Costa will not be charging any extra for an ethical cup of coffee.

This Saturday 14 June, Costa will host its inaugural Foundation Day, an exciting initiative whereby all profits generated throughout its 700 UK stores on that day will be donated directly to the Costa Foundation to invest back into coffee growing communities.

Costa Coffee Marketing Director and Costa Foundation Trustee, David Hutchinson says,

"Costa is urging all coffee drinkers to simply purchase their regular cup of coffee at any UK Costa store on 14 June. The money raised will help the Costa Foundation build five schools across Costa Rica, Colombia, Guatemala and Ethiopia. By hosting Foundation Day, Costa is making it easy for customers to make a contribution to the education of hundreds of children."

Other interesting research findings include:

  • 56% of people would be more likely to choose a particular high street coffee shop if it offered ethical coffee.

  • 39% of people would prefer coffee shops to offer ethical coffee as the default, with a choice to purchase non-ethical coffee (this compares to 32% of people preferring non-ethical coffee as the default).

  • 35% of people are more likely to visit Costa Coffee after being made aware of the Costa Foundation.

David continues,

"Our research has shown that ethical purchasing is important to our consumers. Our first ever Foundation Day will highlight Costa's ongoing commitment to coffee growing communities. Coffee farmers have specifically told us that educating their children is the best long-term solution to support the growth of their communities, and we are proud of the programme that we have developed to help them."

The Costa Foundation, a registered charity set up in 2006, focuses on providing education to children in coffee growing regions and building schools. Since it began, Costa has improved sanitation, developed land for families to grow crops, built teacher accommodation and built four schools in Colombia, Uganda and Ethiopia.

Costa also recently announced a partnership with the Rainforest Alliance, making it the first UK coffee shop chain to commit to sourcing Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee. The Rainforest Alliance programme helps farms to achieve efficient farm management, cost savings and increased production and coffee quality through improving worker housing, reducing pesticide use, improving worker safety, and access to clean water, education and medical care.

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About Costa:

Costa is now officially the largest and fastest growing coffee shop chain in the UK. It opened its 1000th milestone store in March 2008 in Moscow.

In 2007/08, Costa reported turnover up 23.5% to £216.3 million, like for like sales up by 6.5% and profits of £20.8 million up 16.9%.

Costa was founded by Italian brothers Sergio and Bruno Costa in 1971. With over 700 stores in the UK and over 300 internationally, Costa has enjoyed a remarkable period of growth since it opened its first store. It now operates in 22 countries.

Costa Coffee will be the first UK coffee shop chain to commit to sourcing Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee.

Costa's in-store baristas are all coached in the art of coffee making at the company's unique Costa Coffee Academy based at its own roastery in Lambeth, London.

Costa has won the British Sandwich Association's award for Best Coffee Bar Retailer 2008.

Costa has been voted as one of the strongest UK brands by experts and consumers and has been awarded 'Superbrand' status

Costa set up a registered charity (no.327489) in 2006 called 'The Costa Foundation' to give something back to the communities within the countries from which Costa sources its coffee beans.

Costa is part of the Whitbread family of brands.

About Whitbread:

Whitbread PLC is the UK's largest hotel and restaurant group, managing market leading businesses in the budget hotels and restaurant sectors, including Premier Inn, Brewers Fayre, Beefeater and Costa Coffee.

Whitbread's strategy is to create value for our shareholders by focusing investment and growing in expanding sectors, primarily in the UK but also in selected overseas markets.


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Costa is the UK's favourite coffee shop, having been awarded "Best Branded Coffee Shop Chain in the UK and Ireland" by Allegra Strategies for five years running (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 & November 2014).


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