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Fairtrade Coffee Company Branches Out Into Tourism

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Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation (CPF), the charity arm of the well-known Fairtrade coffee brand, has partnered with Sumak Travel, a UK based social enterprise that specialises in ecotourism, to launch a range of Fair Trade Adventures in Colombia, Costa Rica and Peru. Four new small group tours will give travellers a rare opportunity to meet farmers and artisans behind popular fair trade products such as coffee, chocolate and handicrafts, while also visiting some of Latin America’s most iconic sights and natural wonders.

“As one of the best-loved fair trade brands, many people will already be familiar with Cafédirect. But now, for the first time, they will have the opportunity to meet some of the coffee and cocoa growing communities behind the brand,” said Felipe Zalamea, Director at Sumak Travel. “Homestays, and opportunities to get hands-on with everything from fishing for their own lunch to mixing Peru’s infamous Pisco sours, mean that travellers will really immerse themselves in the local culture and feel like a special guest of their host community, rather than a tourist.”

The Fair Trade Adventure to Peru (12 days, £2,055pp excl. international flights, departs Apr 22, 2016) journeys from the culinary capital of Lima to the majestic mountain citadel of Machu Picchu, explores the vibrant markets and ancient Quechua traditions in the Sacred Valley, and sails to the islands on Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake. Travellers can learn about ‘bean to cup’ organic coffee production while staying on a fair trade coffee plantation, participate in ceramic and weaving workshops, and share home-cooked meals with local host families.

On the Fair Trade Adventure to Costa Rica (12 days, £1,595pp excl. flights, departs May 14 2016), there is a unique opportunity to sail the Yorkin River in an indigenous canoe and get acquainted with the indigenous Bribri tribe. Travellers will visit an organic cocoa cooperative on the Caribbean coast to learn how chocolate is produced, tour a coffee farm, make local cheese and typical Costa Rican snacks, hike nature trails and swim in waterfalls, learn to make handicrafts from petals and other natural debris, and catch their own lunch on a fishing trip.

Travellers can experience Bogota’s world famous ciclovia on the Fair Trade Adventure to Colombia (12 days, £1,680pp excl. international flights, departs Aug 20, 2016). They can also visit the world’s largest ceramic workshop, learn how coffee is harvested and roasted, hike colonial trading routes, and saddle up for some horseback riding. Uniquely local activities include sheep shearing and spinning wool, learning traditional home-building techniques, and a visit to a fair trade seed jewellery workshop. For the more adventurous, optional activities include white-water rafting and paragliding over the Chicamocha Canyon.

The Fair Trade Adventure of Northern Peru (14 days, £2,235pp excl. international flights, departs Sept 16, 2016) journeys through mountain valleys and rainforest to meet native communities who produce colourful textiles, handicrafts and silverware. Travellers will make ceviche and Pisco sours during a cookery class, take a coffee adventure through the Perene Valley, visit a Witches Market that sells herbs and potions used by shaman, visit impressive pre-Incan sites, cut cocoa pods from the tree, and taste some of the best chocolate in the world.

“For us responsible travel isn’t just about minimising the negative impacts of tourism, it’s about creating rewarding travel experiences that have a positive impact for local people and the environment,” said Sumak Travel’s Zalamea. “As well as creating unforgettable trips for our customers, we’ve designed the Fair Trade Adventures to be small-scale and low impact, so that the farmers, artisans, indigenous peoples, social entrepreneurs and others who act as our hosts, can continue to enjoy their traditional way of life while earning a complementary income.”

Alex Sowter, Creative Enterprise Manager at the Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation, said: “We are really excited about partnering with Sumak Travel to launch Fair Trade Adventures. They share our strong commitment to ethical and sustainable business practices, which empower and protect local communities.” John Steel, CEO of Cafédirect, added:In our desire to directly connect citizens across the world, we are very excited to be part of an initiative that can do just that.”

The maximum group size on all Fair Trade Adventures is 10 passengers. The price includes accommodation in locally-run boutique hotels or homestays, internal flights and ground transportation, English-speaking guides, and a range of fair trade and other activities and excursions, with 10% of the price directly supporting CPF’s work with farmers. Sumak can also arrange international flights and provide optional add-ons before or after tours, such as the Lost City Hike in Colombia or Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica.

For more information about Fair Trade Adventures, download the brochure, visit the CPF website or to book contact: fairtrade@sumak-travel.org or 020 36424246.

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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