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: [email protected] or 020 36424246.