Ed Sladen talks quality, service and relationships – and how Sprout delivers what matters most to clients
We asked Sprout co-founder Ed Sladen about the work that led him to start Sprout Coffee, what he thinks matters…
For most of us, a cup of coffee or tea is a daily ritual. We sometimes savour it alone, or more often we connect over it with friends in cafes and colleagues in the office. But there’s another connection we like to consider at Sprout – that between the end user and the farms and workers at the beginning of the supply chain. End-to-end sustainability is fundamental to our mission and we think a brew is most satisfying when you know it supports an equitable trade system and sustainable farming practices. That’s why the tea and coffee we source and supply is only Fairtrade.
“When you buy Fairtrade, you’re putting some extras on your shopping list: gender equality, the eradication of child labour, fair prices and wages for farmers and workers, and improving the environment.” (Fairtrade.com.au)
Fairtrade is based on a partnership between producers and consumers where farmers and workers are paid fairly for their hard work so their businesses remain sustainable. It empowers them to invest in their working and living conditions and gives them the opportunity to create a brighter future for their families and communities.
But it’s not just about building and protecting income sustainability for farmers. Fairtrade is also about building and protecting the environment. As part of their certification, farmers are required to practice sustainable farming techniques that address the issues of climate change and ensure water, soil and plants are kept healthy. Fairtrade premium payments – the extra sum of money paid to producer organisations on top of the selling price – helps farmers fulfil these obligations and confront their challenges for the benefit of us all.
While it’s one thing to see how we close the loop by returning coffee grounds back to the soil with our coffee waste to compost program, it’s quite another to see first-hand the positive farming practices and benefits fair pricing brings to a community. This was the privilege of founder Steve Joy who recently visited Sprout’s tea growers in Sri Lanka. Ask Steve what Fairtrade means to the business and he’ll say, “Sustainability flows right through Sprouts operations and is built into our DNA. So connecting the dots between our customers and the Fairtrade coffee and tea suppliers at source was integral to our proposition”.
Phone us on 1300 870 151 to find out how you could be enjoying Fairtrade tea and coffee in your office.