The Starbucks challenge, where you go into Starbucks and ask for a Fairtrade coffee and then post your experience to the site, has been going a while. On the same theme, I have decided to launch the Compass challenge. This is the same in essence as the Starbucks affair but now you do the same with the Compass group.
What has driven me to this? Well a couple of recent issues. In our canteen at work there is a sign that says that Compass will not charge you any extra for Fairtrade products and yet there are no Fairtrade products for sale so it’s a bit of a hollow promise. Sheffield station is now a Compass monopoly they have three “different” brands of coffee shop selling the same product from the same type of machine. Some of these shops have a Fairtrade logo on their boards saying you can order it if you want but none of them have had any Fairtrade coffee available for at least a couple of months now. When I first started to use Sheffield station regularly I used AMT because they used to do a fine cup of coffee and also offered a Fairtrade option. Not long after that they went completely Fairtrade due to customer demand. As the refurbishment works in Sheffield started AMT asked if I would sign a petition as Midland Mainline were chucking them off the station. Shortly after they disappeared. I can only assume that Compass said they could not stand the competition and so there is no longer any choice for the coffee buyer at the station.
So go out to your workplace canteen or local station and ask for a Fairtrade product, if they look at you blankly just walk away. Go on you can do it, walk away and exercise your power. You can even note down your experience here, or blog it yourself and leave a link. The compass group website gives list of the brands they own such as Upper Crust, Millies Cookies, Tastte!, Caffe, Ritazza, and Harry Ramsden’s.Listen to this podcast