Category Archives: Wycombe News

CoopeVictoria visit High Wycombe October 2019 – Part 1 of 3 – Meeting with the Mayor

Maria Angela Zamora Chaves from CoopeVictoria meets with Wycombe Mayor (Maz) and Deputy Mayor (Matt Knight)


In the Mayor’s Parlour, Old Town Hall. Weds 16th October 2019. 3.00 – 4.15pm.


Matt Knight
Maria Angela Zamora Chaves (Fairtrade Cooperative CoopeVictoria and Grecia Town)
Mike King (Wycombe Fairtrade)
Jhon Munoz (Wycombe Fairtrade)

The Discussion

After introductions Maria Angela explained the background and history of the Fairtrade
certified organic coffee and sugar producer cooperative, CoopeVictoria, as well as its
relationship with the Fairtrade town of Grecia in Costa Rica.

Maria Angela saw some similarities with the poorer areas of Grecia in her visit to
Micklefield, a disadvantaged area in Wycombe. She liked the idea of Matt’s Hills Community
Cafe in Micklefield and wanted to try and replicate this in Grecia as one of the CoopeVictoria
social projects, funded by the Fairtrade Premiums, creating a community hub with local
events and informal groups.

Maria Angela and Jhon showed the recorded 2-minute video from the Mayor of Grecia,
Mainor Molina Murillo, explaining that he could not come personally, but sent his warmest
greetings to High Wycombe. Mainor made it very clear in the video that he is very keen on
the idea of a formal relationship of friendship, cooperation, and mutual promotion with the
town of High Wycombe, especially in the areas of tourism and school education exchanges
in the future.

It was explained to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Wycombe that this video would be shown during our joint workshop at the Cardiff International Fair Trade Towns Conference on Saturday 19th October 2019, highlighting Wycombe and Grecia’s ideas of bridging the Global North – Global South Fair Trade Towns gap by forming a link and partnership. This would also benefit the respective towns’ trade, economy and businesses. CoopeVictoria had already sent “green coffee beans” to the local Wycombe Fairtrade Coffee Roaster and Wholesaler for quality testing. Following more trials it is hoped that Bewley’s UK would produce a small batch of speciality CoopeVictoria coffee for the UK market. At present, CoopeVictoria do not have a direct distributer in the UK, although 64% of their exports are to mainland Europe. Other cultural links could also be explored further down the line. School exchanges, especially those involving eco-tourism and respective English and Spanish language classes would be very valuable to both towns’ schools and secondary education.


The results of the meeting were that the Mayors of both High Wycombe and Grecia would like to work together and had formed a firm foundation to make this happen. Best wishes on both sides were extended. A more formal signed agreement of friendship, cooperation, and partnership would follow later on.

Mike King, Chairman Wycombe Fairtrade

Wycombe Fairtrade Celebrate World Fairtrade Day 2019

Saturday 11th  May – M&S Eden Store

We had a stand in the M&S Eden Store on this day.  Our idea was to let the people know about:

  • The Wycombe steering group
  • High Wycombe as a fairtrade town
  • Fairtrade in general (premium, the producers)
  • Our link with Grecia in Costa Rica)
  • M&S Fairtrade Products

The only non-food Fairtrade shop in High Wycombe is @Ruby Moon (63 Castle St). Please visit them and you can find a great variety of Fair Trade products. You can also see this video for more information about the shop. Thanks Claire for your time !

Last Saturday during the celebration of World Fair Trade day, we received a visit on our stand in M&S Eden store from Cllr Matt Knight, who was presented that day as the new Deputy Mayor of High Wycombe. We wish all the best to Matt in his new role and we are looking forward to work with him in all our campaigns in the town.

In the photo above, Matt is carrying a Coffee bag from CoopeVictoria R.L.,the Fairtrade coffee Producers from Grecia, Costa Rica. We are also looking forward to continuing to work with Grecia as a Fairtade town in Costa Rica to have links with High Wycombe, as part of the consolidation of a North-South bridge.

The town of Grecia and CoopeVictoria R.L. in Costa Rica sent us some words to us as part of the celebration and also as part of the links we have been working together in recent months

Sunday 12th May – The Pann Mill Open day in the Rye

The video below was recorded when we had a stand at this regular local event.

Presentation of the Wycombe Fairtrade Town Renewal Certificate – February 2018

An evening event was held on Thursday 22nd February 2018, for the Chairman of the Wycombe for Fairtrade Steering Group, Mike King, to present the Wycombe Fairtrade Town Renewal Certificate to the Chairman of Wycombe District Council, Cllr Suzanne Brown.

Around 30 councillors attended the event following a long meeting that did not finish until 8.45pm. I think they found the food and drink refreshed their spirits. There was a very positive atmosphere and the wooden-panelled committee room was an ideal location. It was interesting talking to some of the councillors and listening to their ideas regarding moving Fairtrade forward.

A couple of the councillors had been exploring the possibility of improving signage to reflect that High Wycombe is a Fairtrade Town in dialogue with Bucks County Council. The Steering Group had no idea this avenue was being pursued. Also, councillors took away many copies of the latest “Directory of Wycombe Town Fairtrade Outlets 2018 -2019”.

The overall impression was that it cemented the Wycombe For Fairtrade Group’s links with the Council, and that our plans for future networking with international groups and producer cooperatives received many nods of approval and favourable comments.

This evening turned out to be exactly the informal, enjoyable, celebration event that the Steering Group hoped it would be.

Meeting with PEROS Accounts Manager – Raj Junea on Weds 20th January 2016

3 Harman Terrace, Copyground Lane, High Wycombe, Bucks. 10.30 am to 11.30am.

This meeting was arranged to update respective parties with regard to developments over the last year. PEROS are the Flagship Employer for High Wycombe and a wholesale distributor of Fairtrade food, snacks and drinks, especially tea and coffee under the EROS brand.

  1. Are PEROS preferred to continue in their role as the W4FT Town’s Flagship Employer?
  2. Would Peros send a representative to the W4FT Steering Group Fairtrade Foundation Town Renewal Certificate presentation to the Chairman of WDC on Monday 29th February 2016 at BNU?
  3. Would Peros be prepared to donate boxes of Fairtrade Double Chocolate Muffins for the Foundation Town Renewal Certificate presentation, the Farrtrade Swap Shop prior to Fairtrade Fortnight, and for charitable events like the Fairtrade volleyball competition at BNU?
  4. Would PEROS assist with the W4FT and BNU SU campaign to improve the signage that Wycombe is a Fairtrade Town to increase public footfall and awareness?
    NO – Being a wholesale delivering to organisations like education establishments, councils, and companies, there is little direct public contact and thus no real advantage to this regional and national company.
  5. Would PEROS assist with a future W4FT brochure/flyer of Fairtrade retailers, caterers, and other outlets in High Wycombe.
    YES. Peros would assist with the layout and format of the final document pre-publishing.
  6. I informed Raj of the work the W4FT had done over 2015 including closer ties and liaison with the Bucks New University and Chesham Fairtrade Committees as well as expanding the sustainable and environmental links with Friends of the Earth group and attending the International Fairtrade Towns Conference held in Bristol where the theme was sustainability.

PEROS Developments over 2015 to 2016

Raj reported on the changes Peros had and were undergoing, but their commitment to Fairtrade products was a strong as ever and is a core model for their business:

  • Peros is now owned by Bewley’s, and Irish coffee roasting company based in Dublin and Yorkshire. Bewleys is the leading coffee roater in Ireland with 60% of the volume. It owns the biggest coffee shop in Europe seating over 500 people. Peros will still market its Eros brand under its own label. The name Peros, which people identify with will stay, but with the suffix – a Bewley’s company. Both are committed to Fairtrade.
  • In the US where Bewley’s operates Rebecca’s Cafés in Boston, and Java City, a coffee roasting, wholesale and cafe operation based in Sacramento, California.
  • Bewley’s have expanded their Irish foodservice operation in the UK, acquiring Darlington’s Coffee based in London and Yorkshire based Bolling Coffee, home of the Grumpy Mule brand of sustainable coffees.
  • Peros will act as the UK distributor and have their own selected beans from all over the world blended and roasted in Bewley’s roasting facility in Meltham NorthYorkshire. Bewleys have 9 Fairtrade brands, most being organic.
  • Bewley’s have over 4000 outlets in Ireland with over 50% of their coffee sustainably sourced and Fairtrade certified.
  • Peros still continue to develop direct personal contact with their growers and cooperatives.
  • Grumpy Mule brand advertising slogan – “Morals maketh the Mule”.

Among new accounts in or near Wycombe Peros have manged to capture are:
1. Patisserie Valeria – all 100 cafes in the UK will have EROS Fairtrade filter coffees, including High Wycombe during 2016.
2. Peros have a new account with the manager of the Progress Bakery, on the A404 between Terriers and Hazlemere. The company haveinstalled a coffee machine in the bakery serving the public and provide the Fairtrade tea, hotchocolate and coffee.

Bewley’s Details and Background

Bewley’s Today

From our adventurous beginnings in the nineteenth century, Bewley’s has grown to become the largest and most recognised tea and fresh coffee brand in Ireland. Over 4,000 hotels, restaurants and cafes in Ireland proudly serve Bewley’s tea and coffee and you’ll find Bewley’s teas and coffees in supermarkets and convenience stores around the country, with the result that about one out of every two fresh coffees served in Ireland is a Bewley’s coffee.

Bewley’s is at the forefront of Irish coffee culture and was the first to import Fairtrade coffee into Ireland, the first to import Cup of Excellence coffees into Ireland, the first to introduce latte art, the first to roast coffee in-store and the first Carbon Neutral coffee roastery in Ireland – no wonder we’re Ireland’s favourite coffee.

A Global Hit

But we’re not just thriving in Ireland. Bewley’s is also a global phenomenon, expanding not only in the UK and Continental Europe but also in the US where Bewley’s operates Rebecca’s Cafés in Boston, and Java City, a coffee roasting, wholesale and cafe operation based in Sacramento, California. More recently, Bewley’s have expanded their Irish foodservice operation in the UK, acquiring Darlington’s Coffee based in London and Yorkshire based Bolling Coffee, home of the Grumpy Mule brand of sustainable coffees.

Our Ethical Commitment

‘Good’ Business is Good Business

From our origins as a Quaker-owned company, we have always endeavoured to do business fairly at Bewley’s. We pioneered the introduction of Fairtrade certified coffee to Ireland in 1996 and today we are by far the largest supplier of Fairtrade coffees in Ireland. Fairtrade is the only certification that guarantees a minimum price to farmers as well as an additional premium for social development projects in their locality. Over 50% of our coffee roasted in our Northern Cross facility in Dublin is Fairtrade Certified. We source all our produce ethically and have direct partnerships with coffee growers in Nicaragua, Honduras, Brazil and Colombia.

One such direct partnership is with the Soppexcca Co-operative Farming Alliance in Nicaragua. For the past 6 years, we have been working with this progressive community of 650 coffee growers that populate the northern highlands region of Jinotega. 40% of our coffee is produced there and just last year, we signed a new $2.1 million three year Fairtrade coffee supply contract with the Co-operative. Soppexcca particularly supports the involvement of women in society and the economy so this contract will ensure that the women working at the milling plant in Jinotega can enjoy better working conditions and a brighter future for themselves and their families.

At Bewley’s we believe that all companies have a duty to act fairly in business – in a way that does not disadvantage producers, farmers and growers. The benefits are obvious – we achieve high quality for our customers, but at a fair price.

Mike King
Chairman of the Steering Committee