James made head of Oxfam Progreso coffee shops chain

Veteran Oxfam campaigner Wyndham James is to head up the charity's new chain of fair-trade coffee shops.

James has worked for Oxfam for 23 years, and began campaigning and lobbying on the charity's coastal development programme for east Africa.

He also worked on the 'Hungry for change' campaign between 1983 and 1988, and launched Oxfam Germany in 1993. Since then, he has been working on developing new fundraising methods.

He now becomes managing director of Progreso, which hopes to open three fair-trade coffee shops by the end of the year, and 20 outlets by 2007.

The world coffee price has fallen by 70 per cent since 1997, plunging many growers into a desperate financial situation. The Progreso concept was suggested to Oxfam by Honduran coffee growers at a meeting in Tegucigalpa two years ago. Progreso will pay the growers $141 per kilo bag of coffee; the price on the open market is $39.

The producers will own 25 per cent of the chain, with 25 per cent of profits held in trust for projects in the wider community. Oxfam will own the remaining 50 per cent of the business.

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