Business Charity Awards: Community Impact - Taylors of Harrogate, Marks & Spencer and Matthew Algie with Twin

For a business that has provided vital support to a charitable project in a specific locality

What is the background?

The non-governmental organisation Twin focuses on development through trade and works with 400,000 farmers in 17 countries. After coffee leaf rust affected up to 80 per cent of crops in 2015, it brought together the coffee roaster firms Matthew Algie and Taylors of Harrogate and the high-street retailer Marks & Spencer with coffee farmers from two cooperatives in Peru to discuss ways to increase the resilience of coffee farming.

What is the project?

The project focused on gender, sustainable agriculture and youth engagement, training local champions who went on to train and motivate their peers. Workshops introduced young people to potential new careers and grants were made available for them to start businesses, such as beekeeping. The programme also invested in committees that bring female farmers together to support each other and produce their own coffee.

Marks & Spencer, Taylors of Harrogate and Matthew Algie contributed to the project financially, and staff made multiple visits to the cooperatives. They shared stories on social media and through internal communications to highlight the importance of sustainability. Taylors bought coffee grown by women at a premium and promoted the project while marketing the coffee.

What has it achieved?

Average yields increased by 56 per cent, 26 farmer field schools were established and 1,856 farmers were trained in sustainable agriculture.

What did the judges say?

"A brilliant partnership showing great teamwork, demonstrating the power of coming together to achieve good things," said Nicola Bott, head of partnership development at Teenage Cancer Trust.

Highly commended

Deloitte with Depaul UK

Finalists

Coca-Cola European Partners with UK Youth

Royal Mail with Action for Children

UBS with the Bridge Academy

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