In Other News - 16 January

In Other News - 16 January

Wetherspoon rolls out Lavazza coffee offer

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon, which introduced self-serve Lavazza machines to 100 of its premises in May last year, is set to roll out the offer across its entire estate of c1,000 pubs.

Wetherspoon, which sells 50 million cups of coffee each year and was named the UK’s leading coffee shop in terms of speed of service, food choice, value-for-money and low prices by Allegra Strategies in February 2017, launched its 99p take-away coffee and tea offer, including a free refill, to bring customers "consistent quality coffee every time".

Eddie Gershon from Wetherspoon told Coffee Business World that the introduction of the machines had proved very popular with both customers and staff, adding: "From our point of view, they allow staff to serve customers all the other drinks behind the bar, thereby avoiding queues when a coffee is ordered."

Within the pub sector, Wetherspoon is part of a growing number of operators seeking to offer a premium coffee offer. Fuller’s has its Brewer Street Coffee brand, working with Matthew Algie, while Welsh brewer SA Brains acquired its own chain of coffee shops in 2011.

Union issues wake-up call on coffee

Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development, is calling on businesses and consumers to see speciality coffee as a creator of social and economic change around the world.

As a leading craft coffee roaster, working with 43 producer partners around the world it has helped over 11,000 families through its Union Trade Direct business model.

In a press statement, it said: "Through paying farmers sustainable prices, the coffee industry enables families of coffee farming communities to prosper. Similarly, with global food supplies threatened by climate change, the coffee industry has the power to protect wild coffee genetic resources through increased education and research."    

Union Direct Trade, which was the first direct trade sourcing model in the UK, trains and educates farmers, while paying them at least 25% over the International Fairtrade minimum – and offer a great deal more to help them to transition out of dependency on mass-market commodity production and build long-term strategies. Investing in producers, Union ensures it gets the highest quality produce while supporting the livelihoods of thousands of farmers.

Steven Macatonia, co-founder of Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, said: "We are urging consumers and businesses to make a difference through their purchases. Enjoying delicious, ethically sourced coffee can drive powerful social change, improving livelihoods across some of the world’s most underserved communities."

  • Union Hand-Roasted Coffee will be exhibiting at European Coffee Expo on Stand B20, May 22-23 at London Olympia. Find out more by visiting

Coffee roasters save the day!

When the roaster at Caravan Kings Cross site ‘went down’ recently, fellow roasters Climpson & Sons and Union Hand-Roasted Coffee stepped in to save the day.  "They were amazing," revealed Caravan’s Laura Harper-Hinton. "As an industry we really do come together – there’s a lot of collaboration out there and this is a great example of helping each other out. There's almost an unwritten rule that we all have and that’s if your roaster goes down you will always get support from your fellow roasters. 

 "Ultimately we are all on the same mission to get people drinking yummy coffee."

  • Caravan is Coffee Business World’s Big IV this week.

Fentimans’ £1.2m investment

Fentimans, premium soft drinks and mixers, has invested £1.2m overhauling its brand image. Marketing director Andrew Jackson said: "This is the biggest single change to the presentation of the Fentimans brand in a generation. Building consistency across our range, in addition to improving the family look and feel was central to this project. By addressing the key visual equities, we have been able to dial up cues of modernity, quality and naturalness, while building improved saliency and relevance with a younger audience."

  • Fentimans will be exhibiting European Coffee Expo on Stand B22 on May 22-23 at London Olympia.

Starbucks to trial 5p paper cup charge

Starbucks is to trial a paper cup charge of 5p in 20-25 central London stores for three months, beginning in February. During the trial period, Starbucks says it will be "exploring the impact that a cup charge may have in changing behaviour". All the money raised by the cup charge will be donated to environmental charity and behaviour change experts, Hubbub, which will use the funds to understand how the public can be encouraged to choose reusable drink containers that are better for the environment.

Major skills shortage highlighted in new research

A major skills shortage in 2018 has been highlighted by new joint research from the University of Cambridge and digital recruitment specialists SkillSnap, with 250,000 positions needing to be filled in the café and restaurant sector this year, with a further 125,000 in bars, clubs and pubs. The crisis, they said, has been accelerated by high staff turnover and expected freedom of movement restrictions anticipated by Brexit.  

University of Cambridge researchers also found that businesses were increasingly having to ‘sell’ themselves to attract new staff. Ben Ayme, founder of SkillSnap which offers a digital solution for the recruitment process using psychometric, cultural and personality matching to "marry the right individual with the right company at the right time" said that using "ground-breaking technology to maximise efficiency" ultimately saved businesses time and money. 

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