Market Reports

Fair Trade coffee tourism

A UK-based social enterprise that specialises in Latin American ecotourism has partnered with well-known Fairtrade coffee brand Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation (CPF), to launch a range of Fair Trade Adventures in Colombia, Costa Rica, and Peru. Four different tours will give travellers the opportunity to meet farmers and artisans behind popular fair trade products such as coffee, chocolate, and handicrafts, while also visiting some of Latin America’s most iconic sights. “As one of the best-loved fair trade brands, many people will already be familiar with Cafédirect. But now, for the first time, they will have the opportunity to meet some of the coffee and cocoa growing communities behind the brand,” says Felipe Zalamea, Director at Sumak Travel. “Homestays, and opportunities to get hands-on with everything from fishing for their own lunch to mixing Peru’s infamous Pisco sours, mean that travellers will really immerse themselves in the local culture and feel like a special guest of their host community, rather than a tourist.” The Fair Trade Adventure to Peru journeys from the culinary capital of Lima to the majestic mountain citadel of Machu Picchu, explores the vibrant markets and ancient Quechua traditions in the Sacred Valley, and sails to the islands on Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake. Travellers can learn about “bean to cup” organic coffee production while staying on a fair trade coffee plantation, participate in ceramic and weaving workshops, and share home-cooked meals with local host families. On the Fair Trade Adventure to Costa Rica, the group sails the Yorkin River and gets acquainted with the Indigenous Bribri tribe. Travellers tour a coffee farm, make local cheese and typical Costa Rican snacks, hike nature trails and swim in waterfalls, learn to make handicrafts from petals and other natural debris, and catch their own lunch on a fishing trip. “For us, responsible travel isn’t just about minimising the negative impacts of tourism, it’s about creating rewarding travel experiences that have a positive impact for local people and the environment,” says Zalamea. “As well as creating unforgettable trips for our customers, we’ve designed the Fair Trade Adventures to be small-scale and low impact, so that the farmers, artisans, Indigenous peoples, social entrepreneurs and others who act as our hosts, can continue to enjoy their traditional way of life while earning a complementary income.” On the Fair Trade Adventure to Colombia, travellers can experience Bogota’s world famous ciclovia. They can also visit the world’s largest ceramic workshop, learn how coffee is harvested and roasted, hike colonial trading routes, and saddle up for some horseback riding. Uniquely local activities include sheep shearing and spinning wool, learning traditional home-building techniques, and a visit to a fair trade seed jewellery workshop. The Fair Trade Adventure of Northern Peru journeys through mountain valleys and rainforest to meet native communities who produce colourful textiles, handicrafts and silverware. Travellers will make ceviche and Pisco sours during a cookery class, take a coffee adventure through the Perene Valley, visit a Witches Market that sells herbs and potions used by shaman, visit impressive pre-Incan sites, cut cocoa pods from the tree, and taste some of the best chocolate in the world. Alex Sowter, Creative Enterprise Manager at the Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation, says: “We are really excited about partnering with Sumak Travel to launch Fair Trade Adventures. They share our strong commitment to ethical and sustainable business practices, which empower and protect local communities.” 

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