Old Town coffee serves up double shot of ethics

by Catriona Conway-Mortimer

Monday, May 13th, 2019

Why Surgeons Quarter’s coffee might just be the capital’s most ethical cuppa

Edinburgh PR photo of Elizabet Nebot stood by the window of Surgeons Quarter's Cafe 1505 holding a cup and saucer ethical coffeeAN EDINBURGH eatery is inviting the city to come and try what could be the city’s most ethical cup of coffee.

Café 1505 has partnered with Equal Exchange – a cooperative promoting Fair Trade and organic production methods – to ensure that all coffee served in the café is ethically sourced.

The cooperative’s range of Grown by Women coffee served in Café 1505 recognises and supports the vital role of female farmers in Peru and Mexico – many of whom are left out of decision-making processes despite undertaking the majority of farm work.

But those who get their caffeine fix at the Old Town café are not only helping female farmers put an end to inequality, they’re also helping to improve surgical standards worldwide.

Scott Mitchell, Managing Director of Surgeons Quarter, said: “Women play a crucial role in food production chains and yet their contribution is often not recognised. We’re supporting Equal Exchange as they’re working to put that right.”

Equal Exchange aims to develop gender policies that will allow women to become cooperative members – working in areas where it is often illegal for women to own their own farmland.

It works with women at all stages of the supply chain to allow marginalised farmers to compete in competitive markets and earn a fair wage for their produce.

Scott added: “Equal Exchange’s ethos aligns directly with the ambitions of Surgeons Quarter’s as the extra income that comes from the Fairtrade premium is enabling local communities to invest in vital initiatives such as mobile health clinics.

“These days consumers can be guilty of not questioning where their food comes from but all of the produce sourced by Equal Exchange can be traced back to its roots, ensuring that farmers are fairly rewarded for their work.”

Edinburgh PR photo of worker Maria Eugenia Maldonado Ocana who works for Equal Exchange - the coffee supplier for Surgeons Quarter's Cafe 1505. She is wearing a pink shirt, has her hair tied back and is stood in front coffee plants

The majority of the world’s coffee is produced in smallholdings where farmers have no idea where their produce will end up.

Café 1505 is operated by Surgeons Quarter, the commercial arm of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd).

In addition to the ethical sourcing of products, all profits from Café 1505 go into the RCSEd Global Surgery Foundation.  The Foundation was established in 2015 at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. This was in response to growing inequalities in surgical care across the developing world. Some 5 billion people have no access to safe surgical care and the College has an important role in transforming this terrible state of affairs.

The College works with partners across Sub-Saharan Africa to improve training and development of surgeons in country. The work looks to build sustainable care in communities, investing in long term and support projects that ensure medical capacity can grow. Education and training are at the forefront of the College’s mission and they are the pillars on which sustainable change will be achieved.

Café 1505 is proud to support the amazing work of the Global Surgery Foundation, and Equal Exchange.

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Catriona Conway-Mortimer, account executive with Holyrood PR in Edinburgh, Scotland

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Catriona Conway-Mortimer is part of the award-winning PR team at Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh

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