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World record of the World’s Largest Fairtrade Coffee Break to Finland

Finland broke the record for the World’s Largest Fairtrade Coffee Break on 21.10.2008 between 2 – 3 pm. The aim was to collect more than 50 000 participants and break the record set by Fair Trade Resource Network and Fair Trade Towns USA: 12 158 participants in the United States in May 2008. The population of Finland is merely 5.3 million people but Finland easily broke the record with 52 061 people enjoying Fairtrade products. The event was the launch and main event of Fairtrade Weeks 2008.The idea of the joint coffee break was to inform as many people as possible about Fairtrade and Fairtrade products. Consumers, communities and organisations could take part in the event in three different ways. They could organize coffee breaks, donate prizes to the campaign’s lottery and competitions, or just enjoy a cup coffee or other Fairtrade product at any participating coffee break.

The World´s Largest Fairtrade Coffee Break succeeded in bringing various sectors of society together. Stores, NGOs, restaurants, cafés, service stations, workplaces, schools, churches, Foreign Ministry, kindergardens, Parliament House and volunteers all organised Fairtrade coffee breaks of their own. Altogether, 1 096 separate coffee breaks were organised in 200 localities around the country.

Each coffee break had a Break Master who was in charge of organising the coffee break, registering to the campaign and eventually reporting the number of participants of the coffee break to Fairtrade Finland. All coffee breaks had to take place at least partially between 2 pm and 3 pm. At least one of the main products served had to be Fairtrade certified and information on Fairtrade had to be available. Fairtrade Finland released the new world record the following morning.

The new world record shows that Fairtrade is really working. “Buying a single cup of Fairtrade coffee doesn’t make a big difference but when enough people make the same choice, the impact on the lives of poor farmers in developing countries is significant,” reminded Tuulia Syvänen, the Executive Director of Fairtrade Finland. Fairtrade Finland estimated that 6 400 litres of Fairtrade coffee was consumed during the Finnish coffee break. After the event more than ten cafés and workplaces informed Fairtrade Finland that they will continue using Fairtrade coffee also in the future.

Finland is very proud of the world record and expects attempts to break the world record in other countries. The World’s Largest Fairtrade Coffee Break is a simple and fun way to inform people about Fairtrade and give them a chance to try Fairtrade products. The more Fairtrade products that are sold, the greater the benefits of Fairtrade to farmers and employees in developing countries.




Check out photos of Fairtrade coffee breaks in Finland 21.10.2008: www.reilukauppa.fi/?340


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