Monday, February 25 14:23:37
Bewley's Procurement Director, Paul O'Toole has been formally appointed Honorary Consul of Nicaragua in Ireland.
The honour was bestowed in recognition of Bewley's long standing ethical trading relationship and its commitment to the sustainability of coffee producing communities in Nicaragua.
The appointment has been signed into effect by An Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore and by the President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega.
The formal Certificate of Appointment was presented to Paul O'Toole by the Ambassador of Nicaragua, Dr. Ricardo Alvarado at a ceremony in Dublin today.
The development was first proposed to Bewley's by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua, Samuel Santos Lopez who visited Ireland in April. The Minister visited President Michael D. Higgins and met Bewley's senior management.
Bewley's supports sustainable and ethical procurement from coffee producing communities through its fairtrade partnerships and other sustainable procurement mechanisms. The company pioneered the introduction of Fairtrade certified coffee to Ireland in 1996 and is today by far the largest supplier of Fairtrade coffees supplying many of Ireland's leading foodservice and retail operators with their requirements.
Today's event, which was attended by representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Irish aid organisations and the business community also marks the start of Fairtrade Fortnight which runs from 25th February - 10th March. During this time, Bewley's are asking people to "Go Further for Fairtrade" by pledging their support for fairtrade on Bewley's facebook page. For each pledge received, Bewley's will donate E1 euro directly to the Soppexcca Farmers' Co-operative of Jinotega in Nicaragua.
For the past seven years, Bewley's has been working with Soppexcca, a progressive community of 650 coffee growers in the northern highlands region of Jinotega. One third of Bewley's coffee is produced in Nicaragua. In the past three years, the company has also awarded supply contracts worth more than E2.5 million to the Co-operative. In 2010, Irish consumers raised over $10,000 dollars by pledging their support for Fairtrade with Bewley's, which was used to build facilities to ensure that women working at the milling plant in Jinotega could enjoy better working conditions and a brighter future for themselves and their families.
Speaking at today's event, Nicaraguan Ambassador, Dr. Ricardo Alvarado said "In Nicaragua, we are committed to supporting strong trading partnerships between our countries, and I am delighted to bestow this Honorary Consulate on Paul O'Toole in recognition of the long term, sustainable and ethical relationships that he has established between Bewley's and coffee producing communities in my country. Bewley's trading partnership with Nicaragua, and the many benefits enjoyed by local communities as a result, illustrate what can be achieved when businesses choose to build direct relationships with primary producers in developing countries."