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TMCNet:  CAFEDIRECT: Onward and upward: Increased profitability and social 
impact, new chief executive for CAFeDIRECT; Strong Numbers in a 
Challenging Year

[February 05, 2008]

CAFEDIRECT: Onward and upward: Increased profitability and social impact, new chief executive for CAFeDIRECT; Strong Numbers in a Challenging Year

(M2 PressWIRE Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)
RDATE:05022008

Cafedirect plc, the UK's largest and longest running Fairtrade hot
drinks company, today announced pre-tax profits for the year ended 30th
September 2007 of GBP705,000. These rose from GBP48,000 in 2006. The
company's performance was buoyed by its best year ever in the
out-of-home sector (restaurants, cafes, businesses, venues), which at
GBP4.6 million grew by 33% compared with 2006 and now represents over
20% of the company's total revenues.

Total turnover grew 3% to GBP22.3 million for the financial year ended
30th September 2007. In the retail sector, although Cafedirect's sales
slowed 4% to GBP17.0 million, distribution reached an all-time high,
and the company's market share for hot drinks equates to 34%, 32%, and
14% respectively of the UK's Fairtrade coffee, tea, and drinking
chocolate markets. The company also fortified its position for the year
ahead, increasing its net cash balance by GBP1.3 million to GBP3.1
million.

Financial returns are only a part of Cafedirect's impact. The company
works directly with 39 grower organisations across 13 developing
countries, directly benefiting the lives of 1.4 million people. This
year the amount paid to coffee, tea, and cocoa growers over and above
the market price totalled nearly GBP1 million, bringing the total for
the past three years to more than GBP4.3 million. Additionally in 2007,
and unique to Cafedirect, the company invested a further GBP0.6 million
in its Producer Partnership Programmes (PPP) and these investments
attracted, without additional cost to the company, matched funds of
GBP0.7 million, meaning growers benefited from a total investment of
GBP1.3 million.

Above and Beyond ? the Power of Partnership

Cafedirect PPP programmes are aimed at strengthening the grower
organisations, widening their influence, and making them more
sustainable in the longer term. The breadth and depth of these bespoke
programmes extend well beyond the scope covered by Fairtrade premiums,
including mitigating the effects of climate change and supporting
business and quality development. In 2007, Cafedirect, amongst other
things:

-- Initiated a three year public private partnership with the German
Technical Cooperation (GTZ) to support small farmers in analysing the
threats of climate change to their specific environments and
identifying viable adaptation strategies

-- Supported its 162,007 African grower partners in developing
community-led and cooperative-specific environmental initiatives to
increase energy efficiency and reduce deforestation

-- Worked directly with tea growers to introduce an improved pricing
structure to provide additional support when market prices drop. As a
result, the company increased its minimum price by 8%, and, including
the Fairtrade premium, paid on average 47% over and above market prices

This groundbreaking business model means that working directly with
farmers, Cafedirect receives the pick of the crop. This quality is
reflected in Cafedirect's status as the Most Recommended Brand in the
UK and its awards for quality and taste. In a survey by Millward Brown,
March 2007

A Change at the Top

The company also announced Penny Newman will be stepping down as Chief
Executive on 10 March 2008. Ms. Newman, who has been CEO for nearly a
decade and has spearheaded Cafedirect's pioneering business model, was
awarded an OBE in January's New Year's Honours for her services to
ethical business. In her time Cafedirect has grown from a niche
category to the 6th largest coffee brand and 7th largest tea brand in
the UK.

"Penny's service to Cafedirect has been invaluable, and her leadership
has been instrumental in our success," said Krishna Gopala, Chairman of
Cafedirect. "Thanks to Penny's passion and drive our foundation is
solid and we are well positioned for further growth."

Anne MacCaig will take the helm as Chief Executive effective 11 March
2008. Ms. MacCaig's 20 years of FMCG experience includes Persil, Dove
and as Marketing Director has led the strategic turnaround of Ribena,
including the "95% of Britain's Blackcurrants Make it Campaign". This
has included working in partnership with UK blackcurrant growers and
The Wildlife Trusts.

"Anne has a passion for growing brands, and her desire to positively
impact the world and her history of supporting farmers makes her skill
set and experience complementary to the ethos and business needs of
Cafedirect," Mr. Gopala said.

"I'm tremendously excited to be joining one of the most pioneering and
respected brands in the UK," Ms. MacCaig said. "Cafedirect applies the
highest quality standards to everything they do. Their coffee, tea and
cocoa ranges are uniquely delicious and produced through innovative
business partnerships with growers. Consumers expect these high
standards and Cafedirect is perfectly positioned to meet their
expectations"

- Ends -

For further information please contact the Cafedirect Press Office on
020 7490 9542 or email pressoffice@cafedirect.co.uk

"Through their Producer Partnership Programme, Cafedirect has gone out
of the box to show there is a lot more that can be done than just
Fairtrade. The extra effort made in building farmer and management
capacity in a bid to sustain supplies of tea has been received by us
farmers and factory staff with appreciation. It has placed Cafedirect
in a class of its own which is worthy of my respect." Julius
Ethang'atha, Tea Grower, Michimikuru, Kenya

"When our cooperative first began working with Cafedirect over five
years ago I didn't believe there would be any change in our lives. Now
I am sitting here today feeling very happy. The growers are paid better
prices and receive training. Cafedirect is not like the others. I did
not believe anything would change but now it is changing." Emiliana
Aligaesha, Coffee Grower, KDCU, Tanzania.

Awards

-- Teadirect, Cafedirect's tea brand, is nominated for Best Hot
Beverage in the 2008 Branded Excellence Awards

-- In a survey of 2,000 global brands Cafedirect ranks No. 1 as the
most recommended brand (Source: Millward Brown, March 2007).

-- Cafedirect's Machu Picchu gourmet coffee beans were awarded a Gold
Star in this year's Great Taste awards.

-- Combining taste, price, ethics, and availability, Teadirect tops the
Fairtrade Tea category: New Consumer Magazine, February 2008

Notes on Cafedirect plc:

-- Growers play a key role in every aspect of Cafedirect, from
governance to product design. They own shares in the company and have 2
directors on the Board.

-- Together with our grower partners, we share a passion for producing
the best quality teas, coffees and drinking chocolate. Our latest is
the premium Teadirect Gold, now available at Waitrose.

-- Cafedirect was founded in 1991, predating Fairtrade in the UK by
three years and was the first coffee brand to carry the mark. With a
turnover of GBP22.3 million (2006/07), we are the UK's largest 100%
Fairtrade hot drinks company, the 5th largest coffee brand and 7th
largest tea brand.

-- Cafedirect's work has directly improved the lives of 1.4 million
people in developing countries by partnering with nearly 300,000
smallholder growers through 39 grower organisations across 13
developing countries.

-- Over the last 3 years the company has invested on average 60% of
profits in the businesses and communities of its grower partners.

-- Supporting sustainable development, Cafedirect pioneered a minimum
price for tea growers, and reward growers for quality and organic
produce.

-- Our range of delicious 100% Fairtrade coffees, teas, and hot
chocolate is available in major supermarkets, independent retailers,
Oxfam shops, Traidcraft mail order, and the Cafedirect online store, as
well as thousands of food service venues, such as hospitals,
universities, schools and hotels. They are also available in Ireland,
Hong Kong, and Singapore.

-- To learn more about Cafedirect visit www.cafedirect.co.uk.

((M2 Communications Ltd disclaims all liability for information
provided within M2 PressWIRE. Data supplied by named party/parties.
Further information on M2 PressWIRE can be obtained at
http://www.presswire.net on the world wide web. Inquiries to
info@m2.com)).

Copyright ? 2008 M2 Communications Ltd.

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