>>neil mcleod, brand manager, fairtrade coffee supplier cafédirect

Neil McLeod is the brand manager at Fairtrade coffee supplier Cafédirect, but his job focus has recently turned from promoting the company’s coffee brands, including instant coffee 5065, to mixing with the stars.
Cafédirect is staging Flight 5065, a live event on June 21 on board the London Eye, to promote its gold standard Fairtrade model of working ahead of the G8 summit next month.
McLeod says that while the world’s spotlight turns to Africa, Cafédirect is taking the opportunity to raise awareness of the industry’s ability to help African farmers through fair trade. He says: “Each day I have a telephone update about Flight 5065 with our marketing agency. We talk about the issues of the day and ticket sales and about the various artists that are lined up, including Damon Albarn and Beth Orton.
“Later this week I am getting a fantastic opportunity to meet everyone to thank them for giving up their time.
“But the event is just one part of a huge integrated campaign - this is a unique opportunity to talk to people about fair trade and the particular model that
Cafédirect has established over the past 14 years.”
McLeod says Cafédirect’s aim is to go beyond Fairtrade and establish direct relationships with the coffee growing co-operatives and support their communities.
He constantly talks to the various Cafédirect suppliers over the phone, but this week he is to meet representatives for the first time. “I am privileged to work directly with farmers, but I am getting very excited about actually meeting two of the representatives from Tanzania and Uganda to hear their stories first-hand.”
Over the next couple of weeks, McLeod will be working closely with the Cafédirect sales team to promote the campaign to retail buyers and foodservice companies.
reaching for the stars to highlight fair trade to the G8