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A free-trade coffee and travel adventure in Costa Rica

Sumak Travel, the UK based social enterprise that specializes in Latin American ecotourism, has partnered with the Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation (CPF) to launch a range of Fair Trade Adventures in Colombia, Costa Rica and Peru. Four new small group tours will give travelers a rare opportunity to meet farmers and artisans behind popular fair trade products such as coffee, chocolate and handicrafts, while also visiting some of Latin America’s most iconic sights and natural wonders.

“As one of the best-loved fair trade brands, many people will already be familiar with Cafédirect. But now, for the first time, they will have the opportunity to meet some of the coffee and cocoa growing communities behind the brand,” said Felipe Zalamea, Director at Sumak Travel.

Travelers can learn about ‘bean to cup’ organic coffee production while staying on a fair trade coffee plantation, participate in ceramic and weaving workshops, and share home-cooked meals with local host families.

On the Fair Trade Adventure to Costa Rica (12 days, £1,595pp excl. flights, departs May 14th 2016), there is a unique opportunity to sail the Yorkin River in an indigenous canoe and get acquainted with the indigenous Bribri tribe. Travelers will visit an organic cocoa cooperative on the Caribbean coast to learn how chocolate is produced, tour a coffee farm, make local cheese and typical Costa Rican snacks, hike nature trails and swim in waterfalls, learn to make handcrafts from petals and other natural debris, and catch their own lunch on a fishing trip.

“For us responsible travel isn’t just about minimizing the negative impacts of tourism, it’s about creating rewarding travel experiences that have a positive impact for local people and the environment,” said Sumak Travel’s Zalamea.

“As well as creating unforgettable trips for our customers, we’ve designed the Fair Trade Adventures to be small-scale and low impact, so that the farmers, artisans, indigenous peoples, social entrepreneurs and others who act as our hosts, can continue to enjoy their traditional way of life while earning a complementary income.”

Alex Sowter, Creative Enterprise Manager at the Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation, said: “We are really excited about partnering with Sumak Travel to launch Fair Trade Adventures.

They share our strong commitment to ethical and sustainable business practices, which empower and protect local communities.” John Steel, CEO of Cafédirect, added: “In our desire to directly connect citizens across the world, we are very excited to be part of an initiative that can do just that.” The maximum group size on all Fair Trade Adventures is 10 passengers.

The price includes accommodation in locally-run boutique hotels or homestays, internal flights and ground transportation, English-speaking guides, and a range of fair trade and other activities and excursions, with 10% of the price going directly to support CPF’s work with smallholder farmers. Sumak can also arrange international flights and provide optional add-ons before or after tours, such as the Lost City Hike in Colombia or Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica.

For more information about Fair Trade Adventures, download the brochure, visit the CPF website, or to book contact: fairtrade@sumak-travel.org or 020 36424246.-

Sumak Travel is a UK based, ethical tour operator that works with local, community-based tour operators in Latin America under a fair trade model, to create tailor-made travel itineraries and small group tours that provide authentic experiences and opportunities for genuine cultural exchange. For more information: sumak-travel.org/

Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation (CPF) is a UK based charity that is owned and led by smallholder farmers. CPF is pioneering a new model, one centred on smallholders taking leadership and developing innovative solutions to the challenges they face. For more information: producersfoundation.org