Careers: What's it really like inside - Cafedirect

Cafedirect is famous for its fair trade policy. What kind of marketers does the company attract?

There are many different backgrounds. Some come from charities. One worked at Marks & Spencer, another at Coca-Cola and one used to be agency-side. People's qualifications vary, too. One marketer even has a degree in neuroscience. But we're all passionate about fair trade.

What is the office atmosphere like? Informal and chatty.

What is the average age in the marketing department? Between 25 and 30 years old.

Is there a diverse ethnic mix? Yes - French, Irish and Indian are just a few nationalities here.

What about the gender split? There's a female bias. In fact, there are only five men in the office.

What are the perks at Cafedirect? The trips to see the growers - we work with 250,000 of them. It's a very fulfilling experience because whatever you put into the company, you see the positive effect it has on growers' lives.

We show them how we promote their coffee and tea, and the smile it brings to their faces is very rewarding. It's difficult to explain that kind of job satisfaction. I've never felt the same in any of the companies I worked for previously. It's also exciting working for a small, fast-growing company in the fair trade sector, which is seeing tremendous growth.

We are the biggest fair trade hot drinks company in the UK.

What are the hours like? Flexible working is another of the perks here. You have to work the core hours of 10am-4pm, but you can also choose to come in earlier or work late - until, say, six or seven in the evening.

What work worry keeps you awake at night? How to really make our budgets work hard.

What is the office dress code like? You can wear whatever you like - jeans and trainers if you want.

What are the salary package and benefits like? It pays the bills. The pension scheme is very good. We get optional healthcare too.

And career development? There is no hierarchical structure here, so most people move from one activity to another across our brands Cafedirect, Teadirect and Cocodirect.


- Cafedirect has 27 employees in the UK, six of them marketers.

- Sylvie Barr is head of marketing; Penny Newman is chief executive officer.

- Its adspend for the year to 31 October was just over £405,000, of which just over £390,000 was spent on press.

- Its headquarters are at City Cloisters, Suite B2, 196 Old Street, London EC1V 9FR.


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