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c1Espresso launches tea company at global UN meeting

HEADLINE: c1Espresso launches tea company at global UN meeting

NOTE FOR EDITORS: Video of Sam Croskey launching The Golden Panther Team Company at the Organic Islands side event. (Sam Crofskey, c1)


New Zealand’s largest café has launched a boutique tea company at a global United Nation’s meeting as a result of listening to organic farmers in Samoa.

C1Espresso launched the Golden Panther Tea Company during the United Nation’s Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States in Apia, Samoa.

Owner Sam Crofskey told an audience, which included Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and Andre Leu, president of the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements, that when he started listening to farmers, he came up with products that added value and resilience to their farms.

“We were hearing the farmers say how about my cocoa, how about my chilli, and how about my lemongrass? So we have come up with a tea company that showcases these products, enables farmers on a small scale to be able to trade with us and showcases their products in a high-quality manner.”

C1Espresso, based in Christchurch, has been working with Women in Business Development in Samoa for five years, concentrating on coffee and more recently Koko Samoa, a 100% cacao bean product.

The tea ingredients from Samoa include dried hibiscus flowers, lemongrass, chilli, mango, ginger, coffee cherry, coconut and pineapple. It will be sold in collectible matchboxes that offer two servings – one for drinking in the café and one for later.

Women in Business Development associate director Alberta Vitale says c1Espresso is that special partner that is interested in developing people through providing trade that supports families staying together and farming organically.

“Just like our fair trade partner, The Body Shop, c1Espresso have similar values to Women in Business Development around empowering small family farms to realize their entrepreneurial potential. Because of this, we know we will have a long-lasting relationship.”

Vitale says when she told Crofskey the organisation was going to run an organic kiosk at the conference, he immediately said he was coming to help. “Then we were fortunate to be given the opportunity to launch the Golden Panther Tea Company at the Organic Islands event.”

Croskey says that initially organic status for him was connected to marketing. “Over time, what we have realized is that organics is really important to us.

“When we lost our coffee shop, our city and our home in the Christchurch earthquakes, we had an opportunity to reinvent our business and we have put the story of Samoa and the lessons we have learned here at the heart of our business.”

The café has organic vegetable gardens in front of its premises in central Christchurch. It also sources its milk from its nomadic dairy herd that feeds on organic pastures.


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