Topaz competition winners ‘Swop’ work for trip to Brazil


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How many cups of Fairtrade coffee did Topaz sell last year?

A lot.  4,145,693, to be precise.

Tuesday March 24th 2010.  The theme of Fairtrade Fortnight this year was ‘The Big Swop’ and three lucky Topaz employees are set to swop work for a week long trip to Brazil.

The three were winners of a competition held for Topaz staff to mark the fantastic sales and success of its Fairtrade coffee.

The three, Charles Fitzsimons from Dublin, Rolands Mileika from Ashbourne and Marti Kelly from New Ross in Co Wexford will jet out to Rio de Janeiro next week.

The country’s largest fuel and convenience retailer only sells Fairtrade coffee, most of it coming from Brazil. How many cups did the company sell last year? A lot. Four million, one hundred and forty five thousand, six hundred and ninety three to be precise.

The primary focus of the trip will be to visit the fair-trade certified farms where coffee for the Topaz blend is sourced. The visitor will see at first hand the advantages of working with these farms and the benefit it has for the local people and workers on the farms.

The winners will also get the opportunity to visit the breath taking Iguazu Falls on the border with Argentina as well as visiting Rio’s famed Copacabana beach.

Congratulating the winners, Topaz Marketing and Corporate Services Director Paul Candon said Topaz was delighted with the success of its Fairtrade coffee.

‘It really is a question of getting the balance right. Fairtrade coffee wins out on taste for Irish consumers while it benefits local producers in Brazil and other countries where we source our coffee.

Candon pointed out that while awareness of Fairtrade coffee and products is heightened during Fairtrade Fortnight (Feb 22nd to March 7th), the coffee is on sale in company owned sites all year round.


Fairtrade certification is monitored by Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO), the international organisation which helps producers to meet internationally agreed Fairtrade standards. The benefits include a minimum price, and a social bonus for investment in economic and social projects. Fairtrade Mark Ireland is the Irish member of FLO, and a registered charity, and licences products meeting these standards to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark.

Topaz is the largest service station and convenience retailer in the country. It is a fully owned and managed Irish company. It has over 300 sites throughout the country, 109 of them company owned. Topaz is one of Ireland’s largest privately owned companies with annual turnover of €3.2 billion and more than one million customer transactions a week. It employs 1,450 people.